The first claimed photos of the Apple iPhone 6 have emerged.

Jony Ive has barely finished recording his preposterously enthusiastic iPhone 5 video, but we're already looking ahead to Apple's next smartphone launch - which could be called the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 5S. (It's the seventh iPhone, so I'm going to be controversial and vote for 'iPhone 7'.)

Parts company ETrade Supply - pitching its flag very firmly in the iPhone 5S camp - has posted photos of what it reckons is the 7th-gen iPhone's rear casing.

Take all this with Andre-the-Giant-sized pinches of salt, since very little is known for certain about the origin of the shots; but ETrade Supply surmises that they were taken by someone on the assembly line. The company has spotted an 'X' near the logo, and observes that parts with an X usually indicate a test prototype.

What can we tell from these photos (other than that the iPhone 6 rumour mill is going to be just as enthusiastic as those for every previous edition of the iPhone)? Well, the rear housing looks pretty similar to that of the iPhone 5, and if this is a genuine photo of the iPhone 6 it suggests it will have roughly the same form factor.

The main observable differences are that there are fewer screw holes for attaching the screen, and the screw holes for attaching the logic board have been changed too.

Claimed photo of Apple iPhone 6

Claimed photo of Apple iPhone 6

The iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S/iPhone 6/iPhone 7. Sorry about the watermarks and straw-clutching rumourmongering

These may suggest cosmetic or superficial changes from iPhone 5 to iPhone 6 (sorry, 'iPhone 5S'), or they may suggest fundamental modifications to the internal componentry and screen. After the major changes from iPhone 4S to iPhone 5, a logical expectation would be for a more subtle, incremental change in next year's iPhone, but this is our first clue that things may work out differently.

May. We said 'may'. Because at this stage, let's face it, Apple could be planning to build an iPhone Q out of helium and disappointment for all we know.

See also:

iPhone 6 release date, rumours and leaked images

iPhone 6 release date rumour

Cheaper iPhone mini, release date, rumours and leaked images

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