Rumour: Apple will release three new iPhones this year

There's a report out of Asia tonight that Apple is working on three new iPhone models, two of which will be out by June.

The report comes from quite a chain of sources. The Commercial Times of Taiwan made the original report. It was then picked up by the China Times. Then the China Times report was translated by BrightWire, which says it scours and translates international news. From there, we saw it picked up on Apple blogs.

So, yeah. Treat this one lightly for now. Though, a lot of accurate information has come from Asian supply chain sources in the last few years.

According to the reports, Apple will release a 4-inch iPhone 5S and a 4.8-inch iPhone before the end of June. The report calls the 4.8-inch phone, the "iPhone Math," which is, um, odd. We can't imagine Apple is going to name its big iPhone the "Math."

(But, we also couldn't imagine Apple would name the iPad the iPad and it did! So anything's possible, we suppose.)

Later in the year, some time before Christmas another iPhone is coming with a 12 megapixel camera, according to the reports.

They also say Apple is going to release an Apple TV this year.

The report about a 4.8-inch phone is the most interesting. Apple is the only smartphone company not making a big phone. The bigger smartphones are very popular with consumers.

A bigger iPhone risks fragmenting the iOS market. Developers' apps will have to fit 3.5-inch screens, 4-inch screens, 7.8-inch screens, and 9.7-inch screens. Perhaps Apple will also roll out an elegant software solution to this problem.

What's interesting about this report is that it comes one week after the Wall Street Journal and the Nikkei reported Apple was cutting iPhone screen orders. When those reports rolled out Apple's stock was hit hard. So were the stocks of Apple's suppliers.

BrightWire says in its summation of the reports, "The shipments for components, including touchscreens and cameras, will start rising significantly in March, and iPhone manufacturers will begin production in late April. Hence, Apple's suppliers will see major growth in 2Q 2013."

We could be over thinking it, but it sure sounds like suppliers started leaking Apple's plans to let the market know that they are not totally hosed. Whether that makes this report more or less trustworthy is up to you.

However, this is not the first time we've heard about Apple reportedly developing a much larger iPhone. So, we wouldn't just cast the report aside.

Clearly, something is going on with Apple. The iPhone business as we've known it appears to be ready for a major shake up in 2013.

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