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November 12, 2012

Report: iPhone 5S to Start Rolling this December

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

While some out there may still be trying to figure out how to land an iPhone (News - Alert) 5, Apple is already thinking well beyond that. New reports suggest that Apple is already readying a small production run of the iPhone 5S to start rolling sometime in December. So why is Apple (News - Alert) launching its production process so close to when the iPhone 5 released? Turns out it's because Apple learned from its mistakes.

The initial production run will be very small, according to reports from DigiTimes, limited to only between 50,000 and 100,000 units total. But the key takeaway is that Apple is getting started now to avoid the rush, and get the parts through the certification process so that the iPhone 5S will not have the production problems and the inevitable shortages to follow that the iPhone 5 did.

Further, it's been projected that the iPhone 5S will hit its full production swing in the first quarter of 2013, which in turn raises the possibility that Apple may be planning--in what would be something of a first for an iPhone release--a spring release. Normally, iPhones are launched in June, with the recent models launching in September instead. Also, there's word that a new iPad would follow in the quarter after the launch of the newest iPhone, which some expect to be a revamped iPad Mini packing the Retina Display screen.

Given that this is an Apple product report that doesn't come directly from Apple, it needs to be taken with the appropriate grain of salt. But given that Apple stock has been something of a downhill slump since it hit its high of 705.07 back in September, word of an early product release would likely be a help.

Apple's pretty much got the holiday shopping market sewn up as far as smartphone trade goes, but with a slumping stock price and a whole lot of competition in the market, Apple needs to keep itself front-of-mind for both investors and customers. Stepping up its already blistering product release pace would likely go a long way toward doing just that. It's also gratifying to consider the possibility that Apple has finally caught on that its hardware releases are big events, and they're planning to get out a number of units commensurate with that status so they can finally sell iPhones without slamming into a shortage within the first couple days.

Whether Apple actually launches the iPhone 5S in spring remains to be seen, but just the idea that it's out there, containing who knows what in the way of new features and hardware, should be enough to keep the Apple faithful eager to land their next bite.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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