Apple is expected to start a "trial" production of its next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, in December, reports Steve Shen of DigiTimes, citing a Chinese business newspaper.
The initial run will be small: 50,000-100,000 units.
Apple has reportedly "accelerated" the certification process for parts and materials in the new phone because of production problems with the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5S is expected to hit full production in the first quarter, which might suggest a spring release. That would be a first for a new iPhone. For the first several years, the new models were launched in June, with the launches shifting to September in the past two years.
DigiTimes also says that Apple is planning to release a new iPad in the quarter following the new iPhone. The obvious guess is that this would be an iPad Mini with a "retina" screen.