For those concerned that Apple could pull a surprise and release the so-called iPhone 5S early, there is now information that suggests that this won’t happen. Digitimes is reporting that Apple’s next iPhone will launch no earlier than mid-2013.

According to the report:

Apple is expected to introduce its next-generation iPad and iPhone series around the middle of 2013 … Component orders placed by Apple, which climbed to high levels prior to the iPhone 5 rollout, will rise again between March and April, the observers indicated.

Last week, Digitimes stated that Apple would begin testing on the seventh-generation iPhone in December. This led many to assume that the company would pull an iPad 4 and release the handset during the first few months of 2013.

That now doesn’t appear to be the case.

Apple created a backlash when they released the fourth-generation iPad at the same time as the iPhone 5 in September. The iPad with Retina display, as it is called, launched just seven months after the “new” iPad debuted. This turnaround was the shortest ever recorded between iOS devices.

This latest news suggests that Apple could once again be shifting iPhone launches to summertime. Until the iPhone 4S launched in October 2011, Apple’s handsets always launched in June or July.

We have yet to hear what new features could be arriving on the iPhone 5S. However, the handset is expected to only be a modest update from the iPhone 5. Still, the next iPhone’s launch will be significant in that it will arrive with the first iOS version not created by Apple’s Scott Forstall.

In October, the company’s former vice president of iOS development was fired. Tim Cook’s iOS team is now being led by Craig Federighi and Jony Ive.

Source: Digitimes