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Rumor: 4.8-inch iPhone to debut in June

While it's a sketchy rumor, it seems reasonable that Apple will get serious about taking on smartphones like Samsung's 4.8-inch Galaxy S III.

Will iPhones and iPad be available in more shapes and sizes?

The rumors are afloat about a bigger iPhone, one that could be more competitive with the popular Samsung Galaxy S III and other larger smartphones. The rumor alludes to a 4.8-inch iPhone, perhaps iPhone 6, to be unveiled at Apple's June 2013 Worldwide Developer's Conference.

Below is a Google translation from the Chinese language Commercial Times, which published the story on the possible next-generation iPhone:

Apple phone must land big counter-offensive, the industry pointed out that, led by "Californian" models iPhone new machine (tentative name the iPhone 5s and the iPhone the Math) leader, will be in June, the official launch of the new aircraft MasterCard are all, including a screen more than 4.8 " iPhone's first large-size smartphone has become the key to Apple's reproduction glorious. The (A1 transferred A3 Version).

While it's the typical sketchy rumor, it seems reasonable that Apple will finally get serious about taking on the larger screen competition, as it did the 7-inch tablets with the iPad mini last year. As I wrote in October about Apple's numbers:

As the market for mobile devices matures, however, Apple's devotion to its "less is more" and "we know better" product strategy can be counterproductive.

Apple's current smartphone revolves around one-handed usage, and the company will milk the iPhone 5 for profit and market share and hope for a perfectly timed replacement that repeats that formula within a year. But the popularity of larger screens has to be a factor that impacts how long Apple can ride the iPhone 5. If the majority of smartphones sold in 2013 have larger than 4-inch screens, Apple isn't going to miss the market opportunity by sticking too long with its one-handed phone design

While Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt calculated that cumulative sales of the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 outpace those of the Galaxy S III and Note by 219 million to 131 million, the momentum is shifting.

Samsung's Galaxy S III sold more than 40 million units in the last seven months and is averaging sales of 190,000 per day, according to the company. Analysts covering Apple estimate the company will reports sales of around 47 million iPhones for the quarter ending December 31, 2012. But, Apple reportedly has recently cut orders roughly in half for iPhone 5 screens due to decreased demand and increased competition from Samsung and other Android-based smartphones.

Apple may shed some light on the future of the iPhone when it reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday.