Rumor Has It: Apple Said to Already Eye iPhone 5S

Monday, 12 Nov 2012 | 11:51 AM ET
Source: Apple

New speculation is already circulating that Apple is planning a trial production of an "iPhone 5S" — just as the paint is barely dry on new updates of the iPhone and iPad.

According to a report from Digitimes — a Taiwanese technology website that has a mixed track record when it comes to making accurate Apple predictions — the iPhone maker will begin producing a new version of its smartphone in December, and increase the volume of production in the first quarter of 2013.

Digitimes based its report on an article in Commercial Times, a Chinese-language newspaper. Apple did not immediately reply for a request for comment.

Apple launched the iPhone 5 in September. For the last two years, the company has launched a new versions of its smartphone in the Fall, meaning an iPhone update in the spring would be a departure from the company's well established pattern.

Despite the report, however, at least one Apple watcher thinks it is likely the technology giant will release an updated iPhone in the fall of 2013. Moreover, a new smartphone is unlikely to have significant new features, according Toni Sacconaghi, a senior analyst at Sanford C. Berstein. (Read More:Apple Running Out of New Markets for iPhone, iPad: Pro )

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"Clearly, Apple has pretty long product cycles that are planned out for several years at a time," Sacconaghi said on CNBC's Squawk on The Street Monday.

"Our belief is that the iPhone 5 was a significant leapfrog in functionality. The 5S is likely to be less significant in its changes," the analyst said. "We're envisioning a 5S timeframe in the Fall of 2013."

Apple has been recently varied the timetable of some of its most successful product launches, which has kept the market on its toes.

The company, which introduced its iPad and subsequent updates in the spring, rolled out the latest version of its full-size iPad and the new iPad mini in October. Also, Apple also announced the iPhone 4 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference several years ago, which is an event that takes place in the Summer. (Read More: Why Steve Jobs Was Wrong About the iPad Mini )

With all that said, the idea that Apple might switch things up again and release a new iPhone in the spring would not be completely without precedent.

email: tech@cnbc.com


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