Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook's comment that suggests we won't see any major product launches from the company until autumn, new reports have suggested that the next-generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, could be set for a late-summer release.

Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (via AppleInsider) has reported that Sharp is set to begin mass-producing LDC panels for the upcoming iPhone in June at a plant in Kameyama, Japan.

According to the site, Apple has also ordered display panels from Japan Display and LG Display, and that those manufacturers have already begun production.

Meanwhile, French Apple blog NoWhereElse.fr has published new photographs of what is allegedly a leaked component from an unreleased iPhone. The component originates from Japanese retailer Moumantai.

 

NoWhereElse.fr says that the leaked component is part of the motherboard thought to support the iPhone's front and rear facing cameras.

Component leaks tend to pick up as we near the launch of a new iPhone, so we expect to see more photographs of rumoured next-gen iPhone parts floating around the web over the next few months.

Reports last month suggested that Apple's next iPhone could boast a 12-megapixel camera with improved low-light shooting and a HDR.

It is widely expected that Apple will bring some camera improvements to its next iPhone. The company has a track record for boosting the iPhone's camera for its 'S' releases. For example, the iPhone 4S was launched with three more megapixels than its predecessor, up from 5-megapixels to 8-megapixels.

The iPhone's camera has been gaining popularity and credibility, with professional photographers and photojournalists opting to use the iPhone as their camera of choice. Notably, Time Magazine used a photograph captured using an iPhone 4S as its cover image in November.

On its website, Apple boasts that the iPhone's camera is "The world's most popular camera," and the top three cameras on flickr are the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 respectively. So, it makes sense that Apple would want to focus some of its efforts on bringing users an even better offering.

Perhaps the first glimpse we'll see of what's in store for Apple's next iPhone will be at WWDC in June, where Apple has promised to show off the future of iOS.

See also:

iPhone 6 rumour rollup: Tim Cook's comments, WiFi location tracking, camera, SIM tray

Apple files new NFC patent – further evidence of NFC-enabled iPhone 6?

iPhone 6 rumour rollup for the week: Foxconn hiring spree delays, phablets and camera upgrades

New ad by Apple showcases iPhone 5 camera

New Apple patent hint at camera improvements for iPhone 6, iPad 5