With iPhone 6S release imminent, fate of 4 inch ‘iPhone 6C’ still unclear as new rumor claims November launch

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We are just weeks away from the launch of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, Apple’s newest addition to the iPhone lineup, but the fate of the iPhone 5c successor, a new 4-inch iPhone dubbed by the rumor mill as the ‘iPhone 6c’, remains unclear.

When Apple upped the screen sizes last year, it did not offer an update to the iPhone 5c. This has led much speculation that Apple was saving an update for the 4-inch iPhone to next year to allow the big screened iPhone 6 take the limelight. Since then, there have been many conflicting reports over the release of Apple’s next 4-inch iPhone. A Chinese media report indicates that Apple will actually release a smaller iPhone 6c in November.

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There still doesn’t seem to be any consensus on this matter. The new report says that Apple’s suppliers are ramping up to release the 4-inch model in November. Although Chinese reports should always be taken with much skepticism, this is not an isolated report. Evan Blass has claimed the 6C will debut alongside the 6S and 6S Plus, although offered no explanation for his comment. There was also a Digitimes report from March saying the same thing. There have been other claims of Apple ordering 4-inch screen production as well as an even weirder Chinese rumor that Apple is readying a 5 inch iPhone 6c …

On the other side of the coin, reputable analyst KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has repeatedly said that a 4-inch iPhone is not on the cards for this year but will in fact be launched in 2016.  Two weeks ago, Digitimes mirrored these comments with iPhone 6C targeting a Q2 2016 launch window.

This is all very funny when compared to the state of expectations for the flagship iPhone release, the iPhone 6S. Almost everyone agrees that the phone is coming early September, probably announced at an event on September 9th, with a focus on upgraded internals and the addition of a pressure-sensitive Force Touch display. The casing looks almost identical to current iPhone 6, with 9to5Mac leaking case images way back in June.


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  1. tincan2012 - 7 years ago

    Ok I like to read about Apple as much as the next Apple enthusiast, but Tim Cook promised to clamp down on security leaks. Not happening it seems.

    Ming-Chi Kuo represents a lot of what is wrong in Asian supply chain security, which is known to leak like a sieve. He has often been so close to product details and release dates through close ties to key supply chain informants or even a mole within Apple, that his information is taken as gospel. AAPL share holders should really not like this guy, as he was the one that took most of the surprises out of previous iPhone launches – causing the market to yawn. In fact he is often quoted by media intent on minimizing Apple’s ability to surprise. Even when he is wrong, he hurts AAPL. He was the one that [incorrectly] over estimated the iPhone 6 numbers sales in the last quarter – and because he is known to have the ‘inside’ track – was taken seriously enough by investors that Apple somehow ‘disappointed’, despite blow out numbers. Based out of Taiwan, Kuo joined KGI Securities in 2012. He is secretive, gives no television interviews, and is restricted by his firm in ‘face to face’ meetings with anyone. In fact, even his known email address apparently bounces. There are just three known photos of Kuo on the web – that is weird for analysts who normally live for CNBC appearances. No doubt he wants to keep a low profile but given the damage he has done to AAPL share prices by his ‘analyses’ – or rather by leaking corporate secrets – I seriously wonder why Apple has not done something to muzzle him, eliminate his moles and punish the supply chain companies that harbor the informants. Then maybe Apple can finally ‘double down’ on secrecy.

  2. spearconvict - 7 years ago

    Is it possible that instead of a 4-inch iPhone, what we could be looking at here is a 4-inch Apple TV remote!

  3. Marcus Prince - 7 years ago

    Is it possible that instead of a 4-inch iPhone, we might be looking at a possible 4-inch Apple TV Remote?

  4. rtd5943 - 7 years ago

    Do we have any idea what the new Apple TV’s remote will look like? Could the 4 inch screen production possibly be linked to the new Apple TV instead of the iPhone?

  5. DubDJ - 7 years ago

    When will Mark Gurman just come out and write his piece on when the actual date, and if the 6c is really happening?

    That’s the only info you can trust.

  6. rogifan - 7 years ago

    So Apple is going to release the 6S and 6S Plus in Septemner but a 6C won’t come until November? I call BS on that. When has Apple ever announced new hardware products in November?

  7. cody1213 - 7 years ago

    I hope they at least announce it with the 6S so those of us who want to go back to a smaller screen won’t sigh and upgrade only to find out two months later we wasted time and money.

    Assuming they make it a realistic option. The 5C was a big downgrade in internals from the 5S. I don’t care at all if a 6C is made of plastic — it’s going in a case anyway — but it’d be nice not to have to choose between a smaller screen and capabilities.

    • RP - 7 years ago

      Agree. I would like to upgrade my 5s to a 6c, but not if behind the 6 in internals.

    • Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 7 years ago

      “but it’d be nice not to have to choose between a smaller screen and capabilities.”

      Right, but I don’t think matching everything is possible. I think in a best case scenario you’d be choosing between amazing new slim design/features and performance instead.

      Look at the macbook. It’s not as fast as the macbook pro but it introduced force touch to the lineup. The form factor tradeoff is so extreme that it’s polarizing. People will either really love the tradeoffs or go with the macbook pro.

      And I think that’s what they need to do with this iphone. Make something that is polarizing and stands out. Otherwise it will just be seen as slower, less capable iphone because it isn’t technically possible to fit the exact same internals into that screen size.

      If the 4″ doesn’t have force touch but the 6s does, I’d be disappointing. But if the 4″ was a little slower and didn’t have as spectacular of a camera I’d be fine with it. Those things aren’t cool new features – they are just incremental improvements that wouldn’t significantly change how I use the device.

  8. Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 7 years ago

    I really think this device will be more of a macbook air / ipad mini / retina macbook type device and not just a 5c replacement. Apple could easily bump the 5s internals into the c. Leave that as the cheap phone.

    The 6 internals in a small phone is a pretty big opportunity to do something awesome. Really push the form factor. Make a device that stands out on it’s own from all the large phones and isn’t something that’s just smaller and worse than the new 6s. Maybe it’d be in the 5s price slot but could be configured to more expensive storage options.

    I could see them making an “iphone sport.” No headphone jack, super thin and light. Push the appeal to active people. Maybe more sweat and water resistant to. Ble headphones are really stepping up. I love for Apple to release a serious jaybird x2 competitor. The large iphones can focus on camera and power but this one could really just focus on form factor.

    • RP - 7 years ago

      Yes exactly! That’s what the appeal of my 5s is for me. I take it to the gym, jogging, hiking, everywhere. I originally upgraded to the 6, but as soon as I got into the parking lot and thought about the size and what I use it for, I went right back in and got the 5s instead. I love it as much as any gadget I ever owned.

  9. atulmathur (@atulmathur) - 7 years ago

    I wish Apple did a small phone perhaps 4S size or at best 4″ screen, i think that was the most appropriate size for a phone. Somehow, These big “phablets” are not fit for human use…

    • Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 7 years ago

      4s height but with 4″ screen would be the most ideal to me. They could do it by changing up how the home button and touch id works. Especially with patents that could scan finger anywhere on the screen so the home button area (who knows if it will still be physical) could be smaller. Patents also let the isight camera be behind the screen too so that would reduce the top bezel.

  10. modeyabsolom - 7 years ago

    I really hope Apple does release a new 4″ iPhone design. It would please a lot of people I’m sure.

  11. PMZanetti - 7 years ago

    No matter what Apple has planned for the $99 3rd tier iPhone slot….it will not be a product released 2 months later.

    It may be a 4″ 6c, it may be a 4.7″ 6c, it may be a slightly upgraded 5s. Who knows. It could even just be the old iPhone 6 slid down into that slot. What it will NOT BE is a device released in November. Nope.

  12. Eddie James - 7 years ago

    People are so fickle. For years they cried about iPhones being too small. Now they complain they are too big. Maybe that’s why Apple won’t give into users demands for more storage and longer battery life, because someone will find a reason to complain (higher pricing; overheating; thicker casing).


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.