Tim Cook speaking during Verizon's iPhone 4 launch event in New York
Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to announce the iPhone 5 later today. Reuters

Apple's anticipated Let's talk iPhone event arrives later today, but already there are reports that when the Apple iPhone 5 comes out we'll see a new, whopping 4.44-inch screen.

The current iPhone 4, Apple's latest smartphone model, has a 3.5-inch screen.

According to Cult of Mac, smartphone case manufacturer Hard Candy thinks Apple will announce two new phones today, and the company is already selling cases for the devices even though the public hasn't seen them yet. Cult of Mac talked with Hard Candy CEO Tom Hickman which claims to have received dimension information for the cases from three sources.

The sources led the company to design a case for the iPhone 5 with a 4.44-inch screen.

Cult of Mac reported that Hard Candy is betting big that it has the right specs, considering the company is manufacturing 50,000 cases. The company said it received identical data from three sources for the cases and thus, decided to jump ahead and manufacture them.

Hard Candy said the sources reported the large 4.44-inch screen, a tapered case that is smaller than the screen, and a large, lozenge-shaped home button.

The information fits with insight from analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities, who told CNET Apple's new iPhone 5 will have a sleek, aluminum unibody enclosure that more closely resembles the company's MacBook Air laptop computer than the current iPhone 4.

White agrees with popular sentiment that Apple will increase the screen size of the iPhone from 3.5 inches currently used to 4 inches or 4.5 inches. The analyst also expects Apple's new iPhone to have a dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera. He thinks the major upgrade will be a smash hit that will smash sales records set by Apple's iPhone 4 in the global smartphone category.

Moving into the last few months of 2011, we do not see any leading smartphone vendor that has a product powerful enough to strongly dissuade consumers from upgrading to the iPhone 5, White said. In fact, we are noticing a new wave of consumers looking forward to buying their very first iPhone this year.

Already, the iPhone is the world's bestselling smartphone, and this new model may only widen that gap, as White suggests. Late Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint Nextel Corp. is expected to finally join AT&T and Verizon as iPhone carriers by making a multibillion-dollar gamble on the phone it hopes will turn its fortunes around.

Sprint has committed to buying at least whopping 30.5 million iPhones to sell to its customers, the newspaper reported, even though the company will likely lose money on the deal through 2014.

Apple's Let's talk iPhone event is slated to begin today at 10 a.m. Pacific Time at the company's Cupertino, Ca., headquarters. CEO Tim Cook is expected to preside, and the company is also expected to unveil a new iPhone 4S, lower-priced than the iPhone 5, among other new products and features.