Apple Preps for Fiercer Skirmishes with Samsung: Lines up 2013 Releases for iPhone Mini, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6

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By Erik Pineda | February 11, 2013 12:54 PM EST

To date, Apple has kept under wraps its plans for the next iPhone iteration but the tech giant's numerous suppliers seem unable to contain their excitement over the upcoming Apple handsets - the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6.

Investor site BrightWire has reported that the Cupertino firm is probably releasing two mobile phones this year. The first is the iPhone 5S, which as earlier reports suggest will pretty much look its predecessor.

That means the iPhone refresh is exactly the same shell that Apple had pushed in September 2012 save for some adjustments under the gut. Per KGI Securities, the iPhone 5S will rollout flexing the A7 chips for faster processing task with one key addition that is absent to the iPhone 5 - fingerprint sensor capability.

Overall, however, the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5 share almost the same attributes, best represented on its screen size that will maintain the 4.0-inch configuration. Apple's bestseller will remain lagging in the display contest versus its arch foe - Samsung's Galaxy S series.

Should reports prove true, the Galaxy S4, said to debut April 2013, will showcase a 4.99-inch screen, further stretching its screen size lead over the iPhone 5S.

But while Apple seems steadfast in preserving the not-too-big iPhone 5 front face, the company appears gearing up for a fierce battle in the phablet department. BrightWire reported too, citing Chinese tech news site Sina Tech as its source, that Apple will soon unleash the 5-inch iPhone 6.

Obviously its answer to Samsung's Galaxy Note series, Apple's iPhone 6 will sport a lighter and thinner built despite seeing a significant 'face lift'. No other details were provided on the alleged Apple phablet, which earlier reports referred to as the iPhablet or iPhone Plus.

The same report also skipped out on another hot rumour that points to the likely release of a smaller and cheaper Apple smartphone that will probably take on the name iPhone Mini, which is designed for Apple to gain heavier presence in the mass market segment.

By implementing significant adjustments since last year, Apple is gradually shedding its identity of leading the way for competitors to follow.

It issued the iPad Mini to see considerable action in the small tablet field following the success of Google's (Asus) Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD.

Now the tech titan is inching closer to the likely release of the iPhone Mini and iPhone 6 and it goes without saying, according to analysts, that Apple is looking to square off with Samsung's Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy Note 2.

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