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Rumor: iPhone 5S slated for August release following next-gen iPad launch in April

A new rumor claims that Apple will accelerate its launch schedule for the next-generation iPhone and debut the handset in August, while successors to the company's current tablet lineup could see a debut in April, just six months after the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad were released.

Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, iMore reports that the company is planning to debut its next-generation "iPhone 5S" handset in August, one month earlier than last year's iPhone 5 unveiling in September. The publication, which has a fairly good track record and accurately predicted the introduction of the Lightning connector, was also told that next-generation iPads could see an "April-ish" release.

According to the source, the next-gen iPhone will benefit from iterative "S model" changes including a faster processor and improved camera optics.

As for the upcoming iPads, a redesigned 9.7-inch model boasting an iPad mini aesthetic is expected to debut after cases for the tablet were purportedly leaked in February. iMore doesn't see the iPad mini getting much more than a spec bump, however, and noted that a Retina display version "doesn't sound imminent."

The rumors don't offer anything new in terms of hardware specs, but Apple's product timeline has been a much-debated topic as the iPad mini and Lightning-enabled fourth-generation iPad were announced in October. If new tablets are released in April, it would leave only six months between refreshes, a first for the iPad's usual annual cycle.

The rumors are in line with a report released earlier on Monday from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who reiterated his prediction of a summer iPhone 5S launch, with an announcement in June expected to come ahead of a July rollout.