It's almost certain that Apple will launch the iPhone 5S on Sept 10 and if reports from Japan are to be believed, the new iOS 7 device and the iPhone 5C will hit Japanese (and U.S.) store shelves 10 days after or Sept 20.
Already, the excitement is building up for many but for some the focus is being re-trained to other iOS devices that make up Apple's full gadget lineup for 2013 and the early 2014, which Tim Cook, Apple CEO, has described as the company's giant surprises that will start coming out by fall this year.
This army of fresh products, as Mr Cook puts it, is bannered by the 5S and the 5C but as the cloud of mystery around them starts to dissolve, all eyes are set to what's next, starting off with the iPad Mini 2.
The second Mini serving, sizzling-hot with Retina
The first version, according to experts, is a little underwhelmed and pricey for its mid-range capabilities. Still, the Mini version 1.0 romped its way to more than 20 million buys (and counting) despite the presence of Android rivals that are considered muscle-cars.
Apple scrimped its way to the first small iOS tablet and it got a monster hit. However, analysts are projecting that the tech giant will go all out for the Mini 2, providing it with the powerful components to fuel its so-called killer features.
While doubling the mediocre CPU and screen attributes of the first Mini - faster processing chips and very high display resolution - the second edition is also expected to further improve its sex appeal, likely going for a slimmer and lighter profile plus a nearly unnoticeable bezel that allows the Mini 2 viewing window to stretch as close as possible to the four edged.
Reports about the Mini 2's release date do not agree. Some analysts pegged its outing on Q1 2014, pointing to the Retina display panel as the main cause of delay. Others, however, are convinced that production of the high-res screen component has vastly improved, allowing Apple to push out the 7.9-inch slate by October, en route for a grand rollout in early November 2013.
The sexed-up iPad 5 - this is one lean and mean machine
Leaks and clues abound, all claiming that on its release date the iPad is completely rebuilt - having a new chassis and a new body-size but keeping the 9.7-inch screen that users have grown to love since the first make was presented by Steve Jobs back in 2010.
Perceived then as an oversized iPhone, the iPad was received with doubts by experts but consumers were sold to the idea of extensive computing on-the-go and with style. So sales not only picked but the Apple tablet also created a mobile device sub-market that eventually shoved the conventional PC market to the brink of extinction.
The regular iPad ruled the market it spawned and it was the case until the iPad Mini's arrival in October 2012. The Mini proved a game-changer, luring buyers from its big brother and easily outpacing its sales numbers. And the Mini never looked back since then.
But Apple is not about to give up on its original iPad baby, opting instead to repackage the once giant blockbuster for it to regain its mojo. Come the iPad 5 release date, the device is projected to sport a new look, mostly assuming the physical design that made the iPad Mini a bestseller.
So apart from losing heft and weight, the fifth-generation iPad will raise the bar of tablet computing by offering the best Retina flavour yet plus a performance speed that draws its juice from an A7 chip. Analysts also see the iPad 5 delivering more operating hours, thanks to a massive battery and inner parts adjustments that ensure a more efficient energy use.
Apple enters the 'Big League' via the phablet-size iPhone 6
To date, no official word is coming from Apple that it is building the iPhone 6, which according to analysts will mark the tech giant's step up from its existing iPhone game plan. No denials, no confirmations and the best clue, really a slight hint, was offered by Mr Cook. He implied that big-screen iPhones will only become a reality once the perceived technology tradeoffs have been erased.
Notwithstanding, Apple watchers continue to piece together the vague clues about the iOS phablet by linking the numerous handset mock ups and Apple patents to come up with a prevailing smartphone model that is pictured as a device with dimensions exceeding that of the current iPhone template.
So far, the renditions are settled on a screen size that ranges from 4.5-inch to beyond 5-inch and under the hood, it is hoped that Apple will pick the A7X or A8, which will be paired with top-notch components that will lead to faster and error-free computing tasks with more reliable and stable connectivity options - from Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and wireless broadband access such as 3G, 4G and LTE radio signals.
On the aesthetic part, concepts have imagined the iPhone 6 to still exude the Jony Ive imprint as seen in previous iPhone models but the ideas that have been flying out also factor in the number of Apple patents published online. The prevailing design model is of a handset that is dominated by with stretched screen - with some renders even extending to the sides or wrapped around - and capacitive control keys that fade out when not in use.
Clearly, the iPhone 6 that has been making the rounds in net discussions is very different from the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, the final form we'll get to see on its rumoured release date, which according to Apple insiders will happen within the first few months of 2014.
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