It seems that the so-called next-generation iPhone chatter has started quite early this time and if speculations indeed turn out to be true, the upcoming iteration of Apple’s flagship smartphone, aka iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, is just over a couple of months away.

Rumors are rife that the iPhone 5, which was launched last fall, will have to make space for its successor as early as this summer. A number of earlier reports have suggested that Apple will bring its seventh generation iPhone to the market a lot sooner than expected. The same prediction gets reiterated Friday by a new report, which even sets a specific release date for the iPhone 5S – June 20.

Based on some insider knowledge on Apple’s plans, the report from the Japanese blog Macotakara claims that the June 20 (Thursday) release date of the iPhone 5S will also take the wraps of the long-rumored cheaper iPhone model for developing markets in Asian nations like India and China. When it comes to the availability of the iPhone 5S, the report says that the new handset will go on sale in early July.

Over the last few months, a lot of reports surfaced online betting on a June release for the iPhone 5S. In December last year, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said in a research note that Apple would adopt its old iPhone release time frame by releasing the iPhone 5S in June 2013.

Misek repeated the same prediction again in January and said that while a June/ July launch for the iPhone 5S would break the smartphone’s traditional yearly release cycle, the highly anticipated low-cost iPhone would be focused on the emerging markets.

The original iPhone, the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 were all launched in a June/ July time frame. However, Apple broke the momentum by releasing the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 in the September/ October time frame.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also said in a recent research report that the iPhone 5S and low-cost version of the device would be released in June alongside iOS 7.

While the latest Macotakara report has also stated that the upcoming June 20 event will unveil the iOS 7, it is expected that the Cupertino tech giant will just provide just a sneak preview of iOS 7 as the operating system does not appear ready for a public release yet.

In terms of the cheaper version of the handset, the report stated that it will feature a polycarbonate body and will go on sale in August.

Foxconn Ramping Up iPhone 5S Production For June Launch

TechCrunch came up with a report Thursday suggesting that the iPhone 5S might be launched in June with manufacturers apparently ramping up production for the next Apple smartphone.

The report was based on a confidential Foxconn presentation catalog that pointed to “a firm June 2013 launch of what they are calling the iPhone 5S.”

Apart from this, the report even suggested that a third-party Shenzhen-based manufacturer with “an interesting inside track to Foxconn” was working directly with the company to launch its product immediately upon the launch of the new iPhones.

In addition to the iPhone 5S information, the presentation catalog in question also reportedly highlighted some new cases and chargers for iPhone devices as well as Qi-enabled wireless chargers and dongles for the iPhone 5.

“This information could be a bit of careless boasting but it does suggest a certain level of certainty in the market and reinforces rumors of a June iPhone 5S release. It also suggests a certain lack of fear in manufacturers as they approach a new, post-Steve Jobs Apple,” said the report.

“Whether the information is accurate is impossible to tell yet. However, it is some of the most convincing data we’ve seen relating to new Apple launches.”

More Details On Rumored iPhone 5S Features And Specs

If recent research estimates by KGI Securities are to be believed, the iPhone 5S will have key features like a faster A7 application processor (28nm), in-cell touch technology, fingerprint reader and 4-inch display with a pixel density of 326 ppi.

With a thickness of 7.6 mm, the new handset will be slightly thinner than the current iPhone 5 (8.2 mm). It will also be significantly lighter (112 grams) than the existing model (130 grams).

Other rumored features of the iPhone 5S include an 8 megapixel (or higher) camera, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, 128GB storage and multiple color options with six to eight colors in addition to the current black and white offerings.