updated 01:50 pm EDT, Thu September 22, 2011
New cases use larger camera holes
New cases for an "iPhone 4S"-style device are showing up at AT&T corporate stores around the US, says BGR. The site has obtained photos of Speck and Otterbox cases which appear similar to existing ones for the iPhone 4, but with the critical difference of larger holes where an iPhone's camera and flash would normally be situated. Given the timing of the accessories and a single consistent change, it's believed that Apple may indeed be producing a modestly upgraded version of the iPhone 4.
Apple is set to launch one or more new iPhones next month. Most reports have at least pointed to an iPhone 5, a heavily redesigned device. Others though have hinted at a so-called 4S, which would retain most of the traits of the iPhone 4 but upgrade to a faster processor, a better camera and/or a slightly larger screen; pricing might be kept down through a combination of old parts and/or less onboard memory.
The greater question is whether Apple will release both an iPhone 5 and a 4S, or only one of the two. Since 2009 the company has used the prior year's iPhone model as a "cheap" option, and so shipping a 5 and 4S at the same time would mark the beginning of a new strategy. The existence of the iPhone 5 has been supported by early cases hinting at a thinner design with tapered edges.
Photos below show older iPhone 4 cases compared with the new ones.