A sketchy report from Chinese website TechWeb [Google Translate] (via GforGames) claims Apple’s rumored „iPhone 6c“ could feature a colorful metal design and Touch ID, lack 3D Touch and launch in February 2016, corroborating previous rumors claiming Apple will release a new 4-inch iPhone in early 2016.
The report, citing unnamed „Foxconn insiders“ and other various sources, confirms that Apple is working on a new 4-inch iPhone with a „colorful metal body design,“ in contrast with the plastic-backed iPhone 5c, but adds that Foxconn has not received orders yet for mass production of the device.
Apple’s exact release plans for the so-called „iPhone 6c“ remain unknown, but the report speculates about a possible January unveiling of the device, and says the budget handset could be priced between $400 and $500 in the U.S. The iPhone 5c, released in 2013, started at $549 off-contract for the 16GB model.
Often-reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara said last month that Apple has developed a new 4-inch iPhone that is essentially an iPhone 5s with sixth-generation iPod touch features, including an A8 chip, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and an improved FaceTime HD camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture.
The report said the so-called „iPhone 5s Mark II,“ likely an internal name for the new 4-inch iPhone, has entered production and could be shipped at any time, and a recent research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other rumors point towards a 2016 release date.
GforGames recently cited a similarly sketchy report claiming Apple is experimenting with at least five different „iPhone 7“ models with unique hardware features, reportedly including a USB Type-C connector for headphones, wireless charging technology, multi-Force Touch, dual camera configurations and Touch ID embedded in the display.
Follow our iPhone 6c roundup to keep track of the latest news about the 4-inch iPhone.Прочетете повече
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While several reports since last December claimed that Apple was planning to release a new 4-inch „iPhone 6c“ as a low-cost option alongside the so-called „iPhone 6s“ and „iPhone 6s Plus“ later this year, Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri recently told investors that supply chain evidence of the rumored smartphone has seemingly disappeared since around March.
Arcuri, in a research note obtained by Business Insider, speculates that Apple may have delayed or dropped plans to release the „iPhone 6c“ due to concerns that the budget smartphone would cannibalize the iPhone 6, which has experienced record-breaking sales and could continue to be a hot product for Apple if given a price reduction alongside the „iPhone 6s“ and „iPhone 6s Plus“ in September.
„I think one of the reasons is because the iPhone 6 has sold so well,“ Arcuri said. „And they said, ‘Look, why would we want to cannibalize? If we came out with an iPhone 6C, we would essentially cannibalize a price-reduced iPhone 6.'“
Arcuri believed that the „iPhone 6c“ would essentially be iPhone 6 hardware shrunken down to the size of an iPhone 5s, including an all-metal unibody that would differentiate itself from the plastic iPhone 5c released in 2013. Investment banking firm Jefferies predicted in late June that a 4-inch metal „iPhone 6c“ will be released in early 2016, but that timing appears questionable.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors in April that claimed a new 4-inch iPhone was unlikely in 2015, and a few weeks later said that Apple is instead likely to release a new 4-inch iPhone with Apple Pay compatibility in 2016. Kuo said that Foxconn will be the primary manufacturer of the low-cost handset, but Apple’s product roadmap could have changed since that time.
Apple frequently tests new products and services internally that are never released, so it is entirely possible that the company never planned to make the „iPhone 6c“ available to the public. Sketchy rumors and leaked images of the purported „iPhone 6c“ shell – notably plastic – began picking up in December, but few concrete details about the rumored smartphone have surfaced since that time.