According to the report by Digitimes, industry sources have revealed that a large-screened iPhone - with a screen exceeding four inches - is under development, although will not be ready for commercial distribution in 2013.
The website had previously indicated that a large iPhone would be among the two new Apple devices set for release this year.
“...the sources claimed that Apple is indeed developing an iPhone with a bigger screen, but that will not be among the models to be launched this year,” asserts the report.
Of the two planned 2013 releases, there is much speculation as to whether Apple will provide a device that caters for the low-cost market. Although original suggestions pointed to the possibility that the company had developed a device with the signature four-inch screen and in-cell technology for the low-income market, this has come under doubt due to existing difficulties with mass production of the in-cell panels.
“...the sources noted it is still yet to be determined if Apple will have adequate supply of in-cell touch panels in 2013 for a lower-cost version of the iPhone due to mass production issues from the technology in 2012, Digitimes reports, adding: “The iPhone 5 took a hit in sales during 2012 as a result of poor yields for in-cell technology”.
One of the two devices billed for release this year is expected to tap into the buying power of the mid-income consumer base.
Following the launch of the iPhone 5 on September 21 of last year, Apple was over-run with orders for the device, with over 2 million pre-orders and 5 million sold in the first weekend of availability.
The intensive demand left many consumers disappointed, as they were left waiting for significant periods. The waiting game was played out particularly severely in South Africa following the iPhone 5 launch on December 14, where, according to the most recent reports, many customers are still waiting for news of when a device will become available.