**Editor's Note: Click here for our breakdown of all the new features on the iPhone 5.**
The beginning stages of production for a new iPhone model may start as early as December, according to an article by Digitimes, which claims to have sources inside Apple's supply chain in Asia. Citing a Chinese-language Commercial Times report, Digitimes said initial production volumes are likely to top 50,000-100,000 units.
"Facing low yield rates in the production of iPhone 5, Apple has accelerated the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S, the paper revealed," according to the article.
You read that right: the 5S. It was just last year when Apple unveiled the 4S – the follow-up to the iPhone 4 – waiting to slap the iPhone 5 moniker on a completely new piece of hardware in 2012. (The iPhone 5 debuted with a larger screen than we had seen on prior models.)
Granted, this speculation likely comes way in advance of Apple's next smartphone release, but it raises the question: Will Apple only make significant changes to the iPhone every other year going forward? The Silicon Valley giant has started getting criticism for a perceived lack of innovation, and these rumors will only go to fuel those concerns.
The article also said the iPhone 5S could enter production as early as the first quarter in 2013, and Apple is likely to release a new version of the iPad in the following quarter because the display resolution of the last version came out "lower than expected."