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iPhone 6 and iOS 7 already in testing: real or fake? Featured

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Even though the iPhone 5 is only a few months old, it should come as no surprise to see Apple already testing what is assumed to be prototypes of the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, as well as what would be early versions of iOS 7.

The tech world is aflutter with reports that a tech blog has seen stats for heretofore unknown new versions of the iPhone and iOS – namely, the iPhone 6 and iOS 7.

The news comes from tech site The Next Web, which quotes developers noting that they’ve seen a couple of interesting identifiers – “iPhone6,1”, which continues the naming scheme used to denote different versions and models of the iPhone, and iOS 7.

Having a look through iTWire’s own stats, we too were able to see a single instance of “iOS 7” browsing the site amongst a broad swathe of other iOS versions, let alone Windows, Android and all the other platforms and devices, although as The Next Web cautions, it is possible for these info strings to be faked.

We’re also reminded that the current iPhone 5 has two identifiers – “iPhone5,1” and “iPhone 5,2”, depending on the 4G LTE bands deployed within different iPhone 5 models.

Adding to the intrigue is the claim that the IP addresses these devices purported to come from are IP addresses used by Apple at its Cupertino headquarters, which helps to add weight to the claims.

Apple testing new iPhone and iOS prototypes is something that gets reported on every year, especially as it happens months before the release of the next versions of those devices, stoking the rumour mill even further while, as always, keeping Apple in the news.

The company obviously also wants to ensure its new devices and updated operating systems are fully compatible with the existing iOS library.

Speculation over new iPhone and iPad models is even more heightened than usual this time around due to the rumours and now expectations that Apple is switching from a yearly product cycle to one that is but 6 months long.

The explanations given for this radical shift in new iProduct availability come down to the torrent of new Android models that seem to appear every five seconds (ok that’s an exaggeration, maybe every 10 seconds is more realistic), and the threat these new models pose to Apple’s latest and greatest looking like they’re the latest and greatest months down the track after launch.

The faster model releases are also supposedly meant to counter the “dip” in iPhone sales 9 to 11 months after an iPhone has been released, with people savvier than ever about wanting to get the very latest iDevice – not one that’s months old and set to be superseded “next week” – or whenever it is that Apple decides to release its latest devices.

So… for whatever it’s worth, and despite the potential for agent string fakery, it looks like Apple really is testing the next iPhone and the next version of iOS, but especially in light of the faster product cycle rumours, why would anyone expect anything less?

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.

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