Is this the iPhone 5?

iphone-5This morning we caught a glimpse of a purported iPhone 5 case, and now 9to5Mac believes it may have an image of the real thing. Given the fact that Apple rumors are a dime a dozen and that for every true report we’re subjected to a handfuls of pure gossip, we suggest taking this with a hefty grain of salt.

Now that we’ve gotten disclaimers out of the way, here’s the story. A “tipster” sent in the above image, claiming he saw an Apple employee using the pictured handset during a commute from San Francisco. 9to5Mac claims to have researched said tipster’s background and that given his apparent reliability and knowledge of iOS devices, the site thinks he snapped a photo of a prototype iPhone 5.

iphone-5He called the phone “almost EVO-like” when it comes to its display, and then true to what we’ve heard it’s thinner than the iPhone 4. It features rounded edges and a tapered backing. He says the user was clearly trying to hide the handset from prying eyes and making a point to attempt to cover the logo as much as possible.

It wouldn’t be the first time Apple sent prototypes into the wild before an official launch – we all remember the iPhone 4-Gizmodo fiasco. On the other hand, we’re not so sure that more than a month out from the projected release date an Apple employee would be using an iPhone on public transportation. But study up, take the image for what it’s worth, and soon enough we’ll know if this was the real thing.