Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has reportedly begun production of the next-generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, at its factories in Asia.

Japanese Apple blog MacOtakara cites a source familiar with the matter who claims that Foxconn has begun to ramp up production of the new iPhone. It's believed that the 'iPhone 5S' has essentially the same as the iPhone 5, and is therefore being built in the same line as its predecessor due to "little change over the process."

I has been rumoured that Apple would begin manufacturing its new iPhone this month since January, when Jefferies analyst Peter Misek told investors that Apple was testing two new iPhone prototypes ahead of a planned March start for production of the device, in preparation for a June or July launch.

Yesterday, we reported that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi, who has correctly predicted Apple product launches in the past, has reiterated his belief that Apple will introduce an iPhone 5S that resembles the design of the iPhone 5 in June, before it hits the shelves in July. He also expects a low-cost iPhone to launch alongside it.

 

Above: A concept design showing what the iPhone 6 could look like SEE: New iPhone 6 concept images show edge-to-edge screen, trackpad-like Home button

A separate report this week also predicts a summer roll out for the next iPhone, but at the later date of August.

[Via Apple Insider]

See also:

iPhone 6 rumour rollup for the week

iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 spotted at Apple suppliers, both to launch this year - report

Can Samsung innovate?

Apple to unveil iPad 5, iPad mini 2 in April, says report

The Complete Guide to the iPhone 5s & 5c is on-sale now. Click here for buying information.