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Apple May Release iPhone 5S, New iPad Early

iPhone 5, iPhone 5S Apple, Samsung, iPad Mini

Guess what? That new iPhone 5 you just bought might be out of date before you’ve figured out where all the function buttons are.

The Chinese Commercial Times is reporting that Apple plans to introduce lower-cost versions of the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV in the first half of 2013, 9to5mac.com is reporting.

It the report is true, then Apple’s likely making its production cycle quicker because of increased competition from Samsung, whose Galaxy line is beating back the new iPhone 5. Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone has become the best-selling mobile device on three of the four major U.S. carriers, leaving Apple in a rare comeback position.

The Chinese report claims 5 to 10 million units of an iPhone 5S are slated for trial production next month, with the new model to come out some time in the first quarter of 2013. Apple usually staggers its new iPhone releases a year apart, though, so if a new iPhone comes out early next year, that would be an unusual move for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.

The report’s claims of new iPads is also suspect for the same reason, but the iPad mini could use an update. The public hasn’t exactly gone wild over the Mini, no matter how many cute advertisements Apple buys. The Mini still comes at a premium price of $329, even with its sub-par non-Retina screen. Other 7-inch tablets, such as the Kindle Fire HD cost nearly $200 less, so Apple will need to step up its game with the Mini if it expects customers to shell out more dollars for it.

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