Apple's 4-inch 'iPhone 6c' set for April 2016 launch, China Mobile claims

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2015
China Mobile is apparently planning for an April 2016 launch of a new 4-inch iPhone, a product launch calendar from Apple's carrier partner has revealed.




The rumored release date for a new, smaller iPhone model apparently comes from a presentation from China Mobile, spotted by MyDrivers. According to the site, the upper right box of the chart shown onscreen mentions a new Apple handset launching in April of 2016

While the characters to the right are difficult to read, AppleInsider can confirm that the presentation slide does say "Apple" in the text in question. In addition, the column above it does mention the month of April.




However, it should be noted that in Mandarin, the word "iPhone" is typically written out in Chinese. The report was first discovered by GadgetzArena.

The original report refers to the anticipated new handset as an "iPhone 7c," but Apple typically updates its flagship handsets in the fall timeframe. It would seem unlikely that a handset branded "iPhone 7c" would debut before an "iPhone 7."

Instead, most media has referred to the rumored device as an "iPhone 6c," based on the fact that the 4-inch smartphone is expected to feature many of the same components as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series.

The so-called "iPhone 6c," has been the subject of numerous rumors in recent weeks. Specifically, Apple is believed to be working on a new, smaller 4-inch model with an A9 processor and Apple Pay support.

It's expected that a new 4-inch iPhone would be a low-end model, replacing the iPhone 5s at the $449 price range. Reports have suggested that it will lack the 3D Touch pressure sensing input of the iPhone 6s series, but will sport a metal chassis giving it a more "premium" feel than the iPhone 5c lineup.

An April 2016 launch for an "iPhone 6c" would line up with a recent report claiming Apple is planning for a March 2016 event. Specifically, it was said that Apple could debut a new 4-inch iPhone at that presentation, along with a second-generation Apple Watch.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has also pegged a new 4-inch iPhone for an early 2016 launch. He believes the handset will look largely like an iPhone 5s, though it will feature "2.5D" cover glass, slightly curved like on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.

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. While the larger 5.5-inch model will receive the RAM boost, he indicated that the 4.7-inch "iPhone 7" is unlikely to see a RAM increase, and will feature the same 2 gigabytes as the iPhone 6s.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    ronnronn Posts: 336member
    Not buying it. I think China Mobile is reporting for expectations around April and/or beyond. The supply chain can be unpredictable, but I doubt they'd be this reckless and I seriously doubt Apple would give this much heads up to a partner. And where are the leaks of parts and components?
  • Reply 2 of 15
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    What a strange story.

    Why would a China Mobile representative officially reveal iPhone 6c out in the open like this?
  • Reply 3 of 15
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    ronn said:
    Not buying it. I think China Mobile is reporting for expectations around April and/or beyond. The supply chain can be unpredictable, but I doubt they'd be this reckless and I seriously doubt Apple would give this much heads up to a partner. And where are the leaks of parts and components?
    Any partner only predicts what's coming based on analysis and rumors. I take this as grain of salt. I remember back in the day during 4S release, a carrier in China even post the price of iPhone 4S with 2 sizws 3.5" and 4". They even said it's 99% certain. 
    If this bs rumor is true, this is pretty much a rebadge 5S, meaning parts are already there.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    cali said:
    What a strange story.

    Why would a China Mobile representative officially reveal iPhone 6c out in the open like this?
    Maybe the same reason some one in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management hired an unvetted Chinese firm (who hired PRC Chinese freelancers...) to operate their security clearance software? People are silly sometimes, so a guy got carried away making a "complete" in-house PowerPoint and it got leaked. Can we say Snowden and the NSA PowerPoints?
  • Reply 5 of 15
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    fallenjt said:
    If this bs rumor is true, this is pretty much a rebadge 5S, meaning parts are already there.
    Why would you say that? I'm expecting a 4" phone that looks essentially like the 6. Further, when Apple made the decision to go with only a 4.7" and 5.5" phone, I believe they had already designed and built 4.4" prototypes before making their decisions -- In essence the 4" 6 was already designed. So they've had over 18 months to update it for a Spring release.

    Continuing to make the 5S for another 3 years makes little sense.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    mac_128 said:
    fallenjt said:
    If this bs rumor is true, this is pretty much a rebadge 5S, meaning parts are already there.
    Why would you say that? I'm expecting a 4" phone that looks essentially like the 6. Further, when Apple made the decision to go with only a 4.7" and 5.5" phone, I believe they had already designed and built 4.4" prototypes before making their decisions -- In essence the 4" 6 was already designed. So they've had over 18 months to update it for a Spring release.

    Continuing to make the 5S for another 3 years makes little sense.
    On your first point... I agree entirely, although I'm curious if it will be a smidge thicker to provide necessary battery life (significant battery space loss shrinking from 4.7 to 4).
    They may be able to avoid that if they get power efficiency  improvements in newer chip revisions.

    On your second point... you need to look at the classic phone market... carriers, and their requirements to commit to selling a SKU.
     
    My guess is they will continue to make the 5s for less than 2 years (to fulfill any long term contracts for replacement units to large carriers/corporations that were created >2 years ago for the 5 and 5s).  

    When you're a carrier and selling millions of 5 and 5ses, you don't want to buy your future inventory, but instead buy 'futures' to require your hardware supplier to have them on hand when your depot supply runs low (If I figure my burn rate is 20,000 +/-10,000 a month, I'll rig it to buy between 0 and 40,000 a month for the next 2 years at fixed at today's wholesale prices).   

    Whatever Apple doesn't sell to these large customers, it can put on it's e-retail 'floor' (and/or eBay, etc), or unsubsidized in markets like India, but having a SKU on the books is required to show proof of support.  And it can shut down the line (and it's likely just one factory if not literally one production line), when it's got a couple months inventory on the FedEx Dock. only Foxconn's workers are the worse for it ("Call you next week if we have more orders")
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 7 of 15


    ... Reports have suggested that it will lack the 3D Touch pressure sensing input of the iPhone 6s series, but will sport a metal chassis giving it a more "premium" feel than the iPhone 5c ...
    Apple doesn't need an iPhone 5c with a more "premium" feel, they need an iPhone 6c that's cheaper.  

    Revisiting the mistakes of the iPhone 5c and believing that giving it a more "premium" body will fix those mistakes is nonsense.  The people in India (and anywhere there are poor and working class people), aren't interested in the 5 series of iPhones because of their 4" screens, like most folks, they are interested because they are the only ones they can afford.  

    For Apple to make any inroads against Android in the third world and other price conscious markets, it needs to make an inexpensive model, not a small model with a "premium feel."  That segment of the market doesn't give a shit about "feel" or they wouldn't be buying Android, would they?  
    edited December 2015 canukstorm
  • Reply 8 of 15
    The 6c, if it's real, would be the old form factor but in a smaller aluminum case I'm guessing?? No pressure touch is a bummer, that makes sense because it lower priced. On the software side, I hope they add a number row, I hate the 3rd party solutions, also please let us close all apps at once. 
  • Reply 9 of 15
    ronnronn Posts: 336member
    Prof_Peabody said: "For Apple to make any inroads against Android in the third world and other price conscious markets, it needs to make an inexpensive model, not a small model with a "premium feel."  That segment of the market doesn't give a shit about "feel" or they wouldn't be buying Android, would they?"

    Except Apple doesn't give a shit about making an inexpensive model -- too many compromises and too close to Android/junk (I know, same difference!). They want those high margins and will cater to those that can afford iPhones at premium prices, but don't want larger phones. I believe there is a large segment of holdouts that would gladly jump at the chance to get an updated 4" iPhone.

    Edited to fix formatting and for clarity.
    edited December 2015 nolamacguy
  • Reply 10 of 15
    ronn said:
    ...
    Except Apple doesn't give a shit about making an inexpensive model -- too many compromises and too close to Android/junk (I know, same difference!). They want those high margins and will cater to those that can afford iPhones at premium prices, but don't want larger phones. I believe there is a large segment of holdouts that would gladly jump at the chance to get an updated 4" iPhone.
    Thanks, that is pretty much what I was thinking. I would even prefer an iPod touch with data like the iPad rather than the legacy technology of cellular voice and text. (I am also not a fan of fax and analog TV). But if it is to be an iPhone, I have little interest in a device larger and clumsier than my iPod touch. I have larger screen Apple devices: iPad, iMac, and Apple TV. Price is not the issue, but size is. I have no issue with others who prefer a larger size but I have waited for current technology in the 'right' size. I suspect that many others have also been waiting.
    highacidityronn
  • Reply 11 of 15
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,026member
    If Apple wants to continue with smaller 4" iphone than Apple has no choice other than replace 5S with 6C. Major missing functionalities in smaller iphone are ApplePay, VOLTE,VOWiFi and nice to have better camera,2GB RAM.etc.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    ronn said:

    Except Apple doesn't give a shit about making an inexpensive model -- too many compromises and too close to Android/junk (I know, same difference!). They want those high margins and will cater to those that can afford iPhones at premium prices, but don't want larger phones. I believe there is a large segment of holdouts that would gladly jump at the chance to get an updated 4" iPhone.
    Apple IS going to make inroads against Android with the iPhone 6 next year as the "free" on-contract/entry level phone. That will be the final nail in the coffin for Android, well at least as the dominant alternative to IOS. Finally the cheap Android customers who prefer bigger phones and can't afford Apple will be able to jump ship, like the more well-heeled among them. That's why the 6 Plus is being sold for the exact same price as the 6S and potentially cannibalizing sales. It's expanding Apple's customer base year by year. 

    That's why the 4" phone is likely going to be a mid-tier phone priced between the 6S & 6S Plus when the 7 comes out (priced below the 6S initially), to hedge their bets and get the higher end customers who want a small current phone, as well as the more budget conscious who want a smaller phone. That way Apple sells as many 4" phones as possible, not knowing exactly how big the premium 4" market would be yet. Then I predict if sales data shows a strong desire for a 4" phone, the 4" 7 will debut mid-cycle again, and then Apple will have three sizes to depreciate every year, covering every customer -- unless they discover very few customers actually want a 4" phone at any price, but I doubt it.
    badmonk
  • Reply 13 of 15
    iPhone is usually written out in Chinese? And what characters would those be? I call BS. I've never seen "iPhone" rendered into Chinese. 
  • Reply 14 of 15


    ... Reports have suggested that it will lack the 3D Touch pressure sensing input of the iPhone 6s series, but will sport a metal chassis giving it a more "premium" feel than the iPhone 5c ...
    Apple doesn't need an iPhone 5c with a more "premium" feel, they need an iPhone 6c that's cheaper.  
    Revisiting the mistakes of the iPhone 5c and believing that giving it a more "premium" body will fix those mistakes is nonsense.  The people in India (and anywhere there are poor and working class people), aren't interested in the 5 series of iPhones because of their 4" screens, like most folks, they are interested because they are the only ones they can afford.  

    For Apple to make any inroads against Android in the third world and other price conscious markets, it needs to make an inexpensive model, not a small model with a "premium feel."  That segment of the market doesn't give a shit about "feel" or they wouldn't be buying Android, would they?  
    what iPhone 5c mistakes? it was a massive success and the second or third top selling handset in US carrier stores. it wasn't a mistake. 

    it just wasn't the cheap iPhone you wanted it to be, nor will it. Apple doesn't worship at the Church of Marketshare. profit is what drives their business. 
    edited December 2015 chiaronn
  • Reply 15 of 15
    " ...working on a new, smaller 4-inch model with an A9 processor and Apple Pay support.

    It's expected that a new 4-inch iPhone would be a low-end model, replacing the iPhone 5s at the $449 price range. Reports have suggested that it will lack the 3D Touch pressure sensing input of the iPhone 6s series, but will sport a metal chassis giving it a more "premium" feel than the iPhone 5c lineup."

    For another $200 price increase; Apple could have offer a flagship phone!  This is completely dumb idea of downgrade the 6C to a 1 year old technology(6S) component going on to 2 year old technology (6)phone components with 3 year old technology(5S) - camera, screen resolution for a $200 decrease.   It a mixture of all 3 of them in the 6C.  The only 6S component inside will be the A9.  

    I am on the fence on this; since it a completely a "no bargain" price package iPhone; other then the iPhone size.  April 2016 (6C) and September 2016 (7) with the next generation technology - so that would make it a 1-4 years old technology after the iPhone 7 is released! Hopefully, there will be 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM and the storage will start at 16GB for this price at least!  If not; it a sucker's buy!  Apple got to give you one or two items in the phone to be of value!

    In summary; I am on the fence with this purchase since I love to have a more full feature modern 4" iPhone but realized it a crappy value price offer!   
    edited December 2015
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