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Is this the first glimpse of Apple's next iPhone?

New leaked images have surfaced purporting to show the next-generation iPhone set to be released later this year.

The images, initially obtained by Engadget from the repair firm uBreakiFix, appear to show an iPhone that is taller and thinner than the iPhone 4S. The alleged next-gen iPhone (left) has an aluminum back, with ends made of glass at the top and bottom, and a steel antenna band. It also has a much smaller dock connector, and the headphone jack has been relocated to the bottom corner of the handset.

Meanwhile, the folks at 9to5Mac on Tuesday posted several high-resolution images comparing the black and white versions of the purported next-gen device, both of which appear two-toned thanks to the metal back. The speaker grills on the device have also been redesigned, and there is a new, very small opening between the camera lens and the flash. The opening could possibly be for a second microphone for better audio capture during video recording, the site speculated.

The models in question align with a number of existing rumors about Apple's sixth-generation iPhone. Reports over the past several months have claimed that the next iPhone will be thinner than its predecessor, with a 4-inch display, instead of the 3.5-inch screen used on all other iPhone models. Other rumours indicate that Apple plans to swap out the glass back it currently uses on the iPhone 4S, in favour of a metal back - possibly made of a super-tough alloy called Liquidmetal. The updated phone is also expected to have a smaller, pill-shaped dock connector that has fewer pins than the existing 30-pin dock connector, possibly only 16.

Meanwhile, if you're hoping for Apple to unveil its next iPhone at the Worldwide Developers Conference next month, you might want to think again. Apple didn't unveil the iPhone 4S until last October, and most rumours claim the tech giant is planning to stick to a similar time frame for the launch of its next iPhone.

Image credit: UBreakIFix