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What's THAT, you say? Apple MIGHT be making a NEW iPHONE, iOS?

App logs prove it - shocked, shocked, we tell you

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Apple is now testing the next version of its iPhone and accompanying software, according to developers or anyone with an ounce of common sense.

Third-party programmers have claimed a gadget identifying itself as an "iPhone 6.1" running "iOS 7" has turned up in usage log files, which record information about the devices used to run their apps.

The "new" phone was observed sporting an IP address associated with Apple's Cupertino campus, fuelling speculation that the company's engineers are not laughing atop a huge cash mountain while twiddling their thumbs, and instead they're getting on with their work.

The discovery also kills off any indication that Apple was about to give up on the lucrative smartphone market or switch to Windows Phone 8, not that anyone sane was suggesting that. The iPhone 5 went on sale in October along with iOS 6.

The identifying data could have been faked although the originating IP suggests otherwise. And Apple could have falsified the device's identity to conceal its development efforts rather than drip-feed snippets of info to keep The Next Web and the wider blogosphere churning.

Previous Apple devices have lied about their identity, by pretending to be existing models, and when ad network Flurry Analytics penetrated that deception, Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs publicly lambasted the advertising platform for invading privacy and (more importantly) "pissing us off".

So the question here is not whether Apple is developing a new iPhone, that much is obvious - the question is why let people know it's happening.

To which the answer is almost as obvious: so they'll write about it and keep the frenetic interest in all things Apple bubbling along until there's some real news to report. ®

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