Thanks to the past few releases of the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone, many tech enthusiasts around the world are under the impression that the company will follow its conventional release cycle and introduce the next-generation iPhone this year as the “iPhone 5S.”

As was the case with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5S is also expected to be an incremental upgrade from the current iPhone 5. However, a new report hit the web on Thursday talking about an alleged device listing in Vodafone U.K.’s retail system that had apparently mentioned a product, listed as “4G iPhone 6.”

The report by also incorporates a hazy image of a retail system listing as evidence.


“The photo was snapped at a U.K. operator store and strongly suggests that Apple will be skipping the 5S moniker and jumping straight to the iPhone 6, meaning we could be in for some drastic changes from the Apple camp,” said the report.


While the original report mentioned it simply as “a U.K. mobile operator,” another report from Cult Of Mac said it was a Vodafone U.K.’s store listing and the shot was taken by one of the employees. The report itself was not betting on the legitimacy of the leak, but it did not ignore it right away either, saying it could be the “first glimpse at upcoming products that have yet to be announced.”

Is It A Real Deal?

A report from iDownloadBlog has pointed toward a tweet from MacStories editor Federico Viticci, who has also posted an image to show how a basic Photoshop trick is enough to create such false evidence.

“We’ve got our own spyshot. Apple’s next phone will be the iPhone 7UP,” Viticci mocked the leak on Twitter.

Although one can only guess if the leaked image in question is indeed legit, it’s worth stating here that retail system databases usually contain placeholder names for unannounced devices without having any inside track.


But if Apple goes on adding the extra “S” to the name of the next iPhone, will it do justice to the device’s reputation this time? Many people, including Apple’s former ad man Ken Segall, believe calling the existing iPhone naming scheme the so-called “S” upgrade sends a weak marketing message to potential customers. These customers then may decide not to buy the “iPhone 5S” and wait for the “iPhone 6,” hoping to get a major specs bump.

No matter what Apple will call its seventh-generation iPhone, it is widely believed that the production process of the new handset has already kicked off. While Sharp will reportedly begin mass production of the new iPhone’s LCD display panels in June, other manufacturers like LG and Japan Display have already started their work. The new iPhone is likely to be released toward the second-half of this year.

Meanwhile, Apple is getting ready for its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June, where the company is expected to preview the OS X 10.9 and the next major version of its mobile operating system, the iOS 7.