For years — well, starting in 2007, anyway — Apple released its latest iPhone during the summer. Then, the company bucked that trend with the October release of the iPhone 4S. The question of whether Apple would stick with this new release schedule or return the old schedule has been the subject of furious speculation.

Jumping into the fray with a theory, a report from 9 to 5 Mac, an unnamed Foxconn employee has said that there are “various sample devices” for the next iPhone already floating around. The blog’s Seth Weintraub said that, given Apple’s normal habits, that puts a new iPhone launch on track for a summer release.

As for the prototypes, the blog reported that the phones all have a 4-inch or larger display, that they are slightly longer and wider than current iPhones and have a different form factor than the iPhone 4 and 4S.

In Apple’s latest earnings call, Tim Cook — as usual — teased that Apple had some “amazing” products coming in the pipeline, but said he was unfazed by competitors’ 4G and larger-screened phones. Repeating that Apple had just announced the sale of 37 million iPhones, he said that it appeared that customers were already pleased with the phone.

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