Apple (AAPL)’s iPhone 5 may only be a few months old, but we’re already hearing rumors about the company accelerating its launch schedule for the next-generation iPhone.
Citing sources familiar with Apple’s plans, iMore‘s Rene Ritchie reports that Apple is set to release its next-gen ‘iPhone 5S’ handset in August, a break from the pattern Cupertino has established over the last two years. The iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 were released in the September/October time frame.
According to Ritchie, the upcoming iPhone 5S will be powered by a more advanced processor and will feature improved optics for the camera. Ritchie indicates however, that there will be no big surprises in terms of the next iPhone release, “given the past history of S-class iPhones.”:
“Sources familiar with the plans have told iMore that the iPhone 5S does indeed have the same basic design as the iPhone 5, with a more advanced processor and an improved camera. With the iPhone 5, Apple reduced the thinness of the casing but managed to keep essentially the same, if not slightly better, overall quality.
Given the dimensions, or lack-thereof, that in-and-of itself was a feat of engineering. With the iPhone 5S, the aim is to once again raise the bar in terms of iPhone optics, including a much better camera in essentially the same casing. No huge surprises there, given the past history of S-class iPhones.”
Ritchie also predicts in his report a possible April release date for the fifth 9.7-inch generation iPad and the second generation iPad mini. He however, doesn’t see the iPad mini getting much more than a spec bump, noting that a Retina display version “doesn’t sound imminent.”
“Apple is not going to release iPads that costs more or don’t get as good battery life as the current models. So, if the next iPad mini does end up getting slated for April, it could be a spec bump, or have something other than Retina as a differentiator. Hopefully we’ll know more soon.”
While iMore’s sources — which it’s worth noting, have been correct numerous times in the past — bet on an August release of the iPhone 5S, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested in a new research report Monday (via MacRumors) that the iPhone 5S could launch in July along with a lower cost iPhone with a hybrid plastic/fibre glass back.
“We expect Apple will introduce its new iPhones and iOS 7 in June, and start shipping the new iPhones (5S and low-cost model) in the FDD version in July,” says Kuo.
All of these rumors, including iLounge’s late January report, seem to align with what has been reported in the last several months, about the iPhone 5S launching in August.