DigiTimes, the Tiawanese publication that closely covers the Apple supply chain reported today that Apple's suppliers are expected to post "strong" first quarter 2013 financials. This is unsurprising, as the iPhone 5's success has meant even greater demand on manufacturers by Apple.
The publication also cited unnamed observers as saying that Apple is expected to release the next version of the iPhone near the middle of 2013. From the report:
Apple is expected to introduce its next-generation iPad and iPhone series around the middle of 2013, which will boost demand for ICs in particular communications related chips during the latter half of the first quarter, according to the observers.
Similar rumors surfaced last week, when a report suggested that Apple will begin a trial production run of the iPhone 5S this December. That report also stated that the iPhone 5S, a new iPad, and the long-rumored Apple HDTV will all be released in the first half of 2013.
The DigiTimes reprot shows that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) are expecting component orders from Apple to climb high in March or April, suggesting a May, June, or July launch for new Apple products.
These new claims could fuel rumors that Apple is shifting its yearly product refresh cycle to a 6-month refresh schedule. Though Apple has the brand recognition and, perhaps, the manufacturing capabilities to accomplish such a rapid product cycle, Apple fans who want to keep up to date with Apple's products might find themselves paying double per year for their gadgets. The release of the newest iPad version came just six months after the release of the third-generation iPad in March 2012, upsetting many iPad owners who felt their device was becoming obsolete too quickly.