Rumor: Apple to launch three iPhone models in 2015 including new 4" handset

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2015
The latest scuttlebutt out of East Asia claims Apple has plans to release a total of three new iPhone models during its annual refresh cycle in the second half of the year, one of which will incorporate a 4-inch display.


Apple's 4-inch iPhone 5s (left) and iPhone 5c were the last models to sport 4-inch displays.


According to hit-or-miss publication DigiTimes reports Apple's 2015 iPhone lineup will consist of the usual "S" designation, which brings evolutionary changes like processor speed bumps, alongside a brand new "C" class.

Industry sources are reportedly referring to Apple's supposed next-generation 4-inch device as the "iPhone 6C," a take on the low-end, polycarbonate-bodied iPhone 5c that debuted in 2013. As an entry-level product, the 6C is rumored to run on current generation A8 system-on-chip silicon, while the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones will run an unannounced A9 chip.

All models will get NFC, Touch ID fingerprint recognition and Gorilla Glass-covered low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) panels like those seen in the current iPhone 6 series, the report said. Apple partner suppliers Japan Display and LG will provide stock for iPhone 6, iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 6C, while Sharp is said to help out with iPhone 6S Plus.

Finally, the publication said Wistron is expected to manufacture the iPhone 6C, while Foxconn and Pegatron handle high-volume 6S assembly.

Rumors that Apple would return to the 4-inch form factor first surfaced in December, when analyst Timothy Arcuri said the device may come with purpose-built components to alleviate manufacturing costs.

Although Apple's big-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were extremely successful, helping move 74.5 million iPhones over the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, some longtime users were put off by the move to larger display sizes. Even as a "budget" model, a next-generation 4-inch iPhone could satisfy customers who want the latest hardware, but not at the cost of device size.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 146
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,427member
    As long as it's not plastic.
  • Reply 2 of 146
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    Cue - "Apple can't innovate" shrieks and wails

    But yea, I agree. Not in teh plastic.
  • Reply 3 of 146

    We had two 5Cs for a year, and while the camera was not good at all, the plastic back held very well against everyday use. We did not put protective cases on - scratches were quite indistinguishable, comparing to the black anodized aluminum of the 5, especially with the sharp chamfered edges. However, the glossy plastic was extremely slippery - it might have been not a bad idea for a matte finish, Jony... ;)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cornchip View Post



    As long as it's not plastic.

  • Reply 4 of 146
    copelandcopeland Posts: 298member

    I always bought the newest iPhone and didn't mind to pay the price Apple was asking for it.

    But with the 'big screens only' choice Apple caught me on the left foot.

     

    I applause that Apple will bring back the 4'' Phone with newer technology but I hate that

    they give that treatment only to last years phone.

  • Reply 5 of 146
    BMW should stop selling the 3-series as it has been replaced by the larger 5- and humongous 7-series. /s
  • Reply 6 of 146
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I used to buy a new iPhone every year. I skipped the iPhone 6 because it is too big. I very much want Apple Pay, but I'm not willing to accept a phone bigger than my iPhone 5s. I prefer the size of the 4s, but the 5s is tolerable.
  • Reply 7 of 146
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,157member
    I hope they give the 4" the same specs as the new 6s version. Why should the 4" be stuck with last years specs.
  • Reply 8 of 146
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,195member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by saarek View Post



    I hope they give the 4" the same specs as the new 6s version. Why should the 4" be stuck with last years specs.

     

    Because the latest, greatest components are often supply constrained, and it would make no sense for Apple to allocate them to a phone that will in all likelihood sell much less than the others. I'm sure people who prefer a 4" phone exist, but I haven't met a single one in the real world. 

  • Reply 9 of 146
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    One word: "taptic."

  • Reply 10 of 146
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    Why not make it 3.5 inches? The iPhone 4s is a great size; imagine it sleeker with updated circuitry. Being the only phone maker with a high end compact device would help distinguish the lineup from the bevy of big screen barges. It could be the start of a revolution.
  • Reply 11 of 146
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    saarek wrote: »
    I hope they give the 4" the same specs as the new 6s version. Why should the 4" be stuck with last years specs.
    Because it's lower tier and probably a 5S rebadged with NFC and A8 chips. That's it. I personally don't believe there'll be one but if it's true, it's just a 5S rebadge.
    I wonder how Apple will price it? $99 subsidized? No way, it'll be the 6 price. $49? Unlikely. $0 and discontinue 5S, no way.
  • Reply 12 of 146
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post



    Why not make it 3.5 inches? The iPhone 4s is a great size; imagine it sleeker with updated circuitry. Being the only phone maker with a high end compact device would help distinguish the lineup from the bevy of big screen barges. It could be the start of a revolution.



    I agree. The 3.5 inch phone has much better proportions. The 4 inch phone looks stretched in comparison.

     

    Oh, and Apple should call it the "iPhone mini". "Six C" sounds horrible.

  • Reply 13 of 146
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    mr o wrote: »

    I agree. The 3.5 inch phone has much better proportions. The 4 inch phone looks stretched in comparison.

    Oh, and Apple should call it the "iPhone mini". "Six C" sounds horrible.
    Apple should call? Lol
  • Reply 14 of 146
    Really hope this "smaller" rumour is true, irrespective of build quality.

    The iPhone 6 stopped me upgrading as they are too big. Apple should not be following the industry fashion towards bigger phones but making smaller ones that are more usable. They have the background to do something groundbreaking.

    I hope one day an Apple timepiece will be my phone, bigger iPhones only delay progress.

    A 2 inch iPhone would actually be pretty cool.
  • Reply 15 of 146
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    mr o wrote: »

    I agree. The 3.5 inch phone has much better proportions. The 4 inch phone looks stretched in comparison.

    Oh, and Apple should call it the "iPhone mini". "Six C" sounds horrible.
    The 4 inch iPhone is an abomination. It was a haphazard response to the large screen phenomenon while attempting to maintain one-handed dexterity. The answer was not to split the baby, but to create an entirely new class of device as Apple finally did with iPhone 6. While these newer phones are indeed solid choices, they in no way diminish the viability of the original 3.5 inch model. If Apple were to truly think different, this is the path they would choose.
  • Reply 16 of 146
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,071member

    A faster iPod touch would be welcome after 3 years, an A7 chip at least.

  • Reply 17 of 146
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    "Apple has always had the discipline to make the bold decision to walk away. We walked away from the floppy disk when that was popular with many users. Instead of doing things in the more traditional way of diversifying and minimizing risk, we took out the optical drive, which some people loved. We changed our connector, even though many people loved the 30-pin connector. Some of these things were not popular for quite a while. But you have to be willing to lose sight of the shore and go. We still do that" said Tim Cooks.

    Based on that I don't see Apple have any problem to leave 4" in the past.
  • Reply 18 of 146
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post





    Apple should call? Lol



    iPhone mini

    iPhone

    iPhone +

     

    sounds better than



    iPhone 6C

    iPhone 6S

    iPhone 6S +

  • Reply 19 of 146
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post



    "Apple has always had the discipline to make the bold decision to walk away. We walked away from the floppy disk when that was popular with many users. Instead of doing things in the more traditional way of diversifying and minimizing risk, we took out the optical drive, which some people loved. We changed our connector, even though many people loved the 30-pin connector. Some of these things were not popular for quite a while. But you have to be willing to lose sight of the shore and go. We still do that" said Tim Cooks.



    Based on that I don't see Apple have any problem to leave 4" in the past.



    This could work both ways. "Continuity" makes the 3.5 inch iPhone a sensible product: leave the phone in the bag and use your ? watch, iPad, Macbook ...

  • Reply 20 of 146
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,984member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mr O View Post

     



    I agree. The 3.5 inch phone has much better proportions. The 4 inch phone looks stretched in comparison.

     

    Oh, and Apple should call it the "iPhone mini". "Six C" sounds horrible.


    16:9 is what you are going to get, and today that means 4 inch, and you are going to like it!

     

    Indeed, the 4S is a classic design, but times change, and the 4 inch screen is the (current) practical format for video media viewing. Maybe a 3.5 inch screen in the 16:9 format for the candy bar look, and skip the 4 inch display? That would be a very svelte answer to a "mini" iPhone.

     

    Give it the same design cues as the current design, premium performance and Apple Pay and that would be what I would prefer from Apple.

     

    But I bought a 6 Plus anyway.

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