Is Apple Dropping Hints About the Next iPhone?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is trying to regain ownership of the domain name iphone5.com from an entity that uses the website to run a social forum about the company’s products. A sign of what the company’s next-generation device, rumored to be coming this fall, may be called?

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According to the website Fusible, Apple has filed a claim with the World Intellectual Property Organization to gain control of the domain name. The copyright for the website, created in 2008, clearly states that it’s not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with Apple in any way.

Last month, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had also filed separate petitions for reclaiming the domain names applecom.com and appleprinters.com. Before that, it successfully took control of ipods.com as well as seven domain names with the word “iPhone” in their titles, including iphone4s.com, through either appeals or opting to pay for them. Some users of the forum on iphone5.com have said they will stand their ground against Apple, though given Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) past history with these cases and its brand name, the success of such a move looks unlikely.

The company had regained control of the iphone4.com domain a year after the product was launched, while it took a few weeks to get back the iPhone4s domain, which was redirecting users to a porn site. So, the company’s attempts at gaining control of iphone5.com even before launching the product seem somewhat strange to analyst Eric Slivka. “Given that Apple typically doesn’t pursue domain names for its products until after they launch, lest their names be revealed ahead of time by the negotiation process, it seems odd that Apple is already seeking to gain control of iPhone5.com,” he writes.

Whois records say Apple owns “about 1,071 domains.” However, it still does not own iPad.com, iBooks.com, or even iBookstore.com.

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