iPhone 5S already? Possible pics leak

Pictures of the next-generation iPhone have already surfaced but show few differences on the exterior of the device.

Screenshot taken by Roger Cheng/CNET

It's time to start the iPhone rumor mill churning again.

French Web site Nowhereelse.fr spotted alleged pictures of the next iPhone, commonly referred to as the iPhone 5S, on a forum run by iPhone5parts.net.

The pictures show an iPhone that has an exterior that looks identical to the iPhone 5. The rear of the device would essentially be an iPhone 5 if not for the specific information being replaced by "x," which may indicate a prototype.

A look inside shows different placement for the screws, and some minor differences from the iPhone 5. The forum has a picture that stacks the two side by side.

CNET contacted Apple for a comment on the pictures, and we'll update the story when we get a response.

Fresh off the launch of the iPhone 5 in late September, the speculation over the next version is already ramping up. Many believe the next will be a minor upgrade, similar to the iPhone 4S, with more internal improvements than superficial design ones.

The company, however, faces stiffer competition from rivals that are willing to bring out new designs for their smartphones at least once -- and often more than once -- a year.

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