The next-generation iPhone will be manufactured starting in August and could be shipping as early as September, according to reports.

Taiwanese news outlet Digitimes reports that Apple is beginning to scale down manufacturing of the iPhone 4, with a view to beginning production of the new iPhone - to be called the iPhone 4S, according to the report - in three months time.

The name iPhone 4S would suggest an incremental update with few new features and the report only mentions one significant upgrade to the specification - an 8MP camera.

OmniVision Technologies and Taiwan-based Largan Precision will supply image sensors and lens kits respectively to Apple, according to the report, for the iPhone 4S's new 8MP camera.

Features such as a larger, edge-to-edge screen, NFC capabilities and a dual-core A5 processor aren't mentioned in the report, despite rumours that they would be included in the next iPhone circulating in recent weeks.

Apple iPhone 5 'to be made in Q3' - analysts

However, such features would surely be considered significant enough to call the new iPhone the iPhone 5, rather than opting for the name iPhone 4S, as the Taiwanese sources cited in the story suggest.

Earlier this week, a representative of mobile phone retailer Phones4U told T3 magazine that the next iPhone would launch on 21 November.

However, Phones4U later released an official statement distancing itself from the report, which seems to have originated from an enthusiastic but ill-informed shop worker.

The Digitimes report also suggests that Apple has revised its iPad 2 sales estimates for Q2 2011, shipping as many as 10.5 million units in this period.