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Apple sending A5-powered ‘iPhone 4S’ to game developers

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Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple has reportedly provided game app developers with prototype iPhone models powered by the super-fast A5 processor, according to a source who spoke with 9to5Mac. The A5, which comes loaded in the iPad 2, is expected to be part of the iPhone 5 upgrade.

According to the rumor’s unnamed source, the iPhone units provided to developers looks “virtually identical” to the iPhone 4, says 9to5Mac. The resemblance is so uncanny, in fact, that “there is no way anyone can tell it’s not an iPhone 4 based on the phone’s exterior.” Because of this, the devs have apparently nicknamed the device the ‘iPhone 4S.’

As we have repeatedly heard in the past, the iPhone 5 is not expected to receive a major redesign from that of the iPhone 4, instead opting for a revamp of the internal variety, which includes swapping out the A4 for its fast, younger sibling.

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This does not, however, mean that the phone given to the devs is the iPhone 5 — it’s most likely not. Still, the iPhone units are said to be kept in safes at the developers’ offices at night to avoid theft (or, quite possibly, another debacle like last year’s lost “stolen” iPhone 4).

The risk of doling out prototypes is well worth the risk for Apple, as it enables the company to make the most of its next-generation smartphone’s gaming faculties. Part of the A5’s increased computing capabilities is a significant boost in gaming performance over that of the A4. This is why Apple has these developers, who are “seemingly from high-level gaming outfits,” hard at work.

According to a recent report, Apple’s iOS mobile operating system has become an increasingly popular gaming platform. In 2009, Apple nabbed 19 percent of the portable gaming market. The next year iOS and Google’s Android OS accounted for 34 percent of the market, which significantly cut down on the dominance of the Nintendo DS.

In addition to an upgrade to the A5 processor, the iPhone 5 is expected to include an 8 megapixel camera (up from 5MP in the iPhone 4), and could be available with 64GB of internal storage, double the maximum size of the iPhone 4. Reports indicate that the next-gen iPhone will ship in September.

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