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Is Apple's iPhone 5 a Mirage?

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Back in May, Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek conjectured that when it came time for Apple to unveil its brand new iPhone, we'll be seeing "minor cosmetic changes" rather than a complete overhaul.

"We believe the likelihood of the iPhone 5 launch in September including LTE is now remote," Misek said. "According to our industry checks, the device should be called iPhone 4S and will include minor cosmetic changes, better cameras, A5 dual-core processor, and HSPA+ support."

While Misek was a tad off in his launch date, new evidence has emerged that foreshadows a much more subdued press event tomorrow. One where the iPhone 4S, not the iPhone 5, makes its grand debut.

MacRumors' Arnold Kim shares a screenshot from Germany's Vodafone carrier site which lists rubber bumpers for the iPhone 4S.

In fact, several of the site's accessory pages list these new models under compatibility requirements:
  • iPhone 4 Black (8GB)
  • iPhone 4 White (8GB)
  • iPhone 4S White (16GB, 32GB, 64GB)
  • iPhone 4S Black (16GB, 32GB, 64GB)
9to5Mac also uncovered evidence of an iPhone 4S within the code to the latest iTunes developers beta. MacRumors also followed up the report by saying references to the iPhone 4S had appeared in iTunes betas since the end of August.

Whether these mounting rumors signal that Apple's smartphone line will be topped off with an iPhone 4S or an iPhone 5 remains to be seen. We'll all find that out tomorrow. But as numerous comments indicate, quite a few consumers will be disappointed with an incremental update rather than a full-fledged upgrade.

However, as with any Apple unveiling, excitement remains extremely high.

(See also: More Evidence of a 4G iPhone! and Android's Holy Grail Allegedly Leaked in eBay Screw-Up)

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