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'iPhone 5S' To Hit 'Mid-Year'

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 03/04/2013

Or is it called iPhone 6?

In fact, the 'refreshed" Apple phone dubbed 'IPhone 5S" is soon to go into production in Asia according to Wall Street Journal, as is a budget-end iPhone, previously reported.

The new iPhones are said to be released mid year, with the cheaper model tipped after the Northern summer, so possibly around September. 

The release the new iPhone 5S this year, if reports are accurate, comes 12 months after the release of the iPhone 5 last September which had a bigger 4 inch screen as Cupertino looked to catch up with recent phone trends veering towards larger screen sizes a la Android rivals Samsung, now the worlds biggest smartphone brand, and HTC.

Apple have refused to comment on the reports.

US based Jefferies analyst Peter Misek previously tipped iPhone 5S would come in 6-8 colours, have a 'Super HD camera' and Near Field Communications (NFC)  for touch n tap payments, a feature which Samsung recently announced for the new S4.

The smartphone market's "two horses race" consists of Apple and Samsung, who between them account for 52% of the market although Samsung is powering ahead and sold over 192 million smartphones last year, globally, compared to 130 million iPhones.

The reports come as Cupertino's biggest rival is poised to launch its next Samsung Galaxy model, the S4, with 5 inch screen and innovative software including eye scrolling, S Health and hover feature, where you can control the phone without touching it.

Image: Cult of Mac
But hungry rivals are fast emerging in the form of Huawei (now No. 3 smartphone brand according to Gartner) HTC, LG and Sony all running popular OS Android, and Google owned Motorola is about to release a killer phone called X Phone, while comeback kid Nokia is looking to grow Windows 8 phone market.

Apple could be on to a winner with its budget phone, however, which is said to sport different casing to the traditional iPhone and are also said to be toying around with various colours with could appeal to the youth market.

Analysts Garner recently noted "while the demand for iPhones in the fourth quarter [2012] remained strong, consumers demand favoured the less expensive iPhone 4 and 4S models."

And it seems Apple are well ahead of the production cycle having designed the iPhone 5 with its enlarged 4 inch screen before Steve Jobs' death in October 2011, reports The Guardian, which suggests it possibly isn't as swayed by what its competitors are doing, as previously believed.

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