The iPhone 4S debuted in mid-October 2011, but a few unconfirmed reports indicate that the next version is going to come out a bit earlier in the year than that.
In the past few days, a number of reports based on different sources have said that September is the launch window, and a couple have even gone so far as to name an exact date.
A large accessory-maker based in China allegedly let App4phone.fr know that Apple has pegged Friday, September 21 as the launch date for the next-generation iPhone.
An unnamed employee at a major electronics retail chain -- also unnamed -- supposedly informed phoneArena that the Sept. 21 date is accurate.
In addition, an analyst with KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo, sent a note to investors this week predicting that the next iPhone will be out at some point in September.
Earlier reports had indicated that Apple is planning an October launch for this device, which often referred to as the iPhone 5. Other rumors have possibly revealed some of the hardware details, such as a larger screen and the inclusion of 4G LTE.
Apple may be pushing the launch of its next-generation smartphone up a bit to help the company compete better with the hot new Samsung Galaxy S III.