Photos of iPhone 5 engineering sample leaked

Photos alleging to show an iPhone 5 engineering sample have surfaced, with the new evidence depicting a taller, thinner mobile broadly in line with previous rumours suggesting Apple's next-generation flagship smartphone would be larger form factor.

GottaBeMobile says that it obtained the images "straight from a factory in China" via a "trusted source" within the Apple supply chain. The collection also contains photos claiming to depict a basic scale model of the rumoured iPad mini.

With regards to the device purported to be named the iPhone 5, the images depict a metal block much in the style on the current generation iPhone 4S, but offering an bigger display that has a diagonal of 4.05in, as opposed to the 3.5in model found on Apple's present flagship device.

As expected, it also features a taller case: at 120mm, it is 5mm higher than the 4S. Key positioning points appear to be in place and also similar, with the only real potential design revelation being the appearance of a small hole between the rear camera and the LED flash, which could be a rear-facing microphone used for AV recording and noise reduction.

Should the sample end up being genuine, speculation regarding a metal back for the next iPhone could also prove true, with ridges being noticeable on the back of the sample.

The latest iPhone is expected to arrive this autumn alongside an OS refresh, iOS 6, which was announced last month at WWDC 2012, in addition to the 7in iPad mini being reported.

Other speculations surrounding Apple's customary pre-holiday launch is for a taller seventh-generation iPod nano, a 13in version of the highly coveted MacBook Pro with Retina line, the rollout of a Retina display to the iMac line, and even the arrival of the near mythical Apple TV.

The rumour mill is generally pushing a September or October release for the new devices, which have yet to be formally named.