iOS App Store developers have reported to The Next Web that they have seen references to future iPhone hardware and software in their application usage logs.
TNW reports that these developers have seen references for Apple’s upcoming iOS 7 iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system running on unreleased iPhone 6,1 hardware. The IP addresses of the devices are reportedly from inside Apple’s Cupertino, California campus.
This iPhone 6,1 hardware is a step over Apple’s current iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2 iPhone 5 models. A change in the first number of Apple hardware’s numbering sequence typically points to major internal changes for the device. Every iPhone upgrade, starting with the iPhone 3GS, featured major processor changes.
While Apple, starting with the iPhone 4S, kicked off a late summer/early fall iPhone release pattern, Apple has already been rumored to be working on a mid-2013 iPhone update referred to as the “iPhone 5S.” It is unclear if the early references to iPhone 6,1 hardware point to a mid-year release.
In 2012, developers first noticed iOS 6 references in their logs in May. Apple debuted both iOS 5 and iOS 6 at its June Worldwide Developers Conference, so we are likely six months out from getting our first official glimpse at iOS 7 if Apple holds to its software release pattern. iOS 5 was released in mid-October 2011, while iOS 6 was released in mid-September 2012.
We’re also seeing iOS 7 hits in our web analytics for 9to5mac.com. However, these could be faked easily. We’ve spotted some “7.0.1″ hits and it seems unlikely that Apple would be testing a minor update to 7.0 already: