Photographs of an alleged leaked iPhone 5 front panel have emerged, alongside new reports that suggest that Apple has begun production of its next iPhone.

Japanese Mac blog MacOtakara claims that a ‘trusted source’ has said that Chinese manufacturers are beginning to ramp up production of the sixth-generation iPhone.

The sources say that the back of the iPhone 5 will have a naked aluminium surface. This backplate will only be “partially covered” by Gorilla Glass, unlike the iPhone 4 and 4S, the report suggests.

MacOtakara also notes that the small hole on the back of the iPhone that was spotted in previous leaked parts appears to be absent from new production models. The hole was rumoured to be for a rear-facing microphone, but the report claims that its absence may just mean that it is now invisible to the naked eye.

Meanwhile, alleged photographs of the front panel of a white iPhone 5 have emerged, showing a taller iPhone with a centred front facing FaceTime camera. This is the first white iPhone front frame to have surfaced. Back in May, reports suggested that Apple could make the next iPhone available in various colours.

Last week, photographs of what appears to be an iPhone 5 engineering sample emerged, and a website was forced to remove alleged iPhone 5 photos following ‘external pressures’.

See also
Apple’s iPhone 5 to have quad-core processor - rumour
Next generation iPhone illustrations revealed
New iPhone could have a 4in screen
Is this what the new iPhone will look like?
Manufacturers confirm smaller dock connector for iPhone 5
iPhone 5 rumour rollup of the week
New iPhone patent outlines touch-sensitive earpiece for improved phone call sound quality
iPhone 5 now available for pre-order in China