The iPhone 5 may still be fresh out the oven, but whispers have already begun to surface that an iPhone 5S successor could go into production as early as next month.
The early arrival of the iPad 4 and the iPad mini - just eight months after the release of the iPad 3 in March - has meant that Apple still has the ability to surprise and we could well see an iPhone 5S appear earlier than expected.
iPhone 5S release date
That means the iPhone 5S release date could be Spring 2013.
The Chinese-language Commercial Times estimates that full commercial production of the rumoured iPhone 5S will begin as early as Q1 2013, with the December run only expected to return between 50,000 and 100,000 units.
Such an early release of the iPhone 5S remains unlikely, however. The iPhone 5 has had barely enough time to gather dust on shop shelves, let alone pull in the masses of revenue Apple has still to make from it.
A Q1 2013 release of the 5S would also raise questions over Apple's upgrade process.
But Digitimes reckons the iPhone 5S release date will be a little later, citing predicted sales targets of relevant component manufacturers. "Apple is expected to introduce its next-generation iPad and iPhone series around the middle of 2013... Component orders placed by Apple, which climbed to high levels prior to the iPhone 5 rollout, will rise again between March and April, the observers indicated."
iPhone 5S rumors
Some sources claim that Apple has is ploughing ahead with the next iteration of the popular handset, due to low yield rates of the iPhone 5 on the assembly line at Foxconn.
Apparently, because of the fragility of the parts used to make the device, many break before they even see the light of day.
The leaked handset has already been referred to as the "iPhone 5S," in keeping with Apple's naming convention for updates to the outward appearance of its iconic device.
iPhone 5S already seen?
It was reported on 6 December that images of a purported next-generation iPhone have surfaced on French website Nowhereelse.fr, revealing an exterior virtually identical to the current iPhone 5 but with slightly different internals.
Nevertheless, it's more likely that the iPhone 5S will hit stores in the latter part of 2013, following the trend set by the iPhone 5 and 4S. It's even possible that Apple will skip the iPhone 5S and hop right on to the iPhone 6.
Needless to say, TechRadar will be keeping a close eye on all the iPhone 5S rumors and will bring you the latest developments as they emerge - on this very page.