The rumour mill is abuzz today as photos of an alleged iPhone 6 prototype have surfaced online, showing what appears to be an iPhone with an edge-to-edge curved display and no Home button.

The photos, which were shared by GSMArena on Thursday, closely resemble an Apple patent application that was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office last week, detailing an iPhone with a wraparound display.

Rather than a full wraparound display, the newly leaked photographs seem to show an iPhone with an edge-to-edge screen, but the overall shape and look of the prototype is very similar to the Apple patent's accompanying illustrations, as shown below.

It doesn't look like the display technology is currently present in the prototype, suggesting that Apple could be finalising ways to successfully implement the edge-to-edge screen into the device. Alternatively, this could mean that Apple isn't planning an edge-to-edge display at all, instead using a regular display within the new iPhone design. SEE: iPhone 6 release date, rumours and leaked images

The lack of a Home button in the photographs could indicate that iOS 7 will have more advanced gesture control functionality. SEE: iOS 7 reportedly delayed due to significant user interface overhaul

The authenticity of these photographs is questionable, though, and even GSMArena's source said that he couldn't swear that they are genuine. It's possible that the 'prototype' is actually a faked render.

The report suggests that it's possible that the photos show one of several internal Apple prototypes that the company is working on as it tests different designs before making the final design decisions for its next-generation iPhone.

Whether or not the prototype turns out to be real, it's an intriguing design idea and provides some food for thought about where Apple could be planning to take its iPhone in the future.

It certainly wouldn't be the first time an iPhone prototype has been leaked from Apple either. Months ahead of the iPhone 5's launch, photographs of iPhones which turned out to be very accurate were leaked online.

What do you think about the leaked photos? Would you buy Apple's next iPhone if it looked like this? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter

See also:

iPhone 6 rumour rollup: iPhone 5S to be announced in June, no fingerprint sensor, Messenger app

iPhone 6 rumours: Apple, Samsung to launch smartphones with wireless charging this year?

Analysts continue to forecast a 2013 launch for low-cost iPhone, summer arrival for iPhone 6

iPhone 6 concept shows ultra-thin design with 'touch anywhere' Home button and 'iSight Pro' camera

iPhone 6 rumours: Fingerprint sensor, NFC e-wallet set to feature in new iPhone

iPhone 6 rumours: New iPhone components to begin shipping by end of May

iPhone 6 rumours: Apple's new iPhone to have killer feature that Samsung's Galaxy S4 lacks