The iPhone 5 may still be fresh out the oven, but whispers have already begun to surface that an iPhone 5S successor could go into production as early as next month.
The early arrival of the iPad 4 and the iPad mini - just eight months after the release of the iPad 3 in March - has meant that Apple still has the ability to surprise and we could well see an iPhone 5S appear earlier than expected.
iPhone 5S release date
That means the iPhone 5S release date could be Spring 2013.
The Chinese-language Commercial Times estimates that full commercial production of the rumoured iPhone 5S will begin as early as Q1 2013, with the December run only expected to return between 50,000 and 100,000 units.
Such an early release of the iPhone 5S remains unlikely, however. The iPhone 5 has had barely enough time to gather dust on shop shelves, let alone pull in the masses of revenue Apple has still to make from it.
A Q1 2013 release of the 5S would also raise questions over Apple's upgrade process.
But Digitimes reckons the iPhone 5S release date will be a little later, citing predicted sales targets of relevant component manufacturers. "Apple is expected to introduce its next-generation iPad and iPhone series around the middle of 2013... Component orders placed by Apple, which climbed to high levels prior to the iPhone 5 rollout, will rise again between March and April, the observers indicated."
iPhone 5S rumors
Some sources claim that Apple has is ploughing ahead with the next iteration of the popular handset, due to low yield rates of the iPhone 5 on the assembly line at Foxconn.
Apparently, because of the fragility of the parts used to make the device, many break before they even see the light of day.
Phones Review suggests that a dual-SIM iPhone 5S could be released, hot on the heels of a rumoured Samsung Galaxy S4.
Nevertheless, it's more likely that the iPhone 5S will hit stores in the latter part of 2013, following the trend set by the iPhone 5 and 4S. It's even possible that Apple will skip the iPhone 5S and hop right on to the iPhone 6.
Needless to say, TechRadar will be keeping a close eye on all the iPhone 5S rumors and will bring you the latest developments as they emerge - on this very page.
iPhone 5 reviewThe excitement of the rumour mill, the titillation of every leaked photo led to higher than ever levels of expectation over the iPhone 5 features, and while the announcement was greeted with some derision at the lack of perceived headline improvements, the record sales tell an entirely different story.
Given the underwhelming changes to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 launch really needs to re-energise customers to prove Apple can repeat the game-changing trick it managed with the iPhone 4.
The iPhone 5 price is predictably high, so consumers will need to bear that in mind too when looking for their next smartphone.
So is the Apple iPhone 5 the greatest smartphone ever, and did it finally see Apple ascend to the top spot in our 20 best mobile phones chart? Or was it a case of too little, too late... and what about those darned Maps, eh?
We'll begin in the traditional manner: how the thing actually feels in the hand. With the iPhone 5 there will be many types of prospective buyer: the upgrader from the 4 (or more-money-than-sense iPhone 4S upgraders), those tired of their Android handset and those taking their first steps in the smartphone market and want to get one of them iThingies their friend/child has.However, we're not convinced of that argument any more, and the power button was still a little out of reach when using the phone normally, as was anything in the top left-hand corner of the screen. #
This was no issue in reality, as scooting the phone down a touch in the palm is a natural action. But if that's the case, then why not offer a 4.3-inch screen at least?
There's more to a phone than a screen these days (although increasingly less and less) and the general construction of the iPhone 5 is excellent to say the least.The two sections of pigmented glass at the top and the bottom of the phone add a pleasant effect, and the sapphire glass is meant to be thoroughly durable, to complement the Gorilla Glass on the front.
Apple knows consumers get furious when they drop and iPhone, and is clearly seeking to stop the smashes before they happen with a tougher exterior - although it seems the anodised black version is pretty prone to scratching, with a number of users mentioning chipping on the darker hue.
Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Marketing, reportedly replied to an email from a user pointing out that aluminium will scratch and chip in natural use - and we're also hearing that white iPhone 5 models are being returned through flaking as well.
We kept our black iPhone 5 in a soft pocket in a bag for much of its life, yet saw the following chip with minimal key / coin contact in under a fortnight:
For a device of this premium quality, users will expect it to survive the pocket test, and especially do so for the first two weeks of life. It's a big fail for Apple to expect users to accept that a product can be damaged so easily.
The same industrial band around the outside is in effect again as on the iPhone 4 and 4S, with small sections removed where the antenna joins.
Apple has gone for a more advanced form of antenna here, meaning the days of lost signal are gone, and generally increasing the power of your call connection and GPS lock on too.There's also a small chink of light on the top right hand side of the iPhone 5 - when the screen is illuminated, you can see it under the band if you really, really look for it. It's been seen by a number of users, but is hard to actually replicate unless you mask the screen and hold it at the right angle.
It's again a sign of slightly under-par machining from Apple, but in day to day use it's almost completely invisible.
The decision to move the 3.5mm headphone jack to the bottom is an odd one, as while it allows you to slip the phone into the pocket head-first when listening to music, which is a more natural action, it's a real pain in the posterior for some apps that will only work in landscape a certain way up.
Using it this way means your headphones experience will be one of having to jiggle the jack around two fingers.
It's not the most comfortable way to hold a phone, and even when using the phone in portrait mode, the jack gets in the way somewhat. Plus it's miles away from the volume keys, which makes it hard to change the audio level in the pocket if you don't use the dedicated headphones.
There are other smaller design changes to the iPhone 5 too, such as the iSight front-facing camera moving to the middle and the home button being noticeably more robust to help reduce instances of a broken portal to your home screen.