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iPhone 5S components rumoured to ship in late May ahead of Q3 launch

With the high-profile Samsung Galaxy S4 launch out of the way, the rumor mill is now churning about the next iPhone.

Taiwan-based tech news outlet DigiTimes, which has a spotty track record with Apple rumors, on Thursday reported that components for the next-generation iPhone will begin shipping in late May in preparation for a possible launch during the third quarter of this year. Citing unnamed sources from "the upstream supply chain," DigiTimes reported that the new iPhone will only receive a minor upgrade, making it "a slightly enhanced version of iPhone 5." For this reason, it will likely don the moniker iPhone 5S.

As for specs, the iPhone 5S is expected to boast a higher-end processor and higher-megapixel camera than its predecessor.

According to the report, Terry Guo, chairman of Apple's largest manufacturing partner, Foxconn, previously said his company's performance would begin picking up after April or May, but declined to comment on whether that was related to the iPhone. Sources said that if components for the device are shipped without issue, manufacturers should have them ready in one to two weeks, in time for a third-quarter release.

The timing laid out in DigiTimes's report fits in line with Apple's recent iPhone release schedule. The Cupertino tech giant unveiled its iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, 2012 and began selling it later that month.

Alongside the iPhone 5S, Apple is also said to be putting together a plastic iPhone to break into emerging markets and increase its global market share. Apple has shrugged off reports of a low-cost iPhone, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill.

The latest report, from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, suggests the budget iPhone will sport a 4-inch display — the same size as the iPhone 5.