Apple allegedly planning iPhone 5 successor and next-gen iPad for mid-2013

iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 angle side by side apple samsung

While shoppers may be gearing up to purchase the iPhone 5 or one of Apple’s recently released iPads this holiday season, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is already planning for its next major electronics release.

Apple is allegedly expected to unveil its iPhone 5 successor and next-generation iPad around the middle of 2013, according to DigiTimes. This rumor is based on predictions from analysts watching Apple’s supply chain. Suppliers such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and packager Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) are projected to deliver strong results for the first quarter of 2013, according to the report.

DigiTimes, a Taiwanese publication known for closely covering Apple’s supply chain, has not named its sources but says this news comes from “market observers.” It’s important to remember that this information can only be considered heavy rumor at this point, since Apple has not made any official announcements.

These alleged sources have also said that component orders placed by Apple, which reached a high point just before the official iPhone 5 announcement, are expected to spike again between March and April of 2013.

This isn’t the first time rumors concerning the production of a next-generation iPhone have hit the Web recently. A report from last week indicated that Apple will begin trial production of its iPhone 5 successor next month. Chinese publication Commercial Times reported that between 50,000 and 100,000 units of the so-called “iPhone 5S” will be produced.

Although the existence of these new Apple products cannot be proven, the idea of next-generation iPhones and iPads is a foregone conclusion. Rumors of a Samsung Galaxy S3 successor, presumably called the Galaxy S4, have also begun to spike recently. Technical specifications for what is believed to be Samsung’s next handset had appeared on Korean news website Digital Daily, sparking speculation that the device could be in production. However, Samsung has offered no comment on its plans for a Galaxy S3 successor, which means that this also must be classified as rumor.

While these reports from Asia provide little information as to when these devices will be released (or if they even exist), a mid-2013 launch would align with the seemingly declining life cycle of mobile products. Apple waited less than eight months to announce a follow up to its iPad 3, and Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Note 2 approximately six months after the original Galaxy Note debuted in February. March would mark six months since the iPhone 5 was officially released and about five months since its current generation iPads launched.