4-inch iPhone refresh rumored to include A9 chip, iPhone 5s-style looks, Touch ID but no 3D Touch

By , Nov 4, 2015

iPhone 6c concept 3D Future 006

In addition to calling for an iPhone 7 with three gigabytes of RAM, the mostly reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in a note issued to clients Tuesday evening, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, that the company is working on a major refresh for its four-inch iPhone.

“Resembling an upgraded iPhone 5s,” Kuo says the refreshed device will run Apple’s A9 processor that powers the iPhone 6s and be released in the first half of next year, which would mark the first time an iPhone launched outside of its autumn (in the past: summer) schedule.

Why 4-inch iPhone?

As per Kuo:

As there is still demand for a 4-inch iPhone, we believe Apple will upgrade this product line. Because the iPhone 5s is more popular than the iPhone 5c, we think Apple is likely to launch an upgraded iPhone 5s.

The inclusion of the speedy A9 chip means the new device will run both the current iOS 9 or next-generation iOS 10 smoothly. TSMC should be the exclusive provider of the A9 chips to be used in that phone.

No 3D Touch

As for 3D Touch, the analyst isn’t keeping his fingers crossed for that feature because he thinks Apple will want to keep 3D Touch as a differentiating factor that sets the iPhone 6s apart from all other iPhone models.

Availability

Should all go as planned, Kuo writes, Apple should launch the refreshed four-inch iPhone in the first half of 2016. All told, Apple could ship between 20 million and 30 million units of the new device by the end of 2016. Foxconn should be the sole manufacturer of the new 4-inch iPhone, the note predicts.

Design

The actual design of the device couldn’t be deciphered from Kuo’s report because it’s short on detail regarding the looks of the device other than reiterating that Apple will move away from the unapologetically plastic enclosure of the current iPhone 5c to adopt an iPhone 6-style all-metal enclosure.

iPhone 7

In addition to the claimed four-inch iPhone refresh, Kuo also said that an ‘iPhone 7’ should launch around the third quarter of next year, carrying Apple’s upgraded ‘A10’ chip built exclusively by TSMC.

He predicted that the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 will come outfitted with 3GB of RAM versus 2GB of RAM inside its 4.7-inch brethren, another attempt at differentiating between flagship iPhones in terms of RAM.

What’s your position on four-inch iPhones? Are four-inch smartphones a thing of the past or should Apple continue offering iPhones in three sizes for the time being?

iPhone 6c concept top of post by 3DFuture.net.

Source: AppleInsider

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  • filter351

    Yes, I believe that Apple should keep a 4 inch option. My teenager wouldn’t be able to fit anything bigger in their pockets. Also my wife keeps her iPhone in her purse and uses her Apple Watch for most tasks, so she has no use for a bigger phone. On the other hand, I love my 5.5 inch screen.

  • Not this rumor again.

  • Milo Venables

    iPhone 6C

    • I doubt it will be running iOS 8

      • rockdude094

        There is no difference

      • The bug fixes are quite a difference by itself.

      • Notice the “Passbook” icon. It’s called “Wallet” now…

        Also Newsstand is gone in iOS 9…

        There are other subtle differences and extra features too.

  • DOOManiac

    I just upgraded from a 5s to a 6s, and I love everything except the screen. It’s just too big in my opinion. Would have much preferred a 4-inch option w/ all the same internals. I would happily give up 3D Touch to make that happen…

    • Iliyan

      Agree. I don’t think 4.0″ is the perfect size (more like 4.3″ or 4.5″), but shrinking the side bezels would help a lot. I also recently upgraded from 5 to 6S, and I gotta say reaching some UI controls with that right thumb is hard and sometimes frustrating. The curved shape of the phone doesn’t help either, and I think it’s only a matter of time that my phone will slip out of my hand and land on a concrete floor…

  • iPhoneWINS

    WILL NOT HAPPEN

  • Josue Feliciano

    Going back to a 4″ phone is way better in theory than in practice. I had to use a 5 while my phone was being repaired, and I the screen felt way too cramped to anything. It’s a tough thing to go back to once you’re used to having that screen size.

    • Buck

      Totally depends on what you use your phone for.

      Those of us that love the 4″ size find literally everything else physically cumbersome to tote around.

      • Josue Feliciano

        Fair enough, I shouldn’t globalize my experience to speak for everyone.

      • Buck

        Goes both ways – I know loads people love the bigger screens too. Just wish they’d make 3 sizes so we can all get something that works the best for us.

  • NotTodayThx

    made by modern day slaves, if you think otherwise you could do with listening to the song I’ve quoted.

    “i hate to break it to you, but your life is being played with, You CANNOT witness the world if you are stuck in the Matrix, open your eyes, open your mind and Fly” (Hopsin)

  • Buck

    Absolute DAY ONE purchase for me if it happens.
    I hate the size of the 6/6s. Simply hate it.

    Will give up 3D Touch with out even thinking about it. Totally useless gimmick.

  • Buck

    I would also love it if it’s got a colored plastic shell like the iPhone 5C.

    I *loved* how the 5C felt in hand personally.

  • AwkwardApple

    If Apple is going after the lower end market they need to make a dual sim model.

    • I doubt that they really want to be in the market, If they did they’d be there.

      • AwkwardApple

        A four inch display phone is definite lower end. Dual sim would attract India & Asia high end buyers.

      • What? A four inch display phone is not a definite lower end. Companies have luxury phones with even smaller screens and some are not even smartphones (some don’t even have touchscreen). An iPhone practically sells it self if they want dual sim Apple doesn’t mind them buying two phones lol

  • Eliijah Moss

    I think he meant that the 4 inch model won’t receive. It wouldn’t be a wise decision for Apple to just get ride of something that was presumably the selling point of the new iPhones. I could be wrong though.