Rumor: Apple's iPhone 5 to launch during 2nd week of Sept., iPad 3 pushed back

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A new unverified report suggests that Apple intends to release its next-generation iPhone between Sept. 6 and Sept. 15 with an initial shipment of 4 million units, while suggesting that component shortages may have delayed the release of the next iPad until after this year's Thanksgiving holiday.

The Chinese-language China Times reports that suppliers indicate an initial test shipment of 400,000 handsets has been sent to Apple ahead of the rumored September launch. According to the report, Apple plans to launch the so-called iPhone 5 during the second week of September, which the publication notes as Sept. 6 to Sept 15.

The report also claimed that the rumored release of a next-generation iPad later this year is experiencing delays because of component issues. As such, sources told the publication that the device is not expected to be released until late November.

Persistent rumors have suggested that Apple will release another iPad later this year. On Tuesday, anonymous industry sources suggested that Apple has added four Taiwanese integrated circuit makers to its supply chain for the iPad 3. One analyst claimed earlier this month that Apple could introduce an "iPad 2 Plus" with a high-resolution display later this year.

In March, the publication claimed the iPhone 5 will sport an improved antenna, 4-inch screen and NFC e-wallet. It should be noted, however, that the China Times has a mixed track record with Apple predictions.

For its part, Apple said last week it is planning a "future product transition" during the current September quarter. Industry watchers have largely presumed that the product in question is the company's fifth-generation iPhone.

According to one report earlier this week, wireless operator AT&T is preparing for a mid-September launch of the next iPhone. Apple Stores in the U.S. and U.K. are also reportedly gearing up for the expected launch by bringing on seasonal staff in August and September.

Apple's next iPhone is expected to be thinner, lighter and include an 8-megapixel camera. The handset will likely debut alongside the release of iOS 5, the next major update to the iPhone maker's mobile operating system.