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'iPhone 5S' leak indicates component tweaks

It's been less than three months since the iPhone 5 hit stores, but rumours about the next version of the Apple smartphone are already circulating.

Leaked photos (above) suggest that the next iPhone - dubbed the iPhone 5S - will look much like its predecessor, but include a few internal tweaks. The pics were first posted on the iPhone5Parts forum, picked up by French blog, and then Apple Insider. They mainly show an iPhone with screw placement that appears to differ from that of the iPhone 5, suggesting some internal component changes to the smartphone.

Apple Insider, however, suggested that the pics could just feature an early iPhone 5 prototype, given that Apple only just released the device in September. More than 50 more countries are scheduled also to receive the iPhone 5 this month, starting with South Korea on Friday.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A November report from the China Times said Apple has already started trial production of the next iPhone, which would be released in the first quarter of 2013. For the last two years, however, Apple has released its new iPhones in the fall.

If Apple adheres to previous release patterns, however, the new iPhone would indeed maintain a similar form factor but include some internal bumps, like the iPhone 4 to 4S. Those looking for a massive, Samsung Galaxy Note 2-esque screen should probably look elsewhere, or just pick up the iPad mini.