Apple's bigger iPhone is coming - but will it break cover in 2013?

Recent reports indicating that Apple is set to deliver its largest handset yet in 2013 should be taken with a fistful or two of the white stuff, according to perpetual rumour-monger Digitimes.

The Taiwanese tech news site has gone on the record as saying that while the Cupertino-based firm is indeed working on a 4.5-5in device, it won't be appearing until 2014. Instead, Apple will release two 4in handsets this year featuring in-cell touch technology, one of which will be pitched at mid-range buyers.

"Apple is indeed developing an iPhone with a bigger screen, but that will not be among the models this year," the site claims.

"One of the two versions to be introduced this year will target the midrange market segment, but both will adopt in-cell touch technology," it added.

Digitimes' latest report follows speculation claiming that Apple would debut a 4.8in smartphone codenamed the 'iPhone Math' alongside the iPhone 5S this summer, a prediction that analysts were quick to jump on.

"Our checks agree three different models are scheduled for lauinch in 2013 but disagree on the details," Jefferies wise man Peter Misek said in a note to investors.

"We believe a lower-cost 4.3in iPhone and multicolour 4in iPhone 5S will launch in June/July. Additionally, we believe a 4.8in iPhone model is scheduled for the end of October. We do not know what this phone will be called and think 'Math' might be a mistranslation or a code name."

The iPhone 5S is expected to arrive as early as June 2013 and feature a 1080p display, NFC chip, and iOS 7.

iPhone to flex its muscles?

Against this backdrop of mystery and intrigue, one thing is certain: the imaginations of Apple fanboys refuse to dim.

The latest notable iPhone concept reaches us from Italy's De Poorter Design and seems inspired by the bendy Youm screens shown off by Samsung at CES earlier this month and potentially set to feature on the Galaxy S4 later this year.

Dubbed the iFlex/flexPhone (see image, below), the Milan-based firm's design depicts a device where "two sides of the rigid aluminum case are connected by the central silicone part with deformable inlay so that the device can assume and maintain any desired angle."

The studio's fantastic effort also features a magnetic lock allowing owners to close the handset as they would a wallet to help protect from wear and tear. The flexible display potentially supports a whole range of new apps and uses, from serving as a make-up aid to a placeholder for public speakers.

Of course, De Poorter's concept is in no way connected to Apple and, while we're sure the Cupertino-based company is investigating a number of nascent technologies for deployment on future devices, an iPhone with a flexible display is likely at least a generation or two away.