iMore has learned that Apple is planning the release of the iPhone 5s for this summer, currently for August. Next generation iPads, presumably the iPad 5 and potentially the iPad mini 2, may also debut as soon as this April.
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 made the casing thinner 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.
We've also been told an April-ish launch is getting serious consideration for the next-generation iPads, but we're really not sure what to make of that yet. iPad 5 casings have already begun to leak -- the only big redesign in the line -- so that could make sense. Retina for the iPad mini, however, still 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.
Much of this information matches other recent rumors, though the timelines do differ slightly. Details can and do change, sometimes repeatedly. However, the broad strokes for Apple's 2013 iOS lineup seem to be becoming clearer. Though, again, we're still sticking firm to the belief that hardware alone isn't enough, and iOS and iCloud will be the most important factors going forward.
If these plans stick, we should be in for a fun spring and summer.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.