The sixth-generation iPhone could be along earlier than anticipated, rumours suggest, amid signs that Apple may once again shift the previously regular-as-clockwork refresh date for its handset.
According to insider sources cited by Chinese site Sina.com, whose report was picked up on by Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, the Cupertino-based tech giant could launch its next handset as soon as late August.
It had previously been expected that the phone that tech sites have informally - although almost certainly erroneously – dubbed the iPhone 5 would land in September or October.
This would be almost exactly 12 months after the iPhone 4S debuted on shop shelves. Before that iteration broke with tradition to drop in October 2011, the four previous editions of the iPhone had all launched in June.
In the meantime, there are also indications that all is not well with the iPhone 5. White, whose comments in a note to investors found their way to Apple Insider, claims there are signs that Apple is encountering manufacturing problems affecting the battery it has earmarked for the phone.
The issue is apparently so acute that currently only 30 per cent of batteries made by the company’s partners are passing muster.
Features mooted to be making it to the iPhone 5 include a more powerful processor, a larger four-inch screen and Near Field Communications (NFC) chips to enable users to pay for low-ticket goods and services by swiping their handset over a reader.