Apple has begun shipping a souped-up so-called "iPhone 4S" to games and app developers, in preparation for the forthcoming launch of the new iPhone 5.

A select few games devs have received the new Apple iPhone, to help them prepare the best titles possible for the iPhone 5 launch.

A5 chip in iPhone

9to5Mac reports that the new handsets feature Apple's super-nippy A5 chip, allowing developers to create the fastest and best-looking mobile phone games yet possible.

The A5 chip powers the Apple iPad 2 and is considerably faster than the A4 chip in the iPhone 4 and first-gen iPad.

9to5Mac's source claims that the "iPhone 4S" is almost identical to the current iPhone 4, apart from the inclusion of the newer, faster processor.

The "iPhone 4S" also apparently runs a specially adapted version of iOS4, created to work with the A5 chip in the iPhone.

The iPhone 5 is rumoured to be launching later this year, with no official word, as yet, from Apple.

You can read TechRadar's comprehensive round-up of all the latest iPhone 5 rumours to get the full low-down on what's in store.