While the tech world is eagerly awaiting the launch of Apple Inc.'s next-generation iPhone, the rumors around the much-anticipated smartphone has been set on fire by several sightings of iPhone4S/5 cases on AT&T's databases and inventory.

However, different photos and screen shots do not correspond with each other on whether the new form factor of the upcoming iPhone will be a mere refresh of the existing iPhone4 or a complete renovation.

BGR on Thursday posted a sloppy photo that was claimed to be a screenshot from AT&T's inventory-management system. The report said that iPhone5 cases had started to appear before the device's launch sometime this month.

The manufacturer of the first round of cases in AT&T's system is Case-Mate, the company that slipped up earlier this month and posted iPhone5 cases and renders before quickly removing them after we published the images, the BGR report said.

Another report from MacRumors said one of the Case-Mate iPhone5 cases that appeared a couple of weeks ago was showing up at AT&T stores. The report stated that a MacRumors reader had sent alleged photos of iPhone5 silicone sleeves that appear to have arrived at his AT&T store.

Similar to other cases for the rumored redesign of the iPhone5, these cases also show a thinner design and the mute switch moving to the opposite side of the device, according to the MacRumors report.

Meanwhile, according to a 9to5Mac report, Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone5 at its media event Oct. 4 with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage capacities. Rumors are rife that Apple will either reveal an updated iPhone4 called the 4S or a completely new iPhone5.

A similar rumor came out last year just before the iPhone 4 was launched, but Apple released only 16GB and 32GB models at that time. However, there is hope that a 64GB model may be released this year.

InMobi, which claims to be the world's largest independent mobile ad network, has said that if Apple announces an update of the current iPhone4 on Oct. 4, the interest in the new iPhone will come down among customers.

According to a study it conducted, less than 15 percent of consumers would be likely to pick up the new handset, if Apple announces only a refresh of the current model of the iPhone. On the other hand, 41 percent of mobile users in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada intend to buy the iPhone5.

The iPhone5 is believed to run on the latest iOS5, which will be coming with 200 new features, including an improved notifications system, a Newsstand, and iMessage. In addition, iPhone5 is expected to feature the new iCloud service to enable a user to operate iTunes with wireless remote access to music from all personal computers and mobile devices.

Other highly expected features of iPhone5 include an 8-megapixel camera with a dual LED flash; a faster 1.2-to-1.5 GHz dual-core A5 processor chip; 1GB of RAM; an edge-to-edge 4-inch retina display; 4G networks for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint; NFC technology; and enhanced battery life.

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