Report: Apple prepping "iPhone Math" device

Apple is reportedly prepping at least three new smartphones, all of which are likely to launch throughout 2013.

According to the China Times and BrightWire, the three devices include a next-gen iPhone (5s), a cheaper handset and an enigmatic “large-format” device with a 4.8-inch screen dubbed the “iPhone Math.” Interestingly, the Math is apparently classified as a hybrid phablet of sorts.

As AppleInsider notes, recent reports have indicated that Cupertino is planning on debuting a more affordable handset this year. However, at least thus far, none have mentioned the so-called “iPhone Math,” which will allegedly help the company stay competitive as it takes on rival phablet devices.

Although such a hybrid device would have been unthinkable under the reign of Steve Jobs, the current administration in Cupertino has shown itself to be considerably more flexible in an effort to adapt to changing market conditions, as is illustrated by the launch of Apple’s wildly popular iPad Mini.

Meanwhile, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says he believes the next-generation iPhone will likely be equipped with a fingerprint scanner built into the home button. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, Kuo also expects a more affordable iPhone range to debut in the third quarter of 2013.

The new model may very well be similar in design to the iPhone 5, but is thought to replace the expensive aluminum chassis with a polycarbonate version that will be available in six different colors.