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Is iPhone 5S due for release in early next year?

An updated version of Apple's recently launched iPhone 5, possibly named the 'iPhone 5S', could be released as early as the first half of next year, it was revealed today.

According to 9to5Mac, Chinese news site China Times has reported that Apple will bring out new versions of the iPhone, iPad and an "iTV" device in the first half of 2013, citing industry sources.

"The industry pointed out that Apple's new machine together, the new version of the iPhone, iPad and iTV in the first half of next year will be launched, including in low-priced products are also expected to debut, breaking Apple over the years, the practice of the year a new machine," read the translation of the article in the China Times today.

Apple is known for attaching the "S" at the end of updated versions of its iPhones. The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S are prime example of updated handsets with the same design as their predecessors but with improved speed and performance.

Apple usually releases just one iPhone per year with subsequent versions following a year or so later. It is rumoured that the quicker than usual release of the iPhone 5S could be down to stiff competition from Samsung.

Although the China Times did not reveal what the "iTV" is, there is speculation that Apple might be preparing to launch a television or an updated Apple TV set-top box.

Apple launched its iPhone 5 on 21 September, selling five million handsets within the first few days. It is predicted to sell a further 20 million by the end of November. Last month, the tech giant also launched a smaller version of its iconic iPad, the iPad mini, which sold three million units in the first three days after its launch.