**Editor's Note: Click here for our list of June's hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone fared against the competition.**
Might Apple release the iPhone 5S this summer after all?
While the most recent chatter has pointed to late September or early October availability – almost exactly one year after the iPhone 5 debuted – we wouldn't be surprised to see the new smartphone take the world by storm earlier in September, perhaps even before the first day of fall.
Apple wraps a promo for college students on Sept. 6, which gives them a $50 iTunes gift card if they buy an iPhone or an iPad, Stabley Times noted. It's been done before, and is not typically available on brand-new devices. The website predicts that will pave the way for an announcement about a new iPhone – maybe two, if the much-discussed, but unconfirmed budget iPhone, sometimes referred to as the iPhone 6, comes to fruition – on Sept. 10. That might give the Silicon Valley giant time to roll it out before Sept. 22, when summer officially draws to a close.
Need more? Walmart just reduced its prices on the iPhone 5 ($129) and iPhone 4S ($39) in anticipation of a release-date announcement, a move likely approved by Apple since it keeps a tight grip on how resellers price its devices. The plan is to clear out stock and make room for the new smartphone.
Apple has been tight-lipped about new specs for the device, but most analysts believe it will look much like the iPhone 5, offering only a handful of improvements such as a faster processor, better camera, and of course, iOS 7, the latest version of Apple's operating system. Recent rumors have pointed to an increased screen size of 4.3 inches, but we believe that to be unlikely on this year's model.
Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.