The Apple rumours blogosphere is getting excited about the possibility of an ‘iPhone Math’ being released as early as June.
The initial source of the rumour was a report in China Times indicating alongside the more traditional ‘S’ update which adds new spec to an existing design there will be a new model with a 4.8″ screen. The name iPhone Math appears in English in this Chinese language publication, although the name doesn’t appear to match Apple’s naming style putting some doubt on the rumours.
The article also claims both the 5S and Math models will come with 8 megapixel cameras, somewhat surprising given that high end Android phones are already shipping with better quality lenses. It does suggest that there will be a smaller update before Christmas with a 12 megapixel camera however.
The Apple rumour mill has get some things very right and other things very wrong in the past though. For instance before the past few models there’s been predictions of NFC chips which would allow iPhones to be used for payments, but these have yet to appear. While some rumours seem with hindsight obviously false such as those of a hologram projector, others that have seemed reasonable have also failed to materialise.
One thing that make these rumours less likely is they would be a significant departure from Apple’s usual update cycle. While initially iPhones were updated in the Spring, the launch of the 4S was delayed until Autumn and the latest iPhone was released a year later, also in Autumn. For Apple to update their iPhone after less than a year is unheard of, but the article suggests they will do this twice in 2013.
Apple fans rushed on the rumours, many enjoying the larger size of the iPhone 5 but wanting a bigger option closer to the Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note Android phones from Samsung. Marco Arment produced some excellent mockups on his blog which show the size progression from the current iPhone 5, through the iPhone Math prediction to the iPad Mini and full sized iPad.
When Apple expanded the iPhone screen for the iPhone 5 launch they decided to keep the width of the screen the same, believing that a wider phone would be harder to use for those with small hands. Instead they increased the height of the screen, adding an additional row of icons to the home screen. Marco’s mockups of what a iPhone Math would look like do show a wider phone, but as this would be one of two new phones Apple produces this is more believable than if they were simply using the larger screen size for all models.
Other rumours coming in for future updates include more phone colours. A company – AnoStyle -charging a whopping $249 to change the colour of your iPhone using an anodization process is doing well and Apple could potentially see a sales boost simply by offering more colours. Other possiblities include camera and memory upgrades, offline Siri, an underscreen fingerprint sensor and near field payments.