Various reports have surfaced recently speculating that Apple will release both a larger iPhone, dubbed the iPhone Math, and also a cheaper iPhone 5S. These claims were backed up by Digitimes, sparking mass speculation that Apple would indeed introduce such devices in order to compete with the increasingly saturate market of lower-end devices. However, it seems Digitimes has just retracted that statement, instead citing that sources are now releasing two 4-inch devices in 2013.
Previously it was said that Apple would release a lower-cost version of its iPhone with a bigger screen in 2013. But the sources claimed that Apple is indeed developing an iPhone with a bigger screen, but that will not be among the models to be lancuhed this year.
Interestingly, Digitimes continues by stating that one of the two speculated new 4-inch devices will in fact be targeted at the lower end market.
However, 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. The iPhone 5 took a hit in sales during 2012 as a result of poor yields for in-cell technology, but the sources are now saying those yields are improving.
The issue seems to be not that Apple do not want to release a lower-end smaller iPhone, it seems to be that they can’t, not being able to fit the technology into such a small form-factor. This is why Apple will instead release a similar sized iPhone, but will reduce the cost in other areas to reduce the cost to the consumer. This might just be the best balance, with a premium sized iPhone, with a possibly cheaper housing; let’s just hope the user experienced is maintained, but knowing Apple, it will be.