iPhone 5S to use faster chip and higher-end camera, says report

As expected, the next-generation iPhone won't be a major upgrade over the iPhone 5 but will offer a beefier processor and camera, according to DigiTimes.

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The much-rumored iPhone 5S will come with a higher-end processor and a higher-megapixel camera, say the folks at DigiTimes.

Citing its usual supply chain sources, DigiTimes said that the next iPhone is likely to be a "slightly enhanced" version of its predecessor. Components for this year's iPhone are expected to begin shipping in May with an eye toward the release of the phone said to be sometime in the third quarter.

The iPhone 5 hit the market in September of 2012, so Apple may stick with the same schedule for the 5S. However, some reports have suggested that the phone will reach consumers in June or July .

In 2011, the iPhone 4S launched in October. But for the iPhone 5, Apple switched to a September date, in part so that sales of the new iPhone would end the September quarter with a bang.

The iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3G all hit the market in June of their respective years, so Apple could certainly return to a summer launch date for the iPhone 5S.

Apple is expected to ship around 45 million iPhone 5S units in the fourth quarter of 2013, say DigiTimes' sources, followed by 25 million to 30 million in the first quarter of 2014.

DigiTimes has a decidedly hit-or-miss record for forecasting the news. But these latest tidbits revealed by the site aren't exactly earth-shaking.

Apple will surely unveil a new iPhone this year. It will likely be a minor upgrade to the iPhone 5, with a faster chip, better camera, and a few other enhancements.

The only true question mark is the timing.

DigiTimes' sources forecast a third-quarter launch for the next iPhone, which could mean anywhere from July through September. Some analysts and Apple watchers see a June or July launch. I'm betting Apple will unveil the new phone sooner rather than later.

Last year, the company refreshed virtually all of its mobile devices around the same time -- September and October. That strategy gives Apple nothing new to rev up consumers and investors the rest of the year. As such, it may realize it needs to space out its product launches in 2013 to generate some buzz during the summer as well as the fall.

 

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