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iPhone 5S leaked pictures hint at identically shaped sequel

Is it that time already? Time to start figuring out what's lurking inside Apple's next smart phone.

As the Earth turns slowly on its axis, and with the inevitability of a sun's collapse, rumours are beginning to swirl regarding Apple's follow-up to the iPhone 5. Now the Internet has offered up a glimpse of what Apple's next mobile could look like. And wouldn't you know it? It looks pretty much the same as the current iPhone.

The snap above was spotted on the iphone5parts.net forum by French site Nowhereelse.fr. They show a casing that looks a lot like the iPhone 5's, but with differently placed internal fixings.

It could be a hoax, or a casing from a fake phone, but slightly tweaked internals would make sense as Apple will likely stuff its next smart phone with all-new components, like a faster processor or bigger battery.

If genuine, the chunk of housing would suggest Apple may stick with the 4-inch display it introduced with the iPhone 5.

We were fond of that big, bright panel when we gave Cook and company's latest phone the review treatment, but the iPhone 5 isn't perfect in other respects -- it's extremely pricey at £529, and comes with Apple's atrocious Maps app.

We're still miles off an official announcement from Apple regarding a new smart phone, but the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 both leaked extensively in the run-up to their grand debut, so keep your eyes trained to this site for the inside story on the next iPhone.

The iPhone 5S, or iPhone 6 or new iPhone or iPhone 6: Revenge of the iPhone will probably make its debut in autumn next year, and will have to compete with whatever Samsung has planned to follow on from the Galaxy S3, as well as Nexus devices from Google.

What does Apple need to stick in its next mobile to make it the best mobile around? Is the iPhone's star fading at last, or is the best yet to come? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

Image credit: iPhone5parts.net