Citing sources, Japanese Apple-news site Macotakara says such a device is instead slated for next year, and will use plastic instead of aluminum for its body.
Macotakara says the device will sport a polycarbonate plastic enclosure much like the one found on the MacBook and iBook before it. Other rumored details include a 4.5-inch screen, which would be half an inch larger than the one found on the iPhone 5 and iPod Touch; Apple's usual home button; and a $330 price tag that would be a little less than half of the average selling price of the iPhone 5 (without carrier subsidy).
As MacRumors notes, Macotakara has had a mixed rumor scorecard, but it had accurate information about Apple's latest batch of iPods, some two months before they were officially unveiled.
Wall Street analysts have, for months, opined about the possibilities of a larger-screened device, and the potential financial windfall it could provide Apple. In a note earlier this month, Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes said the firm believes Apple is cooking up a 5-inch model for later this year or the first quarter of next year, and that during the 2014 calendar year such a device could boost by about 5 percent the average amount Apple sells the iPhone for.
The rumor is separate from those pointing to another "S" iteration from Apple later this year. The company has released both the iPhone 3GS and 4S between major device generations, something that is expected to happen once again. Purported shots of the device's internal components surfaced in January alongside reports Apple was planning to double down with a second, cheaper model to gain ground in emerging markets.