Apple Inc. (AAPL): Next iPhone Will Look Like Last, But Only On Outside?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been known the last few years for creating an updated smartphone that is usually a transitional device until the next full upgrade. In the past, these transitional devices (kind of like a hardware update similar to software updates we all know about) have shown up about six to eight months after an upgrade. But there has been a lot of discussion about the current delay in iPhone production coming out of Cupertino.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)Even as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook admitted not to expect any new devices until the fall- which would be about a year between new devices – there has been more speculation about whether the new devices would be a cheaper iPhone, an iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 or a couple varieties of these. Reports have surfaced recently that some production shipments for a new iPhone device have started or will start this month, which may suggest that a new device of some kind may be  in stores truly in the fall if not a little earlier, like late in the third quarter.

Perhaps one question about this new device may be answered by some of these new reports, which say that iPhone 5S production is due to start soon, and photos of several components have apparently been leaked. What is being reported is that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is perhaps looking to keep the externals of the iPhone 5 pretty much intact but will be making some significant changes to the interior of the device, which may contribute as a whole to improved battery life – a bit of a bugaboo for the iPhone in some of its latest iterations.

Image: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Word is the new iPhone will have iOS 7, which is currently being worked on frantically by Jony Ive. There are photos of the new parts, and though they’re not terribly interesting, they do seem to indicate a thinner SIM card slot which may make room for a larger battery, improved ear speaker and a revamped vibrating motor assembly.

What do you think? Can Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) afford to put out an iPhone with only internal changes and a new OS, or should it wait for a full upgrade with the iPhone 6 and risk sales and market share in exchange for innovation? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.