A three-dimensional render of a device said to be Apple's next-generation iPhone — codenamed "N56" — Â appeared from a source in the Republic of China on Wednesday, bearing a camera lens that extends outward from the device's rear cover in a manner similar to the fifth-generation iPod touch.
The somewhat sketchy image appears to be a photograph of a render on a computer display, showing color banding characteristic of such a capture. It was first noted by GforGames.
The device in the render sports a design much like those seen in recent supposed "leaks" of iPhone 6 chassis, along with a protruding camera lens. Accompanying text seems to suggest that the first prototype bearing this design came with a lens sticking out some 0.77 millimeters, but a subsequent prototype squashed that extension to 0.67 millimeters.
Similar reports of an iPod touch-style camera protrusion have appeared in relation to the iPhone 6 in the past. Most recently, an external camera lens ring said to be destined for Apple's newest handset appeared earlier this month alongside a slew of other parts.
It remains possible that these "leaks" could be for a sixth-generation iPod touch, rather than a new iPhone. Adding to the mystery is the relative lack of radio transparent material in the render, suggesting that the device in question could have limited need for antenna reception.
No matter its final form, Apple is widely expected to unveil at least one new iPhone — perhaps a 4.7-inch model, with a 5.5-inch "phablet" version to follow — at an event on Sept. 9. If the company holds true to its now-usual release pattern, the new devices would go on sale Sept. 19.