Supply chain rumor contradicts claims of new 4-inch iPhone in 2015

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2015
The likelihood of a new or revised 4-inch iPhone remains uncertain, as even rumors from Apple's supply chain disagree about whether the company will continue to build new devices in the smaller form factor.




Last week, analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company said he was told that Apple was working on a new 4-inch iPhone to debut later in 2015. His sources suggested the device could be a repurposing of the iPhone 5s with a tweaked outer design, in much the same way the iPhone 5c was a revision of the iPhone 5.

But on Monday, another rumor cropped up in direct response to Acuri's claims. Citing alleged sources from Apple's supply chain, the Wei Feng Network suggested there is no indication that Apple plans to release a new 4-inch iPhone in 2015.

The supposed supply chain sources reportedly said that Apple has not tasked any of its suppliers with new orders for a revised 4-inch iPhone. The report, which was first discovered by G for Games, suggests that Apple may be content to stick with the 4.7- and 5.5-inch screen sizes of its current flagship iPhone 6 lineup.

At this point, with so far to go before Apple is expected to debut its 2015 iPhone lineup in its usual September timeframe, it's difficult to place stock in any such rumors. Scattered supply chain rumors tend to become more accurate and consistent with one another as a product's launch approaches.




For example, last year almost everything was known about the look and feel of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus before they were unveiled in September. Even Arcuri, the source of the 4-inch 2015 iPhone rumor, correctly revealed a number of details about the iPhone 6 back in January of 2014, though he also incorrectly claimed the iPhone 6 Plus would have a more powerful processor.

Apple currently offers two iPhones with its legacy 4-inch screen size --?the iPhone 5s for $99 with a two-year service contract, and the iPhone 5c, which is free on contract.

If Apple were to stick to its usual release strategy in 2015, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would see $100 price cuts and occupy the company's mid-tier lineup, the iPhone 5s would take the low-end, and the iPhone 5c would be discontinued. That would leave just one 4-inch iPhone in the lineup next year.

For years, Apple touted its smaller screen sizes as an advantage over competitors, as the 4-inch form factor allowed users to operate the device easily with one hand. But with consumers showing a preference for larger displays, Apple made the change this year to larger screens, and included a new "Reachability" feature to aid in one-handed use.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    The 4" size is still the most popular phone size (pretty much solely because of the iPhone) right? Seems like they'd be crazy to give up on that segment.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    I wish Apple would make a 4" - 4.2" phone with specs comparable to iPhone 6. I have the 6 and really like all the features but wish it was a bit smaller. Even if they could reduce the bezel sizes on the 6, it might be enough to make a difference to me.
  • Reply 3 of 50

    I lasted just over a week with the iPhone 6 before going back to my 5. I didn't want to give up the beautiful screen, camera, fingerprint sensor, or increased storage, but it was way too big for my lifestyle (cycling/running daily), and I missed the one-handed use of the iPhone 5.

     

    I'm very hopeful they just couldn't fit the new architecture into a 4-inch form factor and retain any reasonable battery life and that they're working to solve that, if not for this year, then 2016.

     

    For a company focused on miniaturization, the current lineup has a definite hole. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that my iPhone 5 lasts until there's a suitably small replacement available which sports a substantially better camera.

  • Reply 4 of 50
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mick Roberts View Post



    The 4" size is still the most popular phone size (pretty much solely because of the iPhone) right? Seems like they'd be crazy to give up on that segment.



    Agree.  But Apple already has two 4" iPhones: 5S and 5C.

    Why add a new one to the pile?

  • Reply 5 of 50
    eugeeuge Posts: 19member



    Maybe you should try to stick with it a little longer. It took me about 2 weeks with my 6 until I would feel like I wouldn't drop it with one handed use. And it wasn't until about 4-5 weeks until it felt completely natural in my hand.

     

    7 years of handling the smaller iPhone is a lot of time to build up muscle memory, so getting used to it isn't going to happen quickly.

     

    I run and cycle as well, but haven't done much in the off season. (I'm getting back to it soon.) Not sure what I'm going to do about cycling. I have a Lifeproof case for it so maybe I'll do that and just stick it in my jersey. As for running I rarely run with my phone. The exception is when I run to my team happy hour 2 miles away, in which case I use this:

    http://www.amphipod.com/products/holders/music/electronics/airflow-viz-lite

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smack416 View Post

     

    I lasted just over a week with the iPhone 6 before going back to my 5. I didn't want to give up the beautiful screen, camera, fingerprint sensor, or increased storage, but it was way too big for my lifestyle (cycling/running daily), and I missed the one-handed use of the iPhone 5.

     

    I'm very hopeful they just couldn't fit the new architecture into a 4-inch form factor and retain any reasonable battery life and that they're working to solve that, if not for this year, then 2016.

     

    For a company focused on miniaturization, the current lineup has a definite hole. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that my iPhone 5 lasts until there's a suitably small replacement available which sports a substantially better camera.


  • Reply 6 of 50
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

    Agree.  But Apple already has two 4" iPhones: 5S and 5C.

     

    They have those in the same way they still have the toilet seat iBook.

  • Reply 7 of 50
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    The 4" size is still the most popular phone size (pretty much solely because of the iPhone) right? Seems like they'd be crazy to give up on that segment.

    Installed base, sure, but I doubt the most popular iPhone being sold is the 4" even though there are 2 (or more) models selling that size whereas there is only one for 4.7" and one for 5.5".
  • Reply 8 of 50
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    They have those in the same way they still have the toilet seat iBook.


     

    Except that you can still buy the 5S and 5C from Apple and AT&T and Verizon et al.

  • Reply 9 of 50
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

    Except that you can still buy the 5S and 5C from Apple and AT&T and Verizon et al.


     

    You know what I’m talking about.

  • Reply 10 of 50
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    You know what I’m talking about.

    I don't get the comparison, either, since the iBook is a long defunct model category for Apple.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    I hope Apple continues with a 4-inch model. I like the form factor of my iPhone 5. It's also true that some people, particular teen girls and many women with smaller hands, don't really like a larger form factor.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,866member
    Rumor contradicts another rumor. Of course the contradiction is unconfirmed.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    I hope Apple continues with [the larger than] 4-inch models. I like the form factor of my iPhone [6 series]. It's also true that some people, particular [women with purses], don't really like a larger form factor.
  • Reply 14 of 50

    I'm I crazy for believing that it is time for Apple to completely dump their "lesser" products form their line-up, and focus on what made them the best tech company on the planet?

     

    On the iPhone line-up, this means 3 high end, up-to-date premium choices with hardware options that are targeting the future and not the present/past. 5.5" iPhone Pro, 4.7" iPhone Air, 4" iPhone. Forget specifications that have no place in today's world, like extremely small storage (16GB and 8GB belong on 200$ Moto Gs) and the limiting 1GB of RAM.

     

    There's a huge portion of users that prefer the older form factor. And that's fine: It's a lucrative market.

     

    Due to Apple's size, there's a growing sub-group of users (those that bought the useless cMBP 13" in 2011 and up, those that bought the baseline Mini, costumers that opted for the cheaper (older) iPhones (imagine the millions that forked 400€ on an unlocked iPhone 4s with 8gb of storage, LAST YEAR or even 2 years ago) and iPads (a5-based devices being sold? What?)) that are growing angry with the company way of doing things. Read Yosemite reviews and rating on the MAS.

     

    This, and yearly OS releases that lack the expected stability and testing, are starting to bite Apple in the ass. It's funny, while they are (more than ever) leading the pack and going up, they are really making some bad choices.

  • Reply 15 of 50
    solipsismy wrote: »
    I hope Apple continues with [the larger than] 4-inch models. I like the form factor of my iPhone [6 series]. It's also true that some people, particular [women with purses], don't really like a larger form factor.

    The 6 and 6 Plus sold well enough that Apple will continue making iPhones that require "Reachability" to use by the average person in one hand.
  • Reply 16 of 50

    Ah yes, but demand-chain rumors confirm claims of a new 4-inch iPhone in 2015. 

     

    I am happy to report that after a few months of annoyance at the large size of my 6, I have gotten accustomed to it and don't really notice it on a daily basis, but given the choice of a smaller phone with a smaller screen but the same camera, processor, etc., I would definitely take a smaller one, even if it cost a little more. If they can do this easily sometime in the future, I think they really should. 

  • Reply 17 of 50

    I'd never go back to a smaller phone. The 6 is fine for me to use one handed (obviously, the upper left corner is a bit of a reach, but texting is fine). A lot of people I know actually were more concerned with having a wider screen than a bigger one, as it makes it easier to use both thumbs to type.

     

    The 3.5" models feel like toys now.

  • Reply 18 of 50
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,273member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    I'd never go back to a smaller phone. The 6 is fine for me to use one handed (obviously, the upper left corner is a bit of a reach, but texting is fine). A lot of people I know actually were more concerned with having a wider screen than a bigger one, as it makes it easier to use both thumbs to type.

     

    The 3.5" models feel like toys now.


    Neither would I. It took some time to get used to the 6 Plus, but I'm happy I went with that size. I have no issues using the 6 plus with one hand.  

  • Reply 19 of 50
    There are a lot of people who want to get the most current technology, but don't want a phone that is too large to be comfortable in their hand. My wife is one of those. She would have a 6 today except it is too large for her hand.

    To address a rather profitable market Apple needs to offer 3 sizes, returning to the 5S size, but with 6 technology. Why should customers like my wife give up the benefits of the 6, like ApplePay?
  • Reply 20 of 50
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member

    Obviously, the supply chain knows all.  /s

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