Rumour: Apple to launch 4.8in 'iPhone math' this year, alongside iPhone 6 and new model with 12mp camera

Apple could be working on three new iPhones for launch this year, including an iPhone 6, an iPhone with a 12-megapixel camera

Apple could be working on three new iPhones for launch this year, including an iPhone 6, an iPhone with a 12-megapixel camera, and a bigger, 4.8in iPhone, which the latest rumours are calling the 'iPhone math'. Yes, really.

A report from the China Times this week, translated by BrightWire, cites upstream supply chain sources who claim that Apple will launch three new smartphones in 2013. The first to be unveiled will be the next-generation 4in iPhone, dubbed iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S, and the second will be a 'phablet' device with a 4.8in display, say the sources.

A third model of iPhone with a 12-megapixel camera will launch before the end of the year, but no other details of the alleged device are known at this time, the report claims.

The publication says that the larger, 4.8in device will be launched this year in order to compete with rival devices such as Samsung's Galaxy Note. This so-called 'iPhone math' is expected to feature an 8-megapixel camera with lenses built by Chinese firm Largan Precision, which has reportedly been asked to supply Apple will more than eight million camera lenses for the next-generation iPhone and the 'iPhone math'.

Clearly, it's highly unlikely that Apple is planning to launch an iPhone that goes by the name 'iPhone math', so it's possible that this is a code name or perhaps a mistranslation somewhere along the line. Of course, that's assuming the China Times sources' claims have some truth to them.

This is not the first we've heard of a larger iPhone, though. Earlier this month, Topeka Capitals analyst Brian White said that the next iPhone could come in three sizes, including a smaller and larger model. Last year, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said that there are several iPhone 6 prototypes "floating around", the most interesting of which is a 4.8in model with a Retina+ IGZO display, a new A7 qaud-core processor variant, and a new form factor with no home button.

None of the three new iPhones mentioned by China Times' sources appear to be the rumoured cheaper iPhone, dubbed iPhone mini, which has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks following an abundance of rumours from across the web.

China Times claims that shipments for components will see a significant increase in March as Apple and its manufacturers prepare for the start of the next iPhone's production in late April. It is expected that Hon Hai Precision will undertake 90 per cent of Apple's iPhone manufacturing orders. Fujikura, Flexium, Zhen Ding, Foxconn Technology and Coxon are also mentioned as potential component suppliers for Apple's new models.

Additionally, China Times notes that Apple is expected to launch its highly anticipated 'iTV' television set before the end of 2013, and that this will be one of seven to eight new products unveiled this year.

See also:

Big-screen smartphone shipments to surge this year, says iSuppli

New Mac Pro, iPhone 6, Retina iPad mini 2 most wanted Apple products for 2013

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