iPhone 5 Release Date Rumors Spark New Photo Leaks From 'Reliable Source'

With the iPhone 5 release date expected in September or October rumors surrounding the new device are hitting fever pitch. A leaked image of an alleged iPhone 5 engineering sample has shown the device with an enlarged screen compared to the current iPhone 4S.

The sample shots were obtained by GottaBeMobile.com which has reported that the engineering samples were handed over from a reliable source in a China factory. If the source does in fact prove reliable then the iPhone 5 would have a larger screen similar to a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio.

Apple fans will be excited by the news reports, as the change of basic handset design indicates major upgrades for Apple's newest generation iPhone. Many iPhone users were initially left disappointed last year when the iPhone 4S was released with exactly the same design as the iPhone 4, keeping its relatively small screen size in a market which is seeing an increasing shift to larger screens. Although there were a number of upgrades released with the iPhone 4S, such as Siri, the changes were relatively minor, and the handset was not changed in any major way.

The new photos show the iPhone 5 with a camera in the same place as the iPhone 4S but features a microphone sandwiched between the lens and the flash. The back plate has previously been rumored to be made of metal, but this cannot be confirmed from the new photos.

The image leak comes as other reports claim Chinese retailers are already offering pre-orders for the iPhone 5. According to Reuters a website called TaoBao is offering Apple fans the chance to reserve the iPhone 5 on a page that displays mock-up pictures and unconfirmed specifications for the new smartphone.

According to the Reuters report TaoBao is China's largest e-commerce platform, and its listing offers the new iPhone at the hugely inflated price of $8600.