The iPhone and iPad rumor mills have become a tired and played out annual rite of the gadget wars. When are they coming? What will they look like? Apple rumors are big business, even when they are horribly inaccurate.

The latest rumors making the circuit concern the timing of Apple releases for the fifth-generation iPad and the so-called iPhone “5S.” According to Rene Ritchie from Apple-centric blog iMore, we could see the next iPads coming in April. The iPhone 5S is likely scheduled for late summer, probably August. 

Too Soon? Another New iPad

Apple has accelerated its iPad release schedule over the past year. The first three iPads came out once a year, with announcements coming in March. Apple then flipped the script at the end of 2012, announcing both the iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad at the end of October. Here we are getting a new iPad, allegedly, about six months later.

This is will probably not comfort Apple consumers that felt duped after buying the third-generation “new” iPad last year only to see the fourth-generation come out in time for the holiday shopping season. People seem to want to have this odd notion that when they get the “new” iPad, it is actually, you know, new. 

Ritchie believes that the iPad Mini 2 (that’s what he is calling it) could also be coupled with the fifth-generation iPad release. 

iPhone 5S: Another One, Just Like The Other One

An August release for an iPhone 5S makes sense. Late summer will be almost a year since the release of the iPhone 5 and in time for the back-to-school shopping season with enough time to still be popular for the holidays. 

What is more disappointing is that the iPhone 5S is said to be basically the same damn phone that the iPhone 5 is, just a little thinner with a better processor and better camera optics. 

Big Shrug. 

The important bits of the next iPhone will likely be improvements to the iOS operating system and maybe iCloud that is actually useful. We’ll see, but the iPhone 5S rumors from Ritchie are not exactly inspiring. 

Making Sense Of The Apple Release Schedule

Apple has historically been very good about announcing something new about once a quarter. The pattern had been an iPad in Q1, iOS and maybe Mac updates in Q2 around Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, then iPhone around the end of Q3. Apple threw in the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad in Q4 last year for good measure.

This year, we have heard nothing from Apple about a Q1 release. Last year’s release of the iPad Mini likely cannibalized the 2013 Q1 release, so that is not much of a surprise. WWDC is still likely to give us news in Q2 and then there is the iPhone in August for the Q3 release. 

Then there are the outliers: An Apple TV and the supposed iWatch. 

Nobody has really been able to confirm that an actual Apple television (not the little streaming box) is an real thing. We know more about the so-called iWatch at this point, which rumors point to coming in Q4 this year. 

For the Apple cultist in all of us, that is probably the best guess for you gadget buying year. We won’t actually know when Apple will release its new products for 2013 until Cupertino sends out the invites.