Is Apple prepping a 4.8-inch device called the 'iPhone Math'?

A big-screen Apple iPhone could launch by June, according to a new report. 

Reuters
Sure it's only January. But when has that ever stopped a good Apple iPhone rumor?

New year, new Apple iPhone rumor. 

The latest? Well, according to the China Times and the Commercial Times, a publication based in Taiwan, Apple is currently prepping a new 4.8-inch smart phone tentatively dubbed the "iPhone Math." The Math, the two reports indicate (hat tip to Marketwatch), could launch as soon as June, putting the device well ahead of the yearly iPhone refresh, which typically occurs in the fall (the iPhone 5 was unveiled in September, as was the iPhone 4S). 

It's not clear exactly what's going on with the name – it could be some kind of reference to the bump in screen size to 4.8-inches from the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5. Or, as Chloe Albanesius of PC Magazine notes, it could be some kind of translation error. At any rate, this is all very preliminary stuff, and Apple has not issued any comment.

So take all this Math talk with a heaping spoonful of salt. 

Still, the idea of a bigger iPhone does make a certain kind of sense. After all, although former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said 3.5-inches was the perfect size for a smartphone display, Apple expanded the display from 3.5 inches to 4 inches for the iPhone 5 – an attempt to keep up with massive gadgets such as the HTC Droid DNA and Samsung Galaxy S III. 

"I'm with Steve Jobs in his admonition that you shouldn't live somebody else's life, and should think for yourself," writes Jonny Evans, the Apple Whisperer over at Computerworld. "In the case of the latest 4.8-inch iPhone rumor, there's for and against arguments aplenty, but nothing is 'the truth' until Apple finally plays its hand. However, I can't believe the company would release a product with as unattractive a name as 'iPhone Math.' "

In related news, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple was working on a bargain-basement iPhone handset, which could resemble the boxy iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, but be built with far cheaper materials.

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