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iPhone 5 cases show up in leaked AT&T inventory photo

An alleged photo of AT&T's inventory system was leaked Thursday, revealing the arrival of iPhone 5 cases ahead of the Apple device's anticipated unveiling next week.

The image appears to show that three different models from case manufacturer Case-Mate have been loaded into AT&T's inventory in advance of Apple's Oct. 4 iPhone event, according to BGR, who originally published the leak.

The Tough Case, Pop! Case and Barely There product lines seen in the photo reportedly represent a hard case, soft case and skin, respectively, and will be available at launch in a variety of colors. Earlier this month, the case maker posted images of its iPhone 5 cases before quickly taking them down.

The New York Times subsequently reported that, according to an Apple engineer source, the images "seemed potentially authentic." That report also noted that the next-generation iPhone will sport a "fairly different" design than the iPhone 4.

The case maker's iPhone 5 product page has since been replaced with a signup page. "We'll have your cases when you have your new iPhone," the company's site reads.

Purported iPhone 5 cases
Alleged iPhone 5 case designs from Case-Mate.

Case-Mate claims that, according to its sources, Apple will be launching two different devices, an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S, in early October. But, reports have varied on whether Apple will release a much-rumored low-end iPhone. Several analysts and pundits (1, 2) have cast doubt on the likelihood that a so-called iPhone 4S will arrive next week.

Consistent rumors have implied that Apple's next iPhone will feature an 8-megapixel camera and the speedy A5 processor. Some reports have also suggested that the iPhone maker could add deep voice recognition integration or near-field communication technology to its forthcoming smartphone.