Currently under development, traces of Apple’s new iPhone and iOS software have begun surfacing in app usage logs. Developers have contacted The Next Web to share references to a new iPhone identifier and the next big operating system update for the smartphone and tablet devices: iOS 7.

One developer showed us that Apple has been testing hardware relating to a new ‘iPhone6,1′ identifier, powered by a device running iOS 7, which is expected to be released by Apple in the middle part of this year.

Apple’s current flagship, the iPhone 5, bears the identifiers ‘iPhone5,1′ and ‘iPhone 5,2′ depending on the LTE model of the handset and the 4G bands on which it operates.

From the developer logs that we have seen, the app requests originate from an IP address on Apple’s Cupertino campus, suggesting that members of Apple’s software development and app teams are compatibility testing some of the more popular or well-known applications already on the App Store.

Although OS and device data can be faked, the unique IP footprint leading back to Apple’s Cupertino campus leads us to believe this is not one of those attempts.

No specifics on hardware or software features are shared in developer logs, but sources have indicated that Apple began working on the new version of iOS 7 towards the end of 2012 and is soon to finalise the features that will be included in its first public release.

In the past, Apple has released developer seeds of its major operating system updates at its annual WWDC event, which is typically held in San Francisco in June.

Back in May, 9to5mac reported seeing references to Apple’s new iOS 6 software ahead of its launch at WWDC 2012 a month later, software that included the new Apple Maps, and hundreds of additional new features.

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