Prominent leaker claims iPhone 6C release next month as others predict 2016

iPhone lineup 21

While there’s little question that Apple will release an iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus next month, analysts and supply chain rumors have been all over the map as to when Apple will introduce a so-called iPhone 6C. Prominent leaker Evan Blass chimed in today with a tweet countering the general consensus, writing: “Sounds like iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and 6c will all arrive concurrently.” Given Blass’s track record of accurately revealing details of unreleased smartphones under the @evleaks Twitter account, it’s worth considering that Apple could indeed release a new iPhone 6C alongside the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus at next month’s expected event.

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Few people doubt that an updated iPhone 5c will eventually appear under the iPhone 6C moniker. The question has mostly been timing, namely when Apple would update the 4-inch form factor given its desire to sell 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch phones. Many predictions have pointed toward sometime next year.

This cycle could make sense, though. The plastic, colorful iPhone 5c is based on the hardware of the 2012 iPhone 5. In the United States and most major markets, Apple dropped the iPhone 4S with the iPhone 6 cycle. It would presumably be the iPhone 5’s turn to retire if it was still in the lineup this year, and the iPhone 5c is essentially the same phone.

But what would an iPhone 6C have to offer? When the iPhone 5s was introduced in 2013, the iPhone 5c was in part a way to physically differentiate the similar-looking iPhone 5 from the more powerful iPhone 5s while keeping the same specs in the lineup.

That’s not exactly a problem with the iPhone 5s and any iPhone 6-class phone, as their screen sizes and form factors are very different. However, the iPhone 6C could certainly be an opportunity to pair Touch ID, Apple Pay, and iPod touch 6th-gen-level hardware (the same A8 chip found in the iPhone 6) with a 4-inch screen. It would also let Apple continue to offer a wider range of colors in its entry-level model, which could be lost to gray, silver, and gold if the iPhone 5s was left untouched. Whether Apple chooses another plastic enclosure or an iPod touch-like metal, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an inexpensive iPhone show up in the same tones of pink and blue introduced with the new iPods.

The mix of analyst predictions and supply chain leaks have pointed toward an iPhone 6C materializing at some point, whether it’s this year with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus or next year in an off-cycle refresh. Rumors of Apple releasing an iPhone model off-cycle from another major model have existed in the past — including reports that the iPhone 6 Plus was expected to come after the iPhone 6 — but so far Apple has only launched refreshed iPhone hardware at a single event each year. Perhaps that pattern will continue and we will see a new iPhone 6C next month after all.

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  1. vecter304 - 7 years ago

    To me, I think apple will discontinue iphone 6 and 6plus with iphone 6c which has same spec as iphone 6. This will prevent from customer confused between iphone 6 and 6s, making 6s more popular. Also, by using a 4 inch form factor, it will target those people who wants 4 inch phone instead of gigantic 4.7 inch.

    • luckydcxx - 7 years ago

      This is sarcastic right?

    • PMZanetti - 7 years ago

      Exactly. The new lineup going forward is:

      $99: 6c – 4″ A8 (plastic with colors from new iPod lineup)
      $199: 6s – 4.7″ A9
      $299: 6s Plus – 5.5″ A9

      • I got the point, but these prices are very misleading, because almost every provider is eliminating contracts.

        I also disagree that 6 and 6+ will disappear from their lineup. We have never seen that in the history of iPhone releases.

      • Matt Russell - 7 years ago

        No Nasty Child is wrong, the iPhone 5 was discontinued when the 5S/5C was announced, so it’s entirely possible that the 6/6+ get discontinued.

      • @ Matt Rusell. You are correct, however the 4S was still available at the time the 5S/5C were announced. What I am saying is that Apple is making huge profits on older models, so I don’t believe they will discontinue previous generation even with the assumption that 6C will be with lower specs.

  2. Atlas (@Metascover) - 7 years ago

    If only that could be true. I long for a 4 inch phone with touchID !

  3. minieggseater - 7 years ago

    C for compact …

  4. RP - 7 years ago

    Well back in May we saw the leaked plastic case with modified speaker and camera holes. And it does make the most sense. Have the new design sell at a premium for 2 years like the 5 before discounting it on year 3.

    • RP - 7 years ago

      …especially since any pent up demand for the larger screen, should be at the premium price. And there is also pent up demand for a smaller modern iphone.

  5. jrv6 - 7 years ago

    I would love to see a new 4inch phone.. But I’m looking for a replacement for my 5S.. The won’t happen.
    Releasing a 6c now does make sense. I think it should be sold at a discount to people who buy one or more of the 6S or 6Pluss.
    Despite recent currency issues, there is still a lot of potential to draw people into the Apple ecosystem in China.
    6S for the parents, 6Pluss for the youth, 6c for the kids and grandparents.

  6. brswllc - 7 years ago

    I hope they come out with a 4″ iPhone 6, otherwise the same.

  7. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    With the Asian market being critical to Apple I don’t see them releasing a 6c. The 5″ and 5.5″ are critical for success in the Assian market. So a 6c for mosty western markets doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see Apple getting rid of both the 6 and 6 plus after the 6s’s go on sale. They might stop selling the 6 plus because it would be selling for $199 instead of $99.

  8. Matt Russell - 7 years ago

    The 6 and 6 Plus (or at least the 6 Plus for sure) will get discontinued because they simply won’t fit in with Apple’s lineup. If the 6C is announced, then that will have to take the place of the normal 6 as the $99 option. 6 Plus has got to go either way though, because it’ll eat into the sales of the 6S.

  9. rashmosh - 7 years ago

    We are naturally going to be seeing a 4″ iPhone 6c to sway the group of people who are looking for a compact device to upgrade. These were the people who did not either upgrade to the iPhone 6, or are looking to update to the 6s, so Apple is essentially opening up yet another market. There’s more on this over at NinjaTeched, at


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.