Newly leaked photographs claiming to be of the new iPhone have surfaced on the internet, featuring a larger screen, smaller dock connector and a metal backplate.

New iPhone screen
credit: 9to5mac

These new photos are the closest we've yet come to the mythical iPhone 5 - which we imagine Apple will call simple 'the new iPhone' - and almost prove beyond doubt that Apple has been experimenting with a larger screen of around four inches.

The iPhone 4S's 3.5in screen is starting to look small compared to the enormous HTC One X and 4.8in Samsung Galaxy S3, so a larger screen comes as no surprise, but it seems that Apple has managed to cram the larger screen into a chassis almost exactly the same size as the iPhone 4S.

Provided by sources of 9to5Mac, the photos appear to show that the metal back plate is molded into the metal antenna band. "We assume this is Apple's way of creating a unibody enclosure for mobile devices," the blog said.

new iphone
credit: 9to5mac

European regulations insist that all smartphones can be charged using a USB connection - be it mini or micro - and Apple has so far got around this by offering an accessory that converts the 30-pin connector to USB.

Now, though, it seems that Apple is developing a new, smaller dock connector, but without being able to see the circuitry we can't make out if it's a standard micro USB connection, or a new proprietary interface.

The large screen sees Apple relocate the FaceTime camera from beside the ear piece to above it and in the middle, as it is on the iPod touch.

Other changes between the current iPhone 4S and these next-generation parts include redesigned speaker grills, relocation of the headphone jack to sit next to the dock connector and a small opening between the camera lens and LED flash.

new iPhone
credit: 9to5mac

"We're not sure what this opening is, but it is possible that Apple is moving the second the back for improved audio capture during video recording," 9to5Mac said.

Apple's WWDC event is kicking off with a keynote on 11 June at 10am PST where we expect the company to announce iOS 6 with increased Siri features, 3D maps and deeper Facebook integration.

We're not expecting to see the new iPhone until around October or November, as was the case with the iPhone 4S.