Apple will begin production of a new iPhone similar in size and shape to its latest model in the second quarter of 2013, according to Wall Street Journal sources said to be familiar with the matter.
The publication suggests this would indicate a summer launch for the smartphone.
It also reports that Apple continues to work with its Asian manufacturing partners on a less expensive four-inch iPhone that could be released later in 2013.
It claims the device will likely use a different casing from the premium model and that Apple has been experimenting with different colour shells.
Additionally, it says the iPhone maker is expected to release the latest iOS operating system around the middle of this year.
It was recently claimed that Apple used last month's GDC to inform developers of its plans to release an official iOS gamepad.