Reference to the iPhone 5 pop ups in server logs

Could it be that somewhere out there, an Apple employee is holding the next version of the iPhone at this very moment?

With the next-gen iPhone expected to be released next month, it seems obvious that Apple is currently testing the device. But now there could be proof.

TechCrunch on Friday said an anonymous tipster noticed references to an iPhone 5 on their site's server logs, possibly indicating that a working device is being tested. A screenshot (below) shows that the site was accessed by a device listed as "iPhone 5,2," which could be the internal name Apple has given its next-gen iPhone prototype.

This wouldn't be the first time evidence of a not-yet released Apple product has popped up on server logs. Days before Apple unveiled the latest iPad this March, employees at the tech website Ars Technica discovered hundreds of visits from a device with a rare screen resolution of 2048 x 1536. That's the exact same resolution of the new iPad's Retina display.

Rumours are swirling that Apple will unveil the next iPhone at a special event on 12 September and release the phone nine days later, on 21 September. The phone is believed to be in the production stage, with Sharp reportedly set to begin shipping screens for it this month. The next-gen device is widely expected to boast a larger 4in screen, a smaller dock connector, and 4G LTE connectivity.

But server log references to the iPhone 5,2 don't necessarily mean Apple is planning to name its next-generation smartphone the iPhone 5. The company nixed its numbering system for its third-generation iPad, deciding instead to call the device the new iPad, and may do the same with its next smartphone.