Rumors have been flying about Apple's latest expected products: a newer, upgraded iPhone and a smaller iPad designed to compete with tablets such as the Kindle Fire.

According to Chinese sources cited by the Japanese Macotakara blog, both the so-called iPhone 5 and the iPad mini have entered production.

While plenty of lesser-known tech blogs have been reporting on the recent developments in the Apple world, major publications have been less enthusiastic about the news. On Sunday, however, the New York Times threw its weight behind accounts of a coming iPad with a 7.85-inch screen, leading even greater credence to speculation about the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

The Times reported the so-called iPad mini will cost significantly less than the latest $499 iPad upon its debut. For the most part, the Times reported these developments not as rumors but as facts. One thing the newspaper appears uncertain about are the release dates for the new devices. Nonetheless, the Times said of the new iPad, The product is expected to be announced this year.

Tech site KnowYourMobile reported an even more specific launch date -- Aug. 7 for the iPhone 5 -- as it speculated the iPad mini would be released alongside Apple's answer to the Samsung Galaxy 3.

If this information proves to be true, it would mean that Apple has time to launch the iPhone 5 shortly before Microsoft rolls out its Windows Phone 8, effectively killing much of the buzz for that planned phone.

Both of Apple's devices are expected to feature new, smaller dock connectors with 19 pins. Supposedly leaked photos of the iPad mini at GottaBeMobile show the smaller dock connector, while supposedly leaked photos of the iPhone 5 show a similar set-up.