iPhone 5 front panel photos leaked

Photos that reportedly provide a glimpse of the next iPhone's full front panel have leaked online.

The photos (top), originally uncovered by UBreakiFix and posted last weekend by MacRumors, show the rumoured 4in screen – taller than the iPhone's current 3.5in size.

The new iPhone is expected to carry the same pixel density as the current device, leaving app developers with an additional few inches of screen space to fill, MacRumors said. The photos show a zoomed-in look at the top of the panel, where serials numbers and an LCD connector are located.

Apple has not officially released any details on its new smartphone, which is expected to be revealed on 12 September. During a July earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook would only say that the company has "amazing new products in our pipeline that we look forward to discussing with you in the future," but kept mum about Apple's plans for the iPhone 5.

So far, iPhone rumours have tipped the aforementioned 4in screen, a move that is likely necessary as more and more Android phones push the boundaries on screen size, as well as 4G LTE connectivity, where such technology is available.

Other changes are reported to include an 8-pin dock connector, a smaller SIM card slot, possible implementation of the new Nano-SIM format, and in-cell technology that would render an extra touch-screen layer unnecessary, therefore shrinking the screen size by about half a millimeter.

According to reports, the iPhone 5 could hit stores by 21 September, before rolling out to more international markets in early October.