Next-generation iPad and iPhone coming mid-2013?

AppleRumours last week suggested that Apple would launch its next iPhone smartphone (the iPhone 5S?) and iPad tablet as early as the first half of 2013. These gained steam today with a report by Digitimes that “market observers” expected many of Apple’s component suppliers to see rising component orders starting in late Q1, suggesting that Apple could unveil its next-generation iPad and iPhone devices as early as mid-2013.

The report suggests that Apple could be looking to accelerate its release cycles. It launched the iPhone 5 in September and the fourth-generation iPad in October along with the new iPad mini [product information]. The faster releases may help it better compete against competitors such as Samsung which refresh their device lineups more often. It may also simply be looking to spread out its release schedule instead of having a very busy fall release cycle this past September and October.

The report sheds no light on what we can expect to see with the new iPhone or iPad. If Apple is working on the iPhone 5S, it may be a very similar device with only a number of relatively minor component upgrades.

The report also indicates that both contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and packager Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) are now on Apple’s list of suppliers.

If nothing else, the iPhone and iPad rumours were not dormant for long!

Read more: Digitimes