Rumor: Apple has an updated 4-inch iPhone due early next year

4 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple to release small iPhone in early 2016, reports say.

Rumours of a new device the size of an iPhone 5 but as powerful as an iPhone 6S have been corroborated by a respected industry researcher, who says Apple plans to launch the smaller phone early next year.The new 4-inch device, rumoured to be called the iPhone 6c, will launch in the Spring of 2016, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a track record of leaking accurate information on Apple products. KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo sees a new four-inch iPhone coming in early 2016, perhaps the March to April time frame and costing $400 and $500, according to the report summarized today by AppleInsider. Although you can still buy the 4-inch iPhone 5S on Apple’s website, its specs date back to 2013: An A7 chip, 8 megapixel camera, no touch-free payment.

As for the flagship 2016 model, Kuo believes the so-called “iPhone 7 Plus” will feature 3 gigabytes of RAM in its “A10″ processor, an increase over the 2 gigabytes found in the A9 chip on the iPhone 6s Plus. What I want, as I told Tim Cook et al. last summer, is a retro iPhone with all the modern trimmings. (See Dear Apple, please don’t kill the 4-inch iPhone.) So I’m following with interest the latest rumor out of Apple’s Asian supply chain.

It will only account for 8-9% of next year’s iPhone sales, but it will help Apple expand its presence in emerging markets, and among consumers on tighter budgets. It comes from KGI Research’s Ming-Chi Kuo, the same Taiwanese analyst who correctly predicted last May that Apple would, for the second September in a row, ship only iPhones in the 4.7-inch and 5-inch sizes a lot of customers seem to prefer. AppleInsider’s own sources indicated last month that Apple executives are apparently considering a slightly earlier launch for the “iPhone 7″ in 2016. According to a patent filed by Apple, the fingerprint scanner that has served as a home button on every iPhone since the 5s could be used to activate a “panic mode”, making the iPhone’s data inaccessible unless authorised by its owner.

If the smaller iPhone were to be sold at a lower price it could also benefit Apple by appealing to a wider consumer base, and that would in turn help the adoption of Apple Pay. Explaining the business case for releasing a new iPhone model at the start of the year, Kuo said iPhone 6s orders had slowed dramatically and that the latest model was not set to sell more than the iPhone 6.

Apple’s iPhone 7 is not expected to arrive until September 2016, but rumours are already swirling about what features it could include, including a curved screen and the removal of the “home” button. Although Kuo’s comments are in line with many previously rumoured aspects of the phone – such as its size – they are at odds with some other reports.

This includes word that the 6c would use the older A8 processor, and an apparent source from inside Foxconn that says the phones are already in mass production and will be available in five bright colours.

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