According to developers who've contacted The Next Web , some software traces of the next iPhone hardware and iOS software from Apple  have begun showing up in the logs of some apps. The hardware signature for the phone is "iPhone6,1," an obvious numerical jump from today's iPhone 5, which identifies itself online as "iPhone5,1" and "iPhone5,2," depending on which 4G bands it uses. The devices are also traceable back to an IP address at Apple's Cupertino campus, which suggests this is not an elaborate fake.
The news is striking because while this early test phase typically predates a new iPhone release by several months, it's far ahead of the expected Fall release date of the iPhone for 2013. The iPhone 5, Apple's current headline device, was released last September. The implication of this news is that Apple's new phone could arrive as soon as this summer, and that tallies with a recent independent rumor  that also suggests Apple will choose novel IGZO tech for the phone's displays. A third rumor  suggests Apple will avoid using its best manufacturing partner, frenemy  Samsung, to make the chips inside the device.
Do you think Apple will release a new phone less than a year after its flagship iPhone 5 release? And if so, is that a good thing?
[Image: Flickr user Yutaka Tsutano ]