The first images of Apple’s new iPhone?

Apple corpThey’re rather fuzzy, we have to say. And, they don’t show the outside, just some of the components. But, these pictures purport to be bits of Apple’s next two iPhones, the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6.

If the images are real, it will be the first glimpse of the iPhone 6. The photographs have come through the French tech blog Nowhereelse.fr, which is clearly keeping its source close to its chest as it says the pictures were found simply “while browsing the web”.

They are said to have been leaked online by an employee of the Far Eastern company which manufacturers the parts for the Californian tech giant.

The pictures appear to show speaker components which are similar to those currently used in Apple’s iPhone 5. The parts thought to be for the iPhone 6 are, however, slightly smaller, leading to speculation that they could actually be for an iPhone Mini or an iPhone aimed at the budget end of the market.

It’s obviously not possible to tell if the photos are 100 per cent legitimate although Nowhereelse.fr does have a track record of previously publishing accurate photos.

The site claims the iPhone 5S is set to launch between March and July while the iPhone 6 will be officially unveiled at the end of 2013.

The images come amid a whole host of rumours about what Apple is preparing to do next. Some analysts say Apple is getting ready to produce a cheaper version of the iPhone for emerging markets where potential consumers simply can’t afford an Apple device. But other experts believe Apple will do the opposite and release a phablet – a tablet/smartphone hybrid – in a bid to compete with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Note.

But whatever Apple is gearing up to release, the firm will clearly be hoping its next gizmo sends it soaring once more up the popularity charts.

A new report suggests the iPhone is losing its appeal among well-heeled Asian customers. It is a further body blow for Apple which saw iPhone components$50bn wiped off its value after analysts predicted it could be heading for a slowdown.

StatCounter, which measures traffic across a network of three million websites, found that consumers in Hong Kong and Singapore were turning away from Apple products.

Driven by a combination of factors, including iPhone fatigue, the desire to be different and a host of competing devices, users in these influential markets are turning to other brands, said Reuters.

So popular were Apple’s products in 2012 that more devices there ran its iOS operating system per capita than anywhere else across the globe.

But, according to the new statistics, interest in the iPad and iPhone declined sharply during 2012. And, the fear for Apple will be that where Hong Kong and Singapore lead, other key markets across Asia tend to follow.

Tom Clayton, chief executive of Bubble Motion, which develops a popular social media app in Singapore, said : “Apple is still viewed as a prestigious brand, but there are just so many other cool smartphones out there now that the competition is just much stiffer.”

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