Now that excitement surrounding the iPhone 5 has finally subsided, the rumor mill is already churning with information about what Apple could be working on next. On Jan. 1, traces of a next-generation Apple smartphone, possibly the iPhone 6, have reportedly surfaced in the company’s app usage logs.
This news comes from The Next Web, which said developers contacted them to share recently-discovered references to a new iPhone identifier; the developers also hinted that the next major iteration of Apple’s mobile software, presumably iOS 7, is under way as well. One developer reportedly showed the tech news source that Apple has been testing hardware for a new “iPhone6,1” identifier powered by a device running iOS 7. According to the website, Apple is expected to release its next major update for its smartphones and tablets in the middle of 2013.
However, it’s important to remember that this information isn’t coming directly from Apple, which means that it must be considered as just a rumor. While there’s no way to know for sure whether or not Apple is testing a new smartphone, identifiers for the company’s current flagship smartphone bear similarity to the recently discovered ones. The identifiers for the iPhone 5, which were also uncovered long before the device hit store shelves, are labeled “iPhone5,1” and “iPhone5,2.” These names refer to the same smartphone, but the difference between “iPhone5,1” and “iPhone5,2” involves the device’s LTE model and the 4G bands on which it operates.
Apple may also be in the process of testing some of the most popular applications from its App Store for the “iPhone 6." App requests found in these newly uncovered developer logs were traced back to the company’s Cupertino campus, making these “iPhone 6” rumors all the more credible. While experienced hackers could easily fake data relating to an operating system or new device, these tests are stamped with Apple’s signature Cupertino-based IP address.
The developer logs did not share any insight as to what features could come with the rumored iOS 7, but previous speculations have indicated that Apple began working on this software toward the end of 2012. This means that the computer design firm could be close to finalizing the new features that will launch with its next self-branded mobile OS.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard whispers about a successor to Apple’s iPhone 5. Tech industry news source DigiTimes sparked speculation last month, when it reported that Apple is expected to introduce new iPad and iPhone devices around the middle of 2013. Component orders, which rose to high levels just before Apple rolled out its iPhone 5, are expected to climb again between March and April, indicating that another major smartphone release could be on its way.
While this may sound exciting for Apple lovers, it’s worth noting that DigiTimes has a mixed track record when it comes to reporting on Apple rumors. Last December, the website correctly predicted that Apple would introduce a 7.85-inch iPad Mini in the fourth quarter of 2012, but incorrectly reported that Apple would use Samsung’s quad-core Exynos processor in its iPhone 5. Instead of opting for Samsung’s offering, the company decided to go with its own self-branded A6 chip instead when it comes to powering the iPhone 5.
Apple is known for doubling down on secrecy when it comes to new product launches, but it seems as if information has been leaking to the Web now more than ever. Before the iPhone 5 officially launched, tech bloggers and critics were able to nail exactly what fans should expect from Apple’s flagship smartphone release. For the past year rumors, rendered images and leaks pertaining to the iPhone 5 have spread across the Internet, painting a clear picture of the device long before its September launch. Now, it looks as if that process has already jump-started as 2013 begins.