Is This A Leaked Photo Of Apple's New Military Smartphone, The iPhone PRC-5D?

CUPERTINO — Service members are abuzz today as a photo alleged to be an image of a military version of the popular Apple iPhone 5 was leaked on the Internet late Saturday.

The picture appears to show a ruggedized olive drab iPhone, with a 3-foot external tape antenna and what appears to be a 5590 battery. The image first appeared on the Harris Corporation website and though it was removed minutes later, copies quickly circulated on the web.

Apple has not commented on the photo or indicated any cooperation with Harris, but it has already created excitement among a market group that has long been ignored by the technology giant.

Duffel Blog's technology section analyzed the photos and found a few distinct differences from the company's consumer smartphone. For instance, the dock connector has been changed to a 5-pin cable with a dry rubber gasket inside. The new connector, while durable, raises questions about how easily it will connect to its male end, and whether some human spit may need to be applied to completely secure the device to other Apple products.

The new aluminum body is rumored to have a strike plate, so users can drop the iPhone from waist level when troubleshooting the phone. Apple rumors website MacRumors published its own speculation that dropping the phone will be a requirement to get it to function most of the time.

While Apple has long led the smart phone market in innovation and style, some believe new competition from Samsung has forced the company to push into new markets. Apple took a big step with its smaller iPhone 5C, but attempting to seize the military market may be Apple’s biggest leap yet.

Duffel Blog contacted Apple for comment about the leaked image, and will include more information about the new device as it becomes available.