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.
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.
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.
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?