Rumour has swirled ever since Zayn Malik unexpectedly departed the band in the spring.
This evening, and despite notching up a huge hit in Drag Me Down – their first release as a foursome – it seems that One Direction will indeed go their separate ways in March of next year.
The decision was seemingly made during crunch talks in London last weekend.
However, The Sun, which is claiming an exclusive on the story, also says fans should not lose all hope: the guys intend on making more music together some time again in the future – albeit after they've pursued solo material and projects over the course of at least a year.
A source close to the boyband told the newspaper: "The guys have been together for five years, which is an incredible run for any boyband.
"They fully deserve to have at least a year to work on their own projects. There is absolutely no bad blood between them and they are all 100 percent behind the decision."
The source added: "They fully intend to get back together at some time in the future."
Liam, Niall, Harry and Louis have several high-profile gigs lined up for the rest of the year – performances which they will honour. The band will furthermore regroup after Christmas to polish off their various contractual commitments.
The Sun also says that the 1D time-out has nothing to do with Mr Malik's departure.
"This was the plan with or without Zayn," the insider revealed. "In fact, the band have been making amazing music and been incredibly happy without Zayn.
"Of course they would have preferred that he had stayed in the band, but they would have taken this extended hiatus even if he hadn’t left."
The band was formed on the UK version of The X Factor in 2010. Their debut studio album Up All Night was released in November 2011 and topped the charts in 16 countries.
Their forthcoming fifth album – from which Drag Me Down is taken – will be unveiled later this year, and it had been expected that One Direction would embark on an arena tour in 2016 to promote the release.
As part of their current On The Road Again tour, they play three live dates in Dublin in mid-October, before moving to Belfast on October 20.