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Ritchie: iPhone 5S Set for August Launch, New iPads Coming as Soon as Next Month

Ritchie: iPhone 5S Set for August Launch, New iPads Coming as Soon as Next Month

Just when you thought the iPhone and iPad rumor stream was beginning to slow to a trickle, Rene Ritchie of iMore reports this morning that Apple is planning to release their next-gen iPhone (dubbed the iPhone 5S) this August, and that a new 5th-gen iPad and a 2nd-gen iPad mini could launch as soon as next month.

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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.

As expected, going by Apple’s tendency to release a new design only every other generation, the iPhone 5S is expected to have a similar design to the iPhone 5, but will feature an upgraded processor and an improved camera. Yesterday, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple will announce their next-gen iPhone in June, alongside a lower-cost model. Both Ritchie and Kuo have excellent track records – as such, it’s difficult to decide which report is more believable.

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.

As for the iPad – Apple has commonly released new iPad hardware in the spring, although considering that the iPad mini and 4th-gen iPad were just released in October, that time frame will likely come earlier than many customers appreciate, leaving cutting-edge devices looking less than amazing just a few short months later.

Ritchie also notes that it is unclear whether or not the iPad mini will in fact gain a Retina display, as previous rumors have suggested – although the lack of a Retina display would likely come as a great disappointment to those who held off on purchasing an iPad mini in favor of waiting for the second generation.

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.

It’s worth noting that even though Ritchie has proven to be an excellent source on such information in the past, nothing is official until it happens. It’s always possible that Apple could change their minds, or that iMore’s sources have at least some of the details wrong. In any case, hopefully the release of some new iPhone and iPad hardware will help Apple’s stock recover from it’s unfortunate downward spiral!