iPhone 5S, 5C a Step Closer to Release Date

**Editor’s Note:

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History could be made within the next two to three weeks.

Despite frequent denials in the past concerning the release of a so-called “budget” iPhone, Apple is widely expected to launch two new versions of its iconic device next month: the iPhone 5S, an upgrade to the iPhone 5; and the iPhone 5C (its rumored name), a less-expensive model designed to help the Silicon Valley giant gain market share in emerging markets. “People familiar with the matter” told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that supplier Foxconn will ship both models in early September.

Apple has never introduced more than one version of an iPhone at one time.

The report says that Apple’s suppliers started producing components for both devices en masse in June. Apple, naturally, had no comment on the story. It was previously reported that the company will host an iPhone unveiling on Sept. 10.

Apple’s biggest rival might steal some of the company’s thunder a week earlier, on Sept. 4, when it will reportedly introduce the latest version of its Galaxy Note phablet a large-screen smartphone and Galaxy Gear, a type of smart watch, the WSJ said. Apple has long been rumored to be working on a smart watch, but Samsung might beat it to the punch.

Only a few upgrades are expected in the iPhone 5S, including a better camera and a faster processor than its predecessor. Other rumors have pointed to a fingerprint sensor for added security. But none of that means Apple will have a tough fourth quarter. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes Apple will ship 5.2 million 5S smartphones and 8.5 million of the cheaper device, even before the third quarter is out. Those numbers will jump to 28 million and 18.7 million, respectively, by the fourth quarter, the analyst predicts a 30 percent increase compared to the same time last year, Kuo forecasts.

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