Apple’s holiday lineup is looking better than ever, but that doesn’t mean the company is standing still. Of course club Cupertino is already developing the next iPhone and researching its successor.

If history is an indication, the next iPhone will retain the iPhone 5’s form factor and industrial design while boosting hardware specs with a faster CPU/GPU, better cameras, updated wireless and cellular technologies and so forth. And as we head into the holidays, parts firm ETrade Supply conveniently posts an image said to depict a backplate on the iPhone 5S…

MacRumors observes the part is “extremely similar” to the two-tone design of the iPhone 5.

Also, this:

This iPhone 5S part is, however, distinctly different from its iPhone 5 counterpart in several ways, most obviously in the arrangement of the screw holes for attaching the logic board.

Here is a side-by-side comparison.

Notice the difference in the logic board screw holes layout of the iPhone 5 (right) and the rumored iPhone 5S (left).

Other subtle differences can be seen marked on the above photograph.

I wouldn’t read too much into this.

Firstly, the origin of the photos is unknown.

And secondly, this could easily belong to one of the iPhone 5 prototypes that were floating around in the run-up to the September release.

This isn’t the first time we hear about the iPhone 5S.

Chinese-language newspaper Commercial Times thinks the iPhone 5S has entered trial production, with the initial production volumes are likely to top 50,000-100,000 units.

Apple is reportedly expected to mass produce them in the first quarter of 2013, which would break the usual summer refresh cycle. Apparently, Apple has accelerated the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S because low yield rates have limited its ability to manufacture the iPhone 5 in volume.

That makes little sense to me. The iPhone 5 is flying off the shelves as we speak and Apple would be foolish to replace it with a new version before summer 2013. Also, the iPhone 5 is still rolling out globally and won’t available in a hundred countries before year’s end.

On the other hand, the fourth-generation iPad with refreshed internals was released just six months following the iPad 3 launch in March so perhaps Tim Cook & Co. are switching Apple’s gadget production to the semi-annual cycle.

Launch major iOS device upgrades and refreshing them six months later with newer components might anger some people, but the competition is tough everywhere around the world and the annual release schedule could be backfiring now.

Should Apple release the iPhone 5S before summer 2013?

  • I can’t See any reasons to do so.

  • Zorvage

    So it begins ..

    I really do hope they are changing the look a little, more then they did with the 4S because people didn’t like that it didn’t change at all.

    • They’ve done the same for the 3GS, I don’t see why they need to change it. Too much change and current iPhone 5 owners locked in a ‘2 Year Contract’ will get upset if the design changed dramatically. Which is why they only change the design every two years.

      • but we don’t need any more speed right now… we have enough damn speed… we need a new better UI please with more features

  • Muhammad

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

    • Mohammad Ridwan

      But what about the iSheeps…

  • it better come out may because thats when my contract ends

  • Definitely one of the prototypes. I don’t see a reason why apple will change the logic board if they are making a new phone.

    • They are changing the logicboard so that the 5S can have an NFC chip on it.

    • Yeah, the logic board changes with every generation. Believe it or not. That’s why they’re faster every year.

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      It’s pretty appearant tht the change denotes a larger, faster chipset. Dah

  • The prototype already has scratches

  • oh yay more specs and more speed…. 4S was fast enough… 5 is more than fast enough.. so 5S will be umm instant?

    • and what will 6 be??? super duper instant ?? and 7 will be ummm so fast is able to perform tasks in the future..

      • Mohammed Sahib

        No, it will perform tasks before you ask it to and the 7s will perform them before you know you want them, it is just Apple’s way of taking you into all new directions!

      • oh cool so the 7S will do things for me that is did know i need done and it will do them before it even does them.. it will change reality and what is even possible in the universe all through intense speed…lol

      • I can’t believe this. Google rushes to make more improvements to Android, meanwhile Apple gives you a 5S with the same boring OS. I own both the iPhone 5 and the Nexus 4. The Nexus feels more brought to life and futuristic than the iPhone 5. But the iPhone’s apps and smoothness still beats most Android phones. I really wish Apple could reinvent their own iOS for God’s sake.

  • are you serious? Just enjoy the iPhone 5 till next june then start writing about the 5S…

  • They change the logicboard so that they can add an NFC chip to it!

    • ghulamsameer

      This makes sense. “Oh boy! There’s Apple innovating again.”

      • LOL. What a correct statement. But this is what Apple always did. Waiting for new ideas to get mature enough and embed them in a way that can be used by a normal user. (From 80’s, GUI was complex Apple made it simple, mouse only 4 directions, Apple any direction, iPod a simple MP3 player (inspired by the “Rio” according to Isaacson’s biography of Jobs), video calls existed in 2006 from phones but were complex to make, Apple created Facetime in 2008, now Notification center, NFC and the list goes on). Apple never really invented, except from the multitouch screen which was a direct evolution from stylus screens. And no I am not a hater, I actually own a Mac, an iPhone 5 and an iPad 2 just because I like the way Apple simplifies stuff, and make them seem that “they just work”.

      • ghulamsameer

        I agree completely. There’s one thing being a pioneer, but its a whole new ballpark when something is revolutionized. Apple may not have many completely original ideas, but their impeccable implementation is what makes them the best.

      • Alex Janko

        I find it funny that my android tablet always works but my iPad 2 on iOS 6 almost never works right

      • Well that is your opinion and I respect it because for me after trying Android, I found out that I couldn’t get used to it. After all, for me my iPad 2 works fine and I use it daily.

      • Alex Janko

        (odd…it says in my Discus that you just replied 2 days ago…)
        Yeah, I also find that iOS apps are more polished…and 6.1.3 seems better than whatever 6.x.x erosion I was on at the time…
        But I was more referring to Safari crashing tons on the new update, between the render agent and just total nukes of the browser (try Soundcloud and login during private browsing)

  • Please no.

  • cm on, already…
    iPhone 5 has just started to gain control and 5s talk has started…

  • If I see anymore of this you’ll lose my visiting traffic. We’ve just come out with an iPhone 5.

  • The only reason I can see for an early update would be the inclusion of NFC.

  • DomPerignon1

    Oh my God! Rumors about a new iPhone just started and we are stuck with a jailbreak for a 2-3 years old iPhone and that is because of Geohot awesome exploit. The jailbreaking community needs Geohot’s talent, skill and genius really bad!

    • Exactly, if Geohot comes back now that the Jailbreak is legal, we will happy to upgrade to iOS 8 from this moment :p. The man’s skills are desperately needed.

      • its sad that only one man on earth can do what he did..

      • maurid

        Not so sad for him 😉 It’s nice to feel needed.

  • No they shouldn’t

  • I don’t see why they wouldn’t release it; they’ve changed their awesome annual habits that enabled their products to hold their value for a year. Now they’re just like every average company out there; they just care about money and no longer customer satisfaction.

    If they actually wait a year, would be expecting NFC and Fingerprint scannning technology to be included, not just some A7 chip.

  • Heatfan316

    Wow look the iPhone is going to remain the same again, no change in design and you foolish sheep are all right with it and Apple knows this, they’re laughing all the way to bank because you guys never complain you’re just fine with it like slaves.

    • ndcart

      You like to do what to sheep?

  • Name should be iPhone 5+
    2 feature that needed most is increase in width like other 4 inch phone with retina display then battery of 2500 mah……… With a6X chip…..

    • wider screen! so true!! I almost left for Android over this issue and am just now learning to deal with….. needs to be a little wider. lets be real who’s not goona appreciate that? Apple are you listening??

  • SteveScatJobs

    I’m little bit disappointed in Apple I wish they would just forget about all the profit they can make without a design change and listen to their customers and go with a design change every year instead of every other year I think they’ll make more money that way, anticipation is best marketing strategy if you keep people wondering what the next iPhone will look like, now we know what the 5s will look like a bit of a let down and Apple only concern is to keep production costs down so they can make more profit

  • All same sh*t at d same goddam time! iPhone5 is original. anything 5s must be scam. You think when someone take your money without you knowing is fraud? Not exactly. Apple please gives us something better to believe in. Not 5s scam.

  • New iPhone every 6 months? Sure, so long as I can see a clear difference in the performance, as in the apps look and perform better due to an upgrade on the CPU/GPU front. But let’s be honest…. Have we seen anything really utilise the power of the A6 yet? I think not…

  • If the iPhone 5S has NFC, I’ll probably upgrade.

  • Wtf? iPhone 5S coming this year i just buyed iPhone 5 hardly nd now 5S -.- i aint got no extra money to waste on it

  • Fshumayrqan

    well, im apple fan but ill not buy it, same shit all the the time

  • iamnotfan

    The best iPhone ever.

  • Stephane

    Perhaps Apple is redesigning the iphone to reduce dependency on Samsung parts? This makes more sense to me.

  • Yao.ming

    Bitch please. iPhone 5 just arrived.