With just days to go before the company is expected to detail its latest iPhone offerings, Apple has let slip references to an iPhone 4S in its latest iTunes beta.
References to the much-used iPhone 4S moniker could be found in the Info.plist file of the MobileDevices bundle that was included with the ninth beta of iTune 10.5 released Friday.
Specifically, device preferences for Item 7 and Item 8 in the Info.plist file describe a black and white iPhone 4S whose display icons (below) depict models that look identical to the existing black and white CDMA iPhone 4 introduced earlier this year.
The discovery can be seen as further evidence that Apple is gearing up to introduce iPhones next Tuesday, Oct. 4th that bundle an 8MP camera, 512MB of RAM, support for HSPA+ and the iPad 2's A5 processor and dual graphics, but do so in a the current CMDA iPhone 4 design.
However, the new iPhone 4S is expected to be a dual-mode phone, meaning the same iPhone 4S can be used on either CDMA or GSM networks. Currently, Apple markets separate iPhone 4 models for CDMA and GSM networks.
Talk of Apple taking a dual-route strategy this year by releasing both an iPhone 4S and a more advanced iPhone 5 began to cool off this week, with leaked parts and casings all pointing to a product dubbed iPhone 4S.
In addition, insider Ming-Chi Kuo reported that his industry checks turned up no sign of a redesigned iPhone 5 in the pipeline. Instead, he told AppleInsider that Apple was manufacturing a model that looks largely the same as the current iPhone 4, only with an improved antenna design.
Dubbed "N94," the new iPhone model will reportedly also use the same Gorilla glass for its back panel. Kuo also said it will be available in both black and white models at launch, and 60 percent of units assembled so far have been of the black variety.
Echoing a report from earlier this month, he also said that Foxconn will be responsible for manufacturing 85 percent of Apple's fifth-generation iPhone units. The other 15 percent will reportedly be assembled by Pegatron.
Each will run iOS 5, which is rumored to bundle new voice recognition technology in the form of a new application dubbed Assistant, which will allow users to speak to their iPhone and accomplish a number of tasks through natural language, like sending text messages, looking up information, or scheduling an appointment.
The functionality is believed to stem from Siri, a "personal assistant" application for the iPhone that Apple purchased in April of 2010.
In all Apple is said to be building 30 million fifth-generation iPhone units by the end of calendar 2011. If Apple were to meet that goal and sell all of the handsets in the holiday quarter, it would easily best the record 20.34 million iPhones Apple sold in its June 2011 quarter.