New Apple iPhone 5S rumours point to 20 September launch

Ready? Here we go! More predictions are flying around the web regarding the rumoured next moves by Apple, specifically surrounding the iPhone 5S smartphone that numerous pundits and Apple fans are expecting to see come down Apple's pipeline sooner rather than later.

The International Business Times' Dave Smith is joining the fray with a prediction that the iPhone 5S – Apple's sixth-generation handset – will hit retail channels this year, accompanied by Apple's rumoured low-cost, colour-cased iPhone that's designed to appeal to emerging markets and/or those who can't otherwise break the bank for an Apple smartphone.

So, without further ado, the predictions: according to Smith, Apple's going to launch the iPhone 5S on 20 September. It will likely announce the device at an event on or around 10 September. The low-cost iPhone – be it the iPhone 6, the iPhone Light, or the iPhone Lil' (my suggestion) — would have to wait a week or two before its official launch, likely on 27 September or 4 October.

Got it? Now, the reasoning: Smith's not just pulling out a crystal ball and picking days at random. Rather, he opines that Apple is likely to use the same time-frame for the official release of iOS 7 as it did for iOS 6 – 100 days after the operating system was officially unveiled. Since CEO Tim Cook showed off iOS 7 at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference on 10 June, flashing forward 100 days puts the (alleged) consumer release date of the operating system on 18 September.

"That said, Apple would never release its newest iOS without some new hardware to go with it. This is why we fully expect Apple to release the iPhone 5S just two days after the release date for iOS 7, on 20 September," Smith writes.

As for the launch of the to-be-named low-cost iPhone, Smith speculates that Apple would want to delay the release a bit, so as to not make its retail stores too crowded with simultaneous launches of two big devices.

How well do Smith's predictions stack up against the rest of the Apple punditry as of late? Pretty well, in fact: AppleInsider recently reported that Avago Technologies, which makes wireless chips found in Apple's iPhones, has teased that one of its larger customers is gearing up for a new product launch. Some analysts see that "larger customer" as Apple, and that "new product launch" as a sign that Apple's gearing up for an iPhone 5S September launch.

However, Citigroup's Glen Yeung has recently taken to the airwaves to comment that iPhone 5S production has likely been delayed anywhere from two to four weeks, based on comments he's heard from manufacturers and suppliers within Apple's supply chain.

"And while this does not preclude a September iPhone 5S launch date, we suspect volumes in September may consequently be challenged," Yeung said.

As for the low-cost iPhone Apple allegedly has in the works, a recent report from the China Times suggests that supplies have already started shipping parts for the device. That bodes well for an autumn release date. When, specifically, is anybody's guess - and expect to see a lot more guessing as we head through the summer months.