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The new face of iPhone

One day, the iPhone 5 will actually be launched, and we tech journalists will have to find something else to speculate breathlessly about. But until then, let's discuss some rumours! Well, more than rumours, in fact: the latest chatter is based on actual evidence!

You see, Case-Mate - a company unsurprisingly specialising in making cases for things - accidentally put an iPhone 5 case on their website a couple of days ago. They quickly yanked it off again, but the slip gave us the chance to gawp at the cases - and as we learned from the iPad 2, cases can be a very accurate predictor of what the phone itself will look like.

So what does Case-Mate's gaff tell us? Well, it confirms some of the rumours we've already heard. It looks like the iPhone 5 will look a lot like a mini-iPad 2, with the same tapered back replacing the boxy flat-backed iPhone 4 design.

Besides that, it's hard to glean much from these pictures - except that their existence surely shows the long-awaited (and, according to Apple's usual schedule, long-overdue) phone is not far off being released. It looks like we'll have to start thinking hard about what to get excited about next - hard as it is to believe, come January we'll be due another new iPad...

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