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Well well well, what do we have here? According to our friends over at 9to5Mac, Apple’s next generation has put in an early appearance, by showing up in Apple’s own inventory systems.

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Their (obviously!) anonymous tipster tells them that the model number shown in the entry matches that of a label that was photographed yesterday, with MD239 being the designation for what is believed to be the 16GB iPhone 4S in white. That’s right folks, the 4S. No iPhone 5 here.

Today, though, comes the big news: the next-generation iPhone has made its way into Apple’s inventory system. This new iPhone is the N94 device that we found in the iOS SDK many months ago. This device is confirmed to pack Apple’s dual-core A5 processor, and is likely the device we described with an 8MP camera, 1GB of RAM, Nuance Dictation speech-to-text, and the groundbreaking Assistant feature

The label shown above first appeared on a Chinese forum yesterday, and given its rather dubious origins, was generally deemed to be fake by most pundits. The news that the very same model number has now appeared in Apple’s inventory however, does add a little credence to the photo. We’re still not 100% convinced, but with less than a week until we get confirmation from Tim Cook and Co. we’re willing to go along with it for now.

What this could mean is that we aren’t in for the all-singing all-dancing iPhone 5 we were hoping for. Rumors of curved screens, tear-drop shapes and more have been rife for months, but if the 4S moniker is correct, expect a cosmetically identical handset to the iPhone 4.

Of course, it’s also possible rumors of two new releases could have been correct. Are we going to be treated to a low-cost iPhone 4S, as well as a top of the range, super phone called the iPhone 5?

At this point, we’re all pretty much taking a giant stab in the dark, with a big sword, aiming at something the size of a flea. Rumors are rumors, and they’re either going to be spot on, or wildly inaccurate.

Just five days to go folks, and then we can spend our waking hours trying to find an iPhone 5/4S/superphone in stock somewhere!

Bring it on!

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