By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 03, 2013 12:02 PM EST
According to the latest gossip, Apple's next-generation iPhone, the purported iPhone 5S, could ship as early as August 2013.
Apple products, be they announced or just rumored, are always surrounded in a cloud of anticipation and speculations, and the successor to the popular iPhone 5 is no different. As rumors about an Apple iWatch seem to take a break for now, the rumor mill turns its focus to an ever-popular target: the launch of the next iPhone.
Most bloggers and analysts are nearly certain that Apple will not unleash its iPhone 6 this year, which in turn spurs speculation that an upgraded iPhone 5 will ship before the end of 2013. Looking at the iPhone 4/ iPhone 4S patterns, the upgraded iPhone 5 will presumably be called the iPhone 5S.
While in 2012 many rumors suggested a winter 2013 unveiling, now that the winter is over new reports point to a spring or early summer release. According to AppleInsider, the new release date could be sometime in August 2013.
AppleInsider further reports that Foxconn, the Apple manufacturer behind most iGadgets, will exclusively assemble the iPhone 5S. Rumors about an iPhone 5 improvement don't come with many details about the handset, but many expect the 5S to be a truly global phone that would allow the Cupertino giant to make one smartphone for a multitude of carriers.
Should such rumors prove to be true, it would only mean good news. The U.S. would face less carrier-specific unit shortages if AT&T, Verizon and Sprint users could buy the same iPhone model. Moreover, Apple could make one model for multiple carriers across the world, not just the U.S.
AppleInsider also speculates that one of those carriers could be China Mobile, China's largest cellular service provider. China Mobile caters to a whopping user base of nearly 700 million customers, and many analysts believe that signing a deal with China Mobile is paramount for Apple's growth.
On the other hand, Apple managed to increase iPhone sales during every fall quarter over the past four years even without such a deal. A deal with China Mobile, however, would mark a major step forward for Apple nonetheless.
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