New iPhone entering production soon - Report

Sources say Apple to begin production on refreshed handset similar in form factor to current version for a possible summer launch.

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Apple will begin production of a new iPhone similar in form factor to the current version during the current quarter, sources have told The Wall Street Journal. This sets up the new handset for a possible launch this summer, the site claims.

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It was not divulged how the rumored new iPhone will differ from the current iPhone 5, which went on sale last year. Apple has a history of upgrading processors and cameras with each new installment, though nothing is confirmed for the upcoming unit.

The Wall Street Journal also reports that Apple is preparing an updated version of the iOS mobile operating system for release "around midyear." It was not mentioned what upgrades or tweaks this new OS would feature.

In addition, the sources said Apple continues to move forward with its partners in Asia on a less expensive iPhone that may launch during the second half of this year. This four-inch handset is said to use a different casing from other iPhone models.

Apple has reportedly been working on this new version of the iPhone for years.

Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones during the quarter ended December 29, up from 37 million year-on-year. The company will report second quarter earnings later this month.

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