iOS 7 starts appearing on web servers

iPhone icons

Web analytics show that iOS 7 is being heavily tested near Apple's headquarters

The next version of the iPhone/iPad operating system - iOS 7 - appears to be edging closer to launch, with the OS beginning to show up in website visitor logs.

Apple may unveil iOS 7 - possibly alongside the next-generation iPhone - at next's month Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

Judging by web server stats, it seems there are plenty of Apple employees already running the next-generation OS. One mobile site specialist, Onswipe, claimed that it's seen a big spike in iOS 7 users in the vicinity of Apple's Cupertino headquarters, according to TechCrunch.

In the past week, almost one in five visitors to mobile websites in the Cupertino area were running iOS 7, Onswipe claimed. Apple typically tests new versions of iOS amongst its thousands of employees before allowing developers to get their hands on the beta OS.

iOS 7 is even beginning to show up in PC Pro's web analytics: five visitors to our website this month have been running devices identified as running iOS 7.

iOS 7 is expected to deliver a massive visual overhaul of Apple's OS. With Jonathan Ive now in charge of software design, the OS is likely to drop its familiar skeuomorphic design in favour of a much flatter, understated appearance. Ive is also reported to be working on improving iOS's notifications and messaging alerts.

Even if iOS 7 is unveiled at next month's WWDC, it's unlikely to appear on handsets before the autumn.

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