Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) boosted the screen size of its iPhone last year when it brought out the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and the firm’s sales jumped massively with the release. Now, however, it seems that many of the firm’s fans are looking for something a little smaller. Tim Cook is set to give it to them if the new rumors about the iPhone 7 are right.
China’s Economic Daily News reported this week that display maker AU Optronics Corp (TPE:2409) is locked into a contract to produce 4-inch displays for Apple. That’s the same size as the screen in the iPhone 5, and if the report is true, it means that an iPhone 7 mini will be one of three models brought out by Apple when the iPhone 7 release date comes up.
iPhone 7 gets a reduction
The smaller iPhone will be called the iPhone 7c if rumors are to be believed. That means that the other two models will likely be the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7s. It’s not clear if the iPhone 7 mini will have all of the features that come with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but it’s likely that Apple will strip some of the premium new specs from the device.
Digitimes agrees with the Economic News Daily report on the small iPhone 7. The outlet says that Apple is planning to release three new models the next time Tim Cook takes to the stage. One of those will be a follow up to the low cost iPhone 5c said the March report.
Looking forward to the iPhone 7 release date
Apple is very secretive when it comes to sharing the exact launch of a new device, and the iPhone 7 release date is no different. The firm has not yet even confirmed that the device is going to be launched, but given the firm’s trend, we’re sure to see the iPhone 7 this Autumn.
Ming Chu Kuo, of KGI Securities, says that the iPhone 7 specs will be a big move away from the iPhone 6. He says the big leap will be Force Touch. The Apple Watch feature will find a new home in the iPhone 7 if Mr. Kuo’s prediction is right.
Mr. Kuo is less sure about the release of the iPhone 7 Mini, however. He thinks that in order to get the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 plus and iPhone 7 mini out the door, the firm is going to have to slow production. That means that the iPhone 7 mini won’t be released in 2015 at all, says the analyst, and we’ll have to wait until next year to get our hands on the device.
The Economic Daily News report agrees with Mr. Kuo. It says that the iPhone 7 mini will ship in the first quarter of 2016 rather than any time this year.
The Inquirer isn’t known for the kind of forecasting power that Mr. Kuo is, but the outlet says that it obtained a memo that shows the iPhone 7 release date will be on 25 September.
AU Optronics, the firm that is supposed to be making the screen for the new smaller smartphone, has not said anything publicly about the contract, and it’s not clear where the source of the Economic Daily News report is.
That means it should be taken with a grain of salt. The firm’s shares have lost more than 10% of their value in the year so far, after hitting a high in the first quarter of 2015. If the firm has gotten a huge new contract from Apple it may not see the sales from it until the quarter in which the new smartphone becomes available.