Apple could eschew plastic back for new metal case with 'iPhone 6c,' rumor says

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2015
The next iteration of Apple's lower-cost iPhone "C" series might do away with the colorful polycarbonate shell it's currently known for in favor of a more robust metal case similar to the iPhone 6, according to a recent analyst report.


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


The so-called "iPhone 6c" would retain the 4-inch display while moving to an "Apple style" metal casing, Jeffries analyst Ange Wu wrote in a note to investors cited by Barron's. Foxconn is unsurprisingly pegged as the rumored device's assembler, but may also snag orders to manufacture the casing itself, the report says.

"Although iPhone6C [sic] is designed as an extended version, it still uses metal casing based on Apple style," Wu claims.

When it was introduced alongside the iPhone 5s, the 5c was marketed as "unapologetically plastic" and its industrial design was generally well-received by industry observers. It has not been updated since its unveiling, save for the addition of an 8-gigabyte model and the discontinuation of 16- and 32-gigabyte versions in 2014.

Apple is widely expected to refresh its lowest-end device this fall, though there is much debate as to what exactly that will entail.

Some believe that Apple will bring Touch ID and Apple Pay to the rest of its lineup, but others argue that they are unlikely to trickle down to the "6c" due primarily to that device's market positioning. Apple watchers are also split on the fate of the 4-inch form factor, with some suggesting that Apple may choose to end production of the smaller screens in order to tighten up the product line and reduce the burden on developers.

Notably, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo --?generally well-connected in Apple's supply chain --?believes that a 5c refresh may in fact wait until 2016. He expects the iPhone 5s to take the 5c's place as Apple's low-end offering until the "iPhone 7" generation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Related to Shaw Wu?
  • Reply 2 of 47
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,543member
    Awesome. Not everyone care to use larger screen iphones(or android phones). Phone's main purpose in life is for helping with much as possible clear call/talk. So, Apple better to include VOLTE, VO-WiFi features in 6C and off-course others like ApplePay, force touch, bla,bla features are good to have. But, supporting most possible clear VOICE is the main purpose for a phone's existence. And we know iphone 5/5S is missing such important features. Besides supporting VOLTE on their own network , all four carriers are working to support carrier-to-carrier VOLTE calls in 2015. So, why bother to upgrade to any future phone if it does not have such HD VOICE(VOLTE) feature.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 720member
    Just revert back to the metal shell of the iPhone 5 that the 5c is based on. Simple. Elegant.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Thats your opinion.  An opinion the majority dont agree with.

     

    I'm okay with the new mid-tier phone being metal as long as the screen is 4 inches.




    It is not just opinion. Observing at demographics, across world population and their use, you will know. Even most populated places in the world people use phone for talk than come text and photo/video, social media, streaming(long as it does not cost much data), etc.  And those people don't care higher end phones. iphone 6C with good voice capability is just fine.

  • Reply 5 of 47
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    If Apple wants to avoid the iPhone lineup and skus getting muddied, they need to completely discontinue the 6 and 6 Plus upon the release of the 6s and 6s Plus (or whatever they call them).

    At the same time, they need to refresh the $99 offering. I feel that moving today's iPhone 6 to that spot would be a mistake. They need a 4" device at $99. Right now, its very neat and clean with the iPhone 5s still able to command that spot.

    Come this season though, the $99 spot needs a bump just like everything else. Personally, I believe it should be a refreshed 4" device. What this article describes, a brand new metal shell for a 4" iPhone with the internal specs equivalent to an iPhone 6.
  • Reply 6 of 47
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  • Reply 7 of 47
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post



    If Apple wants to avoid the iPhone lineup and skus getting muddied, they need to completely discontinue the 6 and 6 Plus upon the release of the 6s and 6s Plus (or whatever they call them).



    At the same time, they need to refresh the $99 offering. I feel that moving today's iPhone 6 to that spot would be a mistake. They need a 4" device at $99. Right now, its very neat and clean with the iPhone 5s still able to command that spot.



    Come this season though, the $99 spot needs a bump just like everything else. Personally, I believe it should be a refreshed 4" device. What this article describes, a brand new metal shell for a 4" iPhone with the internal specs equivalent to an iPhone 6.



    You spoke the words of many.  Apple needs to release such device in 2015 and not 2016 and at lower price point.  I would say take iphone 6 internals and put in 4" screen casings and you got refreshed lower end iphone and let iphone 6S/Plus have extra goodies like force touch, A9 processor, 2GB RAM etc.

  • Reply 8 of 47
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    I'll take a plastic 6 over the current version. Would definitely look better to my eyes. And definitely take a metal 4" 6c
  • Reply 9 of 47
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Agree with most of your points.  For sure the 6/6+ is gone.

     

    6S+ - $750

    6S - $650

     

    6C - basically a smaller version of the 6.  Metal, 4 inch screen, A8. - $550

    5S - $450

     

    Only thing I'm not sure if they can fit all the internals of the 6 in a skinny frame 4 inch phone.




    Let go 5S from the list.  It's time to say goodbuy to iphone 5/5S because doesn't have VOLTE, VO-WiFi and Apple Pay.

  • Reply 10 of 47
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    pmz wrote: »
    If Apple wants to avoid the iPhone lineup and skus getting muddied, they need to completely discontinue the 6 and 6 Plus upon the release of the 6s and 6s Plus (or whatever they call them).

    At the same time, they need to refresh the $99 offering. I feel that moving today's iPhone 6 to that spot would be a mistake. They need a 4" device at $99. Right now, its very neat and clean with the iPhone 5s still able to command that spot.

    Come this season though, the $99 spot needs a bump just like everything else. Personally, I believe it should be a refreshed 4" device. What this article describes, a brand new metal shell for a 4" iPhone with the internal specs equivalent to an iPhone 6.

    I'll be curious to see what Apple does this fall. If they keep the 6 and 6 Plus but drop the price $100 and then add 6S and 6S Plus, plus a new low end model that will be a messy lineup IMO. I would argue get rid of the 6 Plus and 5S and just drop the 6 into the $99 tier and then create something new at the $0 tier that replaces the 5C.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    jameskatt2 wrote: »
    Just revert back to the metal shell of the iPhone 5 that the 5c is based on. Simple. Elegant.
    Interesting. I hadn't thought of that. While it's been clear to me from the beginning that the 5S was likely engineered to be transplanted into the 5C case, as per the plan, redesigning the 6 series to fit into the 5S case hadn't occurred to me. Mainly because if Apple has to reengineer the 6 into a 4" form factor, then they might as well redesign the case as well, since it will need to last at least 3 years, based on their previous pattern, and the 5S design would get a bit long in the tooth by then.

    My pet theory is that they designed the 4" 6 at the same time they designed the rest, prototyped and tested it when they were deciding what direction to go. Now that the 5S is freeing up a metal case plant, they can simply feed in the new design parameters and crank out the new phone. And the factory manufacturing and assembling the 5S can simply switch to the 4" 6. The problem comes when the 4" 6 moves down to the free phone, in order to fill mid-tier metal offering Apple will need another metal plant. However if this has been the plan since they introduced the 5c they've had a good long while to capitalize a new plant to fill that hole. When you consider Apple just added a 5th metal MacBook to their product line rather than replacing one of the others, they may well be in the position now to do this economically.

    Based on 4" 6 sales, Apple can forecast how many of the 4" 7 to build or even if it's worth building. Then Apple introduces three sizes of the 7, drops the 6s down to the mid-tier and the 4" 6 down to the free phone. Then Apple has a 4" to travel down to the free phone every upgrade cycle, giving it a two year refresh, when three sizes of the 8 are introduced.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    apple always has 3 tiers of iPhones.

     

    what would be the bottom tier if not 5S?




    Right 3-tiers. iphone 6S/Plus, 6/Plus, 6C. Let Apple industrial/marketing team genius figure out pricing.

  • Reply 13 of 47
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    apple always has 3 tiers of iPhones.

    what would be the bottom tier if not 5S?

    Where are you getting 3 tiers? Apple has 4 now.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    wood1208 wrote: »

    Right 3-tiers. iphone 6S/Plus, 6/Plus, 6C. Let Apple industrial/marketing team genius figure out pricing.

    Not 3, 4. And if they keep the 6 and 6 Plus around now we get 5. That's why I say keep it at 4 and have the mid tier phone only be the 4.7" model.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    6/6+ are the same tier (top end)

    I'm going based on price. There are 4 different price points right now. I don't think Apple should deviate from that. And having last years 6 Plus at the same price points as this years 6S would be confusing. So only keep one model at the mid tier and one at the low end.
  • Reply 16 of 47

    Yep, I use my iPhone just like everyone else.....But.....My pockets must be smaller and my hands of poor grip, because I find larger phones poor in usability and more likely to be dropped (esp. the iPhone 6 models).  Yes big screens are great, but not for carrying.  I don't need a ghetto blaster of a phone, just a practical one 

  • Reply 17 of 47
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    wood1208 wrote: »

    Right 3-tiers. iphone 6S/Plus, 6/Plus, 6C. Let Apple industrial/marketing team genius figure out pricing.
    I cannot see Apple offering a 6 Plus at the mid-tier. Just like Samsung, if you want a giant phone, you pay top dollar for it, especially since it will likely always offer all of the latest features. I'm not even sure they will offer the 6 at the mid-tier at this juncture. I see them distinguishing the price points by screen size and case design. If you want a 4.7" screen that will be the top dollar 6S. With four models separated by $100 each, there's not a lot of room to introduce two mid-tier models, much less three to include a 4" 6.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Not going to happen.  Apple has already showed its hand with the 5S rollout.

     

    No way on earth will they sell the 6 for $99.  That will do massive canibalization of the 6S.

     

    Top end - 6S/Plus

    Mid - 6C - 4 inch metal phone, 4 inch screen

    Bottom - 5S

     

    end of story.

     

    If you think Apple will do something different you have not been paying attention the last 3 years




    How about on 2 year equivalent contract ...

    6S/6s Plus - $199-$299

    6/6 Plus - $149-199

    6C - $49-$99

    5S - $0 or let go

  • Reply 19 of 47
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I'm going based on price. There are 4 different price points right now. I don't think Apple should deviate from that. And having last years 6 Plus at the same price points as this years 6S would be confusing. So only keep one model at the mid tier and one at the low end.
    Surprisingly I agree with you 100%. Apple has four distinct subsidized price points on which the phones are marketed -- $0, $99, $199, and $299. Simple elegant, and easy for the consumer to grasp. They know what tier they are in before adding on features from there.

    I'm not entirely sure how they will handle the subsidized $99 price point, as I see Apple using screen size as a price differentiator, but otherwise you are spot on.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    wood1208 wrote: »
    Awesome. Not everyone care to use larger screen iphones(or android phones). Phone's main purpose in life is for helping with much as possible clear call/talk.
    there're bunch of those available now called ...feature phones.
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