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Apple’s next-generation iPhone and iPads could appear surprisingly soon.

The iPhone 5S is reportedly planned for release in August, a few months earlier than the October release of the past two iPhones, while the iPad 5 and new iPad Mini could appear as soon as April, reports iMore.

While we typically don’t give much credit to most Apple rumors, iMore’s Rene Ritchie has proven himself as a reliable prognosticator for Apple’s updates. He was one of the first to report on the iPhone 5’s Lightning connector last year.

Not surprisingly, Ritchie notes that the iPhone 5S will feature the same design as the iPhone 5, but will pack in a better camera and faster processor. That’s typical for Apple, judging from the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S. Given how thin Apple was able to make the iPhone 5, I didn’t expect a completely new case to appear this year.

We’re still hearing rumors about a slightly cheaper iPhone as well as one with a slightly bigger screen than the 4-inch iPhone 5. The latest rumor, somewhat perplexingly, noted that Apple’s cheaper iPhone could also sport a bigger 4.5-inch screen. It could be that we’re hearing about changes that will appear in next year’s iPhone line, much like how we heard rumors of the iPhone 5’s design almost two years in advance.

As for the April iPad announcements, Ritchie notes that “we’re not sure what to make of that yet.” Apple announced the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad in October, so an April upgrade seems a bit too soon. Ritchie expects a slightly redesigned case for the iPad 5, but only a slight specification bump for the next iPad Mini. Those hoping for a Retina Display iPad Mini will likely have to wait until the next refresh.

“Apple is not going to release iPads that costs more or don’t get as good battery life as the current models,” Ritchie wrote. “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.”

Phhoto: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat


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