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Talk of Apple’s next-generation iPhone has really begun to pick up over the past few days, with two reports coming within the last 24 hours claiming that the company is set to roll out its new handset this summer.

And that continues to be the consensus, as another report has surfaced this evening corroborating the theory. Japanese blog Macotakara is claiming Foxconn has begun ramping up production of the iPhone 5S…

Citing ‘reliable sources,’ the blog reports that multiple Foxconn factories have begun producing Apple’s next-gen handset. It notes that because it’s so similar to its predecessor, almost no retooling was necessary to begin.

If true, this lines up with Jefferies analyst Peter Misek’s predictions from January, where he estimated that production of the 5S would begin in March ahead of a summer launch. He also called for a budget handset.

In fact, a number of reports have pointed to the iPhone 5S landing somewhere between June and August, alongside a cheaper iPhone model. So both the timeframe and the low cost device are seeming more and more likely.

Additionally, Macotakara says that NTT DoCoMo has begun reducing orders for Android-based smartphones for the fall. This has caused speculation that Japan’s largest carrier will finally land Apple’s smartphone this year.

Not much is known about the iPhone 5S, aside from the aforementioned release window. It’s said to look very similar to the current model, with an improved processor and camera system. But we’ve yet to see any part leaks.

There’s also been scattered reports that Apple will be producing one of, or both, of the handsets in multiple colors, a la the iPod touch, as well as talk of a China Mobile-friendly model. But neither has garnered much traction yet.

[AppleInsider]