The China Times, (citing a report by the Commercial Times), claims Apple will announce three new iPhone models this year, with a couple being the 4-inch ‘iPhone 5S’ and another larger 4.8-inch ‘iPhone Math’, set to launch before the end of June. Both will feature 8-megapixel cameras. Meanwhile, Apple suppliers note a third model will be launched by Christmas and feature a 12-megapixel camera.
According to sources, shipments for components such as touch screens and cameras will ramp up in March, and production of iPhones will take place in late April, helping Apple supplier grow in the Q2 2013. Foxconn will once again manufacture 90 percent of orders, while Largan Precision, a maker of optical lenses has received orders for 8 million camera lenses.
For print circuit board orders, Fujikura, Flexium and Zhen Ding will share orders. Foxconn and Coxon will supply molding parts for Apple’s new iPhone models; the latter is a Taiwan-based plastic molding company. Previous rumours cited a less-expensive iPhone could consist of a plastic and metal hybrid chassis.
Other supply chain orders will come from Foxlink for connectors and Foxconn’s Microelectronics Technology arm will reportedly start to design 4G networking solutions for Apple. The report also says Apple will launch its rumoured television before the end of 2013, alongside 7-8 new products set to be unveiled this year. Earlier, KGI Securities, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo laid out his road map for Apple this year, and believes the next iPhone could come with a fingerprint sensor using formerly acquired AuthenTec’s technology.
Just last week the China Times reported TSMC’s CEO as noting its marketshare is set to reach nearly 100% levels for its 28 nm chip process, as their wafer shipments are expected to triple in 2013, which many have alluded to an imminent deal signed with Apple. A previous report by the China Times also reported Apple was seeking newer touch display alternatives for the iPad.
It would be safe to assume an ‘iPhone 5S’ would launch this year based on the history of iPhone releases. Rumours of a cheaper iPhone have resurfaced lately by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, leading many to believe this year Apple will launch more than one version of its smartphone.
As for a larger 4.8-inch model dubbed ‘iPhone Math’? The name sounds unorthodox and something Apple would never use. The name probably should be ‘iPhone Max’ but was lost in translation? If indeed true though, it would be interesting how another screen resolution would affect developers, as Apple has been cautious to reduce the impact of new screen resolutions with the launch of new hardware. The iPad mini launch resulted in iPad apps to work out of the box.
Update: BrightWire emails the following in regards to the name ‘iPhone Math':
Some news sites are speculating that the real name of the ‘iPhone Math’ product is ‘iPhone Max’ or ‘iPhone +’. However, the name ‘iPhone Math’ continues to be reported in a variety of Chinese and Taiwanese news sources that originally broke the story.