Just in case you got caught up in all the Android rumors from the past few weeks and were missing a few iPhone-related rumors, this is for you.
It’s been a while since we heard the last thing about Apple’s supposed plans for its mobile devices, but in the past 24 hours two different rumors surfaced which give us two different scenarios for Apple’s phone launches in 2013.
Let’s start with the latest claims then. The sometimes reliable, sometimes completely off DigiTimes says Apple will release two new iPhones this year. One will be the usual refresh of the currently selling device, and may be called iPhone 5S. Or iPhone 6. Something like that, you get the drift.
This would come alongside a cheaper model. What’s interesting here is that apparently this cheaper iPhone will still have a 4-inch touchscreen with in-cell touch technology. This debuted on the iPhone 5 and it was responsible for some of that product’s shortages over the past few months, because of (what else?) poor yields. So maybe Apple is hoping that such problems will never occur again. Because if they do, the need to produce such panels for two different handsets surely won’t help Apple’s suppliers.
If the supply of in-cell touch panels isn’t going to be enough for both models, Apple may delay the launch of the more affordable one.
For many years, a cheaper iPhone ‘Mini’ or ‘Nano’ has been rumored, yet until today no one really said anything about a same-size device that could be more affordable than the flagship iPhone. This means that Apple may differentiate these two offerings by the materials used, perhaps the screen’s resolution, camera quality, processor performance and other specs – but not through display size.
The same unnamed sources also claim that Apple is working on an iPhone with an even bigger screen, but that it won’t see the light of day this year. This sort of comes in response to a report from China Times which yesterday claimed that a 4.8-inch iPhone would be released in 2013.
That story also mentioned two other devices, a successor to the iPhone 5 (with the same form factor), as well as another handset altogether. According to this rumor, the iPhone 5S and the new, huge, 4.8″ device would get released around the end of June.
Considering how long it took Apple to give up on the 3.5″ screen size despite the growing trend towards bigger and bigger phones, it seems pretty unlikely that the company would, not one year after unveiling its first 4″ device, be presenting something significantly bigger than that.
Then again, at one point Apple was very much against the idea of tablets smaller than 10″, and look – the iPad Mini is on the market now. So really, anything is possible. That said, for Apple to announce even two new phones in one year would be a record. Three? Almost impossible, we’d argue.
So maybe the 4.8″ iPhone is being scheduled for next year after all. Only time will tell.