Apple to launch new metal 4-inch iPhone with A9 CPU in 2016, insider says

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2015
Next year could mark Apple's return to the popular 4-inch iPhone form factor, as one well-connected insider believes the company is preparing to mass produce an iPhone 5s upgrade boasting a powerful A9 system-on-chip, metal casing and next-generation software.




In a research note obtained by AppleInsider on Tuesday, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose predictions have in the past been accurate, said he expects Apple's upcoming 4-inch iPhone to be functionally similar to a buffed iPhone 5s, the last iPhone model to sport a 4-inch display.

Kuo says demand is still present for a smaller Apple handset, and the company plans to capitalize come next year. Mass production will likely start sometime in the first half of 2016, suggesting a potential product launch alongside next year's "iPhone 7" lineup.

Not much is known about the upgraded 4-inch unit, though Kuo said to expect a metal casing wrapped around the usual assortment of sensors, circuits and processors. As with past low-end offerings, Apple will likely include an A9 SoC, which will be a last-generation component when the handset debuts.

Unfortunately, Kuo anticipates Apple to hold back on building in force-sensing 3D Touch capabilities in an effort to differentiate the 4-incher from its flagship iPhone lineup. An enhanced version of Force Touch, 3D Touch debuted as a tentpole feature on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in September, granting users access to new UI controls like Peek and Pop previews, Quick Actions and more.

From Kuo's details, it looks like Apple might market the 4-inch iPhone as a "budget" model, meaning the target demographic does not include customers looking for the latest technology in a smaller form factor. The company's last attempt at the low end was the plastic-backed iPhone 5c.

Finally, Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, is thought to have a good chance at being the exclusive supplier of the as-yet-unnamed iPhone. Kuo forecasts 20 to 30 million unit sales in 2016.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Gee already forecasting sales on a rumored iPhone? Smh.

    I've said it before, if Apple launches "c" models mid cycle, it would cause so much disruption leaving competitors with no chance to breathe.
  • Reply 2 of 84
    "Not much is known about the upgraded 4-inch unit, though Kuo said to expect a metal casing wrapped around the usual assortment of sensors, circuits and processors. "

    Wow. This analyst must have some insider information to know details like that!
  • Reply 3 of 84
    bjojade wrote: »
    "Not much is known about the upgraded 4-inch unit, though Kuo said to expect a metal casing wrapped around the usual assortment of sensors, circuits and processors. "

    Wow. This analyst must have some insider information to know details like that!

    I predict it will also have a Lightning connector!
  • Reply 4 of 84
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bjojade View Post



    "Not much is known about the upgraded 4-inch unit, though Kuo said to expect a metal casing wrapped around the usual assortment of sensors, circuits and processors. "



    Wow. This analyst must have some insider information to know details like that!

     

    If I understand correctly, a lot of Kuo's "insider" information comes from supply chain sources, not sources from within Apple.

  • Reply 5 of 84

    iPhone 7 Mini

  • Reply 6 of 84
    cali wrote: »
    I've said it before, if Apple launches "c" models mid cycle, it would cause so much disruption leaving competitors with no chance to breathe.

    Exactly why they should! To further give the competition a nice 1-2 punch.



    You sound as if they should be worried about rather competitors have room to breath or not and if it drives prices down any before I'm eligible to trade in my current device under the terms of my installment plan I'm not complaining lol

    I'm looking at a 6S or waiting til the 7
    *Shrugs*
  • Reply 7 of 84
    Why? People need to get over the small form factor.
  • Reply 8 of 84
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,732member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post



    Why? People need to get over the small form factor.



    I use my iP6+ for pretty much everything, but I still kept (and unlocked) my old iP5.  Truth be told, I love the iP6 screen size, yet every so often I still go back to my iP5 just because the smaller form-factor is nice for certain times.  I can totally see people still wanting to stay on a 4" screen.

  • Reply 9 of 84
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    Damit, Apple! It's not the "screen size", it's the "phone size"!

    Shrink the dang case!

  • Reply 10 of 84
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    Damit, Apple! It's not the "screen size", it's the "phone size"!

    Shrink the dang case!


    who's to say they aren't or won't. Remember the iPhone 7 cycle is the cycle that will more than likely get the redesign. Shitty part is, is that you'll have to wait about a year to find out. 

  • Reply 11 of 84
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post



    No 3.5 inch model? So doomed. Steve Jobs would never allow this to happen.



    I've owned every Apple product since 1960. But lately Apple has been too concerned about profits and political issues.



    What product did Apple make in 1960 while it's found in 1976?

  • Reply 12 of 84
    Just saying, an iPhone 5s with fingerprint sensor and near field could allow it to do Apple Pay. Now that would be nice.
  • Reply 13 of 84
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

     

    iPhone 7 Mini




    I doubt it. With wrap-around metal case, it's version 6. So, maybe 6c. What will be the line up: 7+, 7, 6S+, 6S, 6+, 6 and 6c? I don't believe in this rumor. Move on.

  • Reply 14 of 84
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,768member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    Damit, Apple! It's not the "screen size", it's the "phone size"!

    Shrink the dang case!




    Patience, grasshopper, I hear they're working on fitting the 6s+ screen on the 5s form factor.  It's supposed to be like nothing anyone has ever seen before, or ever will.

  • Reply 15 of 84
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,768member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     



    What product did Apple make in 1960 while it's found in 1976?




    I was going to say Beatles LPs but that Apple (and the Beatles) weren't in existence yet either in1960.

  • Reply 16 of 84
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,331member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post



    No 3.5 inch model? So doomed. Steve Jobs would never allow this to happen.



    I've owned every Apple product since 1960. But lately Apple has been too concerned about profits and political issues.



    What product did Apple make in 1960 while it's found in 1976?




    Oh good lord - just read the name of the poster...

  • Reply 17 of 84
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    Damit, Apple! It's not the "screen size", it's the "phone size"!

    Shrink the dang case!




    Patience, grasshopper, I hear they're working on fitting the 6s+ screen on the 5s form factor.  It's supposed to be like nothing anyone has ever seen before, or ever will.




    I am very impatient. I have a $500 credit at Apple store, and I own an iPhone 4s :embarrass. I want a new iPhone so bad. But every time I go into the store and put that 6s in my hand, I just can't stand it! It's so beautiful, but it just flops around in my hand. It's really uncomfortable to use. :grumble: 

  • Reply 18 of 84
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     



    I doubt it. With wrap-around metal case, it's version 6. So, maybe 6c. What will be the line up: 7+, 7, 6S+, 6S, 6+, 6 and 6c? I don't believe in this rumor. Move on.


    How about;

     

    7+, 7, 6S+, 6S, 6C - with the latter 3 all being based on Apple's A9 SoC.

  • Reply 19 of 84
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     



    I am very impatient. I have a $500 credit at Apple store, and I own an iPhone 4s. I want a new iPhone so bad. But every time I go into the store and put that 6s in my hand, I just can't stand it! It's so beautiful, but it just flops around in my hand. It's really uncomfortable to use. :grumble:


    Put a case on it.

  • Reply 20 of 84
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member

    So, 2016 line up (subsidized):

    iPhone 7+: $299

    iPhone 7: $199

    iPhone 6S+: $199

    iPhone 6S: $99

    iPhone 6+: disconnected

    iPhone 6: Free.

    Where will be the place for 4" iPhone, let's say 6c? at $99 tier with 6S? Then the phone must be a kick-ass phone at the same level with 6S.

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