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Purported next-gen iPhone home button has modified design

A new component from the Far East is claimed to be a home button from Apple's sixth-generation iPhone, featuring a new, modified design.

The iPhone home buttons remain circular, but underneath the button they are attached to a more squared-off plastic piece. The black and white parts, advertised as a "home button key" for Apple's "iPhone 5," were discovered on Monday by AppleBitch.

While the purported iPhone parts suggest the next-generation device's home button will look largely the same as it always has, they also indicate that the component will be redesigned internally. That could support speculation that the next iPhone will be a redesigned model with an appearance different from the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

The original listing for the new iPhone home buttons at notes that the design is different from the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, with the round button in the center accompanied by a more square piece outside of it. It also noted that the black and white versions of the home button are identical.

The parts, if legitimate, suggest Apple is working on prototype models of its next-generation iPhone. In March it was said that Apple was reviewing potential components for the new iPhone, which is expected to be released this fall, one year after the iPhone 4S.

Rumors surrounding the next iPhone have picked up steam in recent weeks, as one report said the handset will feature Qualcomm's "MDM9615" LTE 4G chip for high-speed wireless connectivity. Reports have also claimed that the next iPhone will adopt in-cell touch panel technology, which will allow Apple to make the next iPhone thinner by 0.44 millimeters, or fit in a larger battery.

It has also been rumored that the next iPhone will have a metal back, replacing the glass back panel that has been utilized with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. The alleged metal chassis has been compared to the aluminum backs Apple has created for the iPad.