Apple is testing new hardware with the "iPhone 6.1" identifier, running on a device utilizing iOS 7, according to developers who have begun seeing references to the software in app usage logs.
The latest version, the iPhone 5, carries either the tag "iPhone 5.1" or "iPhone 5.2" depending on the exact model of the phone, including both the “LTE model of the handset and the 4G bands on which it operates.”
NextWeb reports that “the app requests originate from an IP address on Apple’s Cupertino campus,” suggesting that the handheld is far enough into development that it is currently undergoing cross-testing with popular applications to ensure compatibility. The “unique IP footprint” leading back to the Cupertino facility suggests that the logs are genuine, not faked.
Sources have hinted that Apple began prepping the operating system iOS 7 near the end of 2012 and is soon to determine which features will make it to a final release. Previous Apple product announcements – particularly new iOS versions – have typically been made at its annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), this year taking place in June.
Previous iPhone rumors have been accompanied by similar testing logs. In May, 9to5mac revealed references to iOS 6 before the 2011 WWDC, which was launched a month later with features including the much-maligned Apple Maps and “hundreds” of additional features. If the data coming in is genuine, not faked, then this is a sure-fire bet that Apple is leaking details to build buzz.
No surprises here – Apple has consistently launched a new model iPhone every year since the original deployment of the iPhone 1 in 2007. So, it could rightly be called a little obvious that their engineers are already at work designing a 2013 model.
Still, with no details released, one speculates what features will be included in the new phone. Rumors have included a super high-definition camera, a longer-lasting and more compact battery, an energy-efficient IGZO display, onboard storage of up to 128gb, and 6 to 8 “multiple color options.” Hardware upgrades may include such niceties as a A7 quad-core processor, a redesigned form factor with no “home” button, and gesture recognition. More out-there suggestions for future iPhone releases have included such next-next-gen tech as a "Mind-User Interface" and "no charging required."