iMore is reporting that Apple will release its next-gen iPhone in August. Obviously, the device will be stronger, better, faster, and so on, but the real takeaway is the timing. For years, iPhone releases were as predictable as the tides, coming every June. But the iPhone 4S came in October, the iPhone 5 in September, and now the iPhone 5S (potentially) in August. So much for routine.
Apple showed its willingness to change things up when it dropped an iPad Mini and a new iPad last fall, just after the release of the iPhone 5. But the increasing unpredictability of iPhone releases has the twin benefits of allowing Apple to respond more quickly to Android challengers like the upcoming Galaxy S IV, and to make it harder for people to hold off on buying older models (which causes major damage to Apple's bottom line) in anticipation of what's coming next.
As far as the actual phone goes, iMore says it will have a better processor and a more powerful camera, but it will keep the overall same design. Because of course! But what's missing here is also interesting: iMore doesn't mention anything about a bigger iPhone Plus, which isn't to say it won't happen, but worth noting that it's not bundled in with these other rumors.
Finally, iMore estimates an "April-ish" launch for the fifth-gen iPad, but seems to be less certain about that one. Again, we're most interested in the timing here, which seems at this point to be up in the air. And frankly, it seems odd for Apple to start firing off new iPads every six months or so. [iMore via Techmeme]