Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is not actually going to launch a 4-inch iPhone in 2015, at least not according to Ming Chi Kuo, one of the most widely followed analysts currently following the company. Kuo’s opinion, recorded in a report published on Wednesday, isn’t the only one on the matter, however, and there are still plenty of rumors that a 4-inch iPhone 6c will be released later this year.
Kuo says that the iPhone 5c will last until at least the end of this year, and that the device is still selling well for the company meaning there’s no replacement on the cards. Here’s a look at some of the reports that informed the rumors that Apple is going to supplement its phone line-up with a new 4-inch model.
Analysts look for 4-inch iPhone
DigiTimes, the less than reliable Taiwanese publication known for its constant barrage of iPhone rumors, said in March that Apple was working on the manufacture of an iPhone 6c that would be released alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The phone was rumored to have a polycarbonate plastic body similar to that used in the iPhone 5c, and an A8 processor, the same used in today’s iPhone 6.
Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company was one of the first analysts to comment on the Apple plans to release a new line of smaller iPhones. In a report released in December he said that the phone was to be dubbed the iPhone 6 mini, giving it the same nomenclature as the iPad and the iPod before it.
Directly after the release of the analyst note rumoring the smaller iPhone 6 in December, Feng.com which was given as a source by Arcuri, said that any rumors of the new phone were simply hype at that time and there was no evidence that Apple was planning on a device like that. As the year has rolled on, that has become more and more clear.
A smaller iPhone is coming
Mr. Kuo of KGI securities doesn’t think that Apple is deadset against smaller phones he thinks, in fact, that the company will release an iPhone 6s mini, or and iPhone 7c, or an iPhone 6c reasonably soon, it’s just not going to happen this year.
According to the analyst Tim Cook and his team will want to update the iPhone 5c because there is still a category of customer that prefers a smaller device. Apple won’t want to lose that group even if it means catering to three different screen sizes.
There really was, as you can see from the trail of rumors, little to substantiate the 4-inch iPhone story to begin with. Kuo’s ideas are, really, the start of a new more credible thread.
Unlike the iPhone 5c, the 4-inch iPhone 7 appears to ignite little passion among Apple fans. The company’s investors aren’t thinking about the lower end of the market after Cupertino proved last year that the ideal was to increase rather than decrease the average selling price of the iPhone.