LAST DAY for Free Apple TV with every heavily discounted MacBook+AppleCare bundle: Apple Price Guides updated Dec 19th (exclusive coupons)

Supplier indicates Apple will begin iPhone 5 production in September

Lending even more support to rumors of a later-than-usual launch for the fifth-generation iPhone, a new report cites a key component supplier as saying Apple doesn't plan to begin production of the iPhone 5 until September.

Avian Securities issued a note to investors on Monday in which it revealed the alleged plans for a September production start. The report said the latest information is "consistent" with other findings the organization has heard in recent months.

The information also supports a report from March, which claimed that Apple is not yet aligning part suppliers for the iPhone 5. That overseas report claimed that the fifth-generation iPhone wouldn't debut until Apple's 2012 fiscal year, which begins in late September.

In addition, Avian also claimed in its note that it has heard that Apple has a lower-priced iPhone with less expensive internal components in the company's roadmap. However, the handset is currently a "placeholder," and specific components and production timing remain unknown.

If Apple does in fact introduce a low-cost handset with limited features, Avian said it does not see the product being introduced until very late in 2011, or more likely in 2012.

Rumors have continued to swirl that Apple plans to introduce a contract-free iPhone, particularly to increase sales in prepaid handset markets like China. Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said in an interview earlier this year that his company is planning "clever things" to compete in prepaid markets.

In February, both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is working on a smaller and cheaper iPhone that it could sell contract-free. But those reports were followed up by The New York Times, which claimed that Apple is in fact not working on a smaller iPhone. However, it did state that Apple has explored opportunities in developing a cheaper handset.