Apple is ready to begin production of the next version of the iPhone, according to The Wall Street Journal. The size and shape of the smartphone will apparently remain unchanged from the current iPhone 5, indicating Apple’s familiar strategy of introducing an “S” model. The publication doesn’t offer details of the specifications for the iPhone 5S, although Apple has adopted faster processors and better cameras for phones such as the iPhone 3GS and 4S in the past.
The publication indicates that the phone is on track of a summer launch, which lines up with previous rumors suggesting that the iPhone 5S will make an appearance in August. Those same rumors also pointed towards improved camera capabilities, with Apple’s aim being to “once again raise the bar” when it comes to the optics.
The Wall Street Journal also mentions the lower cost iPhone that Apple has been rumored to be working on. The device could potentially be launched in the second half of the year, adopting the same 4-inch form factor as the current iPhone 5. It would use different materials for the casing, however, as well as come in a range of colors beyond the standard black and white.
Apple won’t just be updating its hardware, of course: iOS 7 is also expected to feature some significant changes. Not much has been hinted at in the way of new features, but according to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, the stalwart operating system will see a “significant system-wide UI overhaul.” iMore’s Rene Ritchie has made similar comments in a related Branch conversation, saying that Jony Ive’s design direction “is apparently making many people really happy, but will also apparently make rich-texture-loving designers sad.” That could suggest a move away from the skeuomorphic design that had been creeping into iOS under the leadership of Scott Forstall.