The cat may be out of the bag, or, uh, case.

For a brief while yesterday, iPhone case-maker Case-Mate had the above image on its website, clearly showing Apple's next iPhone as it would appear in forthcoming cases designed by the company.

The iPhone in the image jibes with several persistant rumors we've heard about the iPhone 5, including a tapered, iPad 2-like design and aluminum back a la the original iPhone.

The cases themselves look similar to another that leaked previously, and can be seen here as compared with the thicker, smaller iPhone 4.

The image has been taken down since it mysteriously appeared on Case-Mate's website yesterday, and in its place is a coy message from the company that says "We'll have your cases when you have your new iPhone."

A New York Times story today suggests that the leak may have been intentional in order to drum up publicity. Apple's official unveiling of the next iPhone is believed to be just weeks away

[SAI]