Speculating about Apple's next gadget is a popular past time in the blogosphere, and today Reuters entered the fray. They posted a story earlier this morning saying that they have numerous "sources" that indicate that Apple might have 4.7" and 5.7" iPhones in the works:
Apple Inc is exploring launching iPhones with bigger screens, as well as cheaper models in a range of colours, over the next year, said four people with knowledge of the matter, as it takes a cue from rival Samsung Electronics.
The moves, which are still under discussion, underscore how the California-based firm that once ruled the smartphone market is increasingly under threat from its aggressive South Korean competitor. Samsung has overtaken Apple in market share through the popularity of its bigger-screen Galaxy "phablets" and by flooding the market with a range of products at different prices.
It's a good thing this rumor includes an unspecified release date of next year; it if had included a mention of this coming Fall I would have labeled the rumor bunk.
So far as I know, no components for new hardware have leaked, and that's a solid argument against a new model being released this year. It's now June, and if we were going to see a radically new iPhone this year then we would already be seeing leaked parts and schematics.
But even though this rumor speculates about a product to be released next year, I still would not read too much into it. From the way that Reuters phrased the rumor I think the plans for the new hardware are far more tentative than some might think.
The keywords are phrases like "Apple is exploring" and "still under discussion". The fact that the word discussion was used instead of the word development should be taken as a sign that this new hardware doesn't exist yet.
There is a fairly good chance that the new larger iPhones referenced in this rumor are at best an idea which has been discussed in meetings. A bunch of people have discussed the possibility that Apple might release a larger iPhone, but so far as we know the idea is "still under discussion".
And that really doesn't mean anything at all. Companies discuss things all the time, including ideas that are never carried out. New hardware is cool, yes, and I too want to see a larger iPhone. But I am not going to let my personal bias influence me - not in this case, anyway.