We’re only just into 2013, but already the rumours about the iPhone 6 are starting to gather pace.
According to new reports, Apple is already testing its new generation iPhone at its Cupertino campus in California.
While Apple is, as usual, keeping its cards to its chest for the moment, app developers say Apple has been using the new device to download and use software, sparking speculation that the iPhone 6 is due for release within the next few months.
And, not only have traces of the new iPhone started appearing in app usage logs, there are also indications of a major new version of the iOS software on the device. Developers say they have spotted references to iOS 7.
Unique footprints lead back to Cupertino, suggesting Apple’s software development teams are busy testing compatibility with some of the most popular apps on the market.
According to TheNextWeb: “One developer showed us that Apple has been testing hardware related to a new iPhone 6.1 identifier, powered by a device running iOS 7, which is expected to be released by Apple in the middle part of this year.”
While the developers have been unable to glean any further details, analysts have gone further with their predictions.
Brian White, who works as an analyst for Topeka Capital, wrote in a research report that the next iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6, could come in three different screen sizes and up to eight different colour combinations.
“Checks are pointing to more choices on the way with the next iPhone,” he said. “By providing customers with greater choices with the same high quality performance of the iPhone, we believe Apple has the potential to further expand its market share in the rapidly expanding smartphone world.”
White believes the iPhone 6 will launch in either May or June this year and could release more colour options, following the example of its iPod touch. He also believes the new version of the iPad will come in more hues when it is released.
He points out that while the iPhone 5 came with a 4-inch screen and the iPhone 4S with a 3.5-inch size, Apple has not, so far, offered different screen sizes for a single model.
“We believe this is about to change with the next iPhone offering different screen sizes that we believe will allow Apple to better bifurcate the market and expand its reach,” he said.
While iPhone mini rumours are not new, White said: “This eventually opens up the possibility for a lower-priced iPhone (ie iPhone mini), with a smaller screen size that could allow Apple to further penetrate markets such as China and open up opportunities in India.”
He also said iPhone could decide to release a larger screen size, which would put it in competition with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Note.
It looks like we have a while to wait until we find out which rumours and speculation turn out to be accurate as Apple usually announces any new version of iOS at its WorldWide Developer Conference in San Francisco in June.