Cases purporting to suite the iPhone '5g' have appeared on Chinese trading site Alibaba.com, suggesting that physical specifications have been leaked within the competitive Chinese manufacturing market.
A listing for 'newest design crystal case for apple iPhone 5' appeared on Alabiba purporting to be from Shenzhen-based Kulcase, depicting a device with an edge-to-edge screen and a repositioned flash.
Leaking the physical characteristics of a next-generation Apple device can result in a substantial windfall for accessory manufacturers who are able to get to the market early and secure lucrative foreign orders.
In December last year three workers at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen had been arrested and ultimately charged with leaking the design of the iPad 2. Foxconn had apparently been tipped off after seeing accessorie cases which suggested inside knowledge of the physical shape of the next-generation iPad.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek issued a note to investors saying the new phone would be called the "iPhone 4S" and include minor cosmetic changes, better cameras and an updated A5 dual-core processor.