Purported iPhone 5S leak? X marks the spot.

Purported iPhone 5S leak has Apple fans critiquing 'new' case. A tech site has published photos of a device it claims is the iPhone 5S, which happens to look a lot like the iPhone 5. 

A customer speaks with an Apple employee at the Apple Store in San Francisco in late November. Apple fans are already salivating about the possibility of a new iPhone, which could be called the iPhone 5S.

iPhone launches are like elections: Soon as one is over, everyone starts salivating about the next. 

So we shouldn't be so surprised about a purported iPhone 5S leak. The collection of images was published today on a forum at iphone5parts.net (and subsequently disseminated by a French tech site). The photos in question show, in up-close detail, the rear housing of an Apple device, which the forum administrator at iphone5parts.net claims is a new iPhone, purportedly called the iPhone 5S. (Standard caveats apply extra here: We're at a stage of the game where almost everything is guesswork.)

"From the background, it seems that the pictures were taken at the assembly line of an operation stage," the administrator writes. "The photographer has showed the front and rear side of the housing, which looks very similar to the iPhone 5. However, the reason why we say it is a suspected iPhone 5s rear housing is that the specific information below the logo, which are replaced by 'X.' Usually, the parts with 'X' stand for test prototype." 

Again, folks, it's worth noting that Apple hasn't said anything about an iPhone 5S, nor is it likely to until next year. Take this whole thing with a grain of salt.

Still, the photos do give us a nice little opportunity to speculate on what the next iPhone will look like. If Apple follows the pattern from the past couple years, the iPhone 5S is likely to look like the iPhone 5, just as the iPhone 4S looked like the iPhone 4. 

From our perspective, that would be kind of a bummer, since the iPhone 5 didn't look so much different than the iPhone 4S. In a perfect world, we'd like to see Apple do something totally radical, like this, maybe? 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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