It sometimes seems that the Apple supply chain principally exists to keep tech sites in ‘leaked images’ news items. That’s an impression compounded by this morning’s appearance of yet more clandestine snaps of what we’re assured is the next iPhone.

Picked up on by SlashGear after initially appearing on Chinese site Weibo, the images appear to show the iPhone 5S / iPhone 6 nestling on a production line at one of Apple’s manufacturing partners’ factories.

iphone 5s iphone 6 production line

And first impressions suggest that the seventh-gen iPhone won’t look so very different from the current model. That tallies with rumours that the changes the new handset brings will mostly be under the bonnet.

What we can say with some authority, however, is that is if these snaps are the real thing, then the iPhone appears to be at a fairly advanced stage in the production cycle. That means it’s well on target for its putative September launch and could even be along sooner than that.

The handset, which may be accompanied by a cheaper model for the first time ever, is rumoured to pack a larger battery and a dual-flash for the rear-facing camera and a brawnier, quad-core A7 processor.

By Jonathan Leggett