Apple could be prepping for a fall release of a new iPad on top of the iPhone 5, according to a new report by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes.
"Sources pointed out that Apple only plans to launch one model of the new iPhone, while iPad 3 has just recently been added to the production schedule," read the July 1 report, "with both set to be produced in small volumes in August and volume will start picking up in September and October."
While a fall release of the iPhone 5 has been the focus of many a recent Apple-related rumor, a release of the iPad 3 in the same timeframe has generally been dismissed by pundits and media. Certainly an iPad 3 launch would represent a radical speeding-up of Apple's tablet schedule, which so far has timed iPad releases roughly a year apart.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty recently stated in a note to investors that the next iPhone "will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively." Her information apparently came from talks with unnamed sources in Taiwan.
Bloomberg also reported June 21 that the next iPhone will debut in September and include the company's faster A5 processor, along with an 8-megapixel camera and the recently introduced iOS 5 mobile operating system. In addition, that report claimed Apple is developing a smaller, cheaper iPhone that utilizes "chips and displays of similar quality to today's iPhone 4." That device will apparently embrace the iPhone 4's design aesthetic.
The blog Boy Genius Report had previously cited August as a possible start date for the iPhone 5's launch. "According to our source, Apple may hold an event in the beginning or middle of August to announce the new iPhone, with availability to follow in the last week of August," read a June 21 posting, which predicted that Apple will utilize a "radical new case design" for the smartphone.
During a June 6 presentation at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, company executives claimed that more than 200 million iOS devices had been sold. Despite that sizable number, Apple is certainly feeling pressure to keep iOS evolving in order to keep ahead of the growing family of increasingly sophisticated Android devices; and that's on top of the competition it faces from the likes of Research In Motion's PlayBook tablet and Hewlett-Packard's just-released TouchPad, which runs webOS.
With this latest iPad 3 rumor, DigiTimes is running counter to its own April report, which suggested it was unlikely that Apple would release an iPad 3 in 2011. That report cited unnamed "upstream component makers."