It sounds a little dubious even when you talk about Apple launching two smartphones this year -- the next generation iPhone, aka iPhone 5S, and a cheaper version of the handset. So how will you react if you are told that not two but three iPhone models could be released in 2013? Sounds crazy? Well, this is exactly what a Chinese publication has suggested in a new report.
According to the report from China Times (translated by global investment news service BrightWire), Apple could release a larger iPhone version, dubbed iPhone Math, alongside the long-rumored iPhone 5S in June. While both the devices would feature an 8 megapixel camera, the iPhone Math would come with a much bigger 4.8-inch screen.
When it comes to the third iPhone version, the report said that it would be released during the holiday season and would feature a 12 megapixel camera.
The report said that shipments of the components that include touchscreens and cameras would start in March and manufacturers would begin production in the latter half of April -- the reason why Apple’s suppliers would witness major growth in the second quarter of 2013.
The report carried more information on the manufacturers:
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“Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. will undertake 90 percent of the manufacturing orders, and Largan has received orders for 8 million camera lenses. Fujikura, Flexium and Zhen Ding will share production orders for printed circuit boards. ... Foxconn Technology and Coxon will provide molding parts for Apple's new models; Foxlink will continue to offer connectors; Hon Hai Precision's Microelectronics Technology will start designing 4G network solutions for Apple.”
However, as MacRumors has noted, despite “detailed information on suppliers, manufacturers and production times, it is difficult to believe that Apple will produce a bigger iPhone and that the company will release two iPhones in a six month time frame.”
But the rumor of a larger iPhone in question is not something new. Jeffries analyst Peter Misek said in December last year that the Cupertino tech giant was apparently working on a new iPhone featuring a larger 4.8-inch display, though in a recent report he has said that there has been no further signs of that device.
Apple Insider reported that the elusive iPhone Math could be instrumental in helping Apple “stay competitive in light of rival manufacturers' phablet offerings.” The report also cited to a DigiTimes report earlier this month, which said that Apple was working on a bigger and more affordable iPhone version with focus on emerging markets such as China.