Apple’s colorful ‘iPhone 6c’ to launch in February 2016?

According to a recent report based on whispers within Apple’s supply chain, Cupertino is planning on bringing a four-inch, colorful “iPhone 6c” handset to the market in February next year.

The surprising move would of course see Apple break from its traditional iPhone release cycle, which sees new models launch yearly in September. This happened most recently with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and was expected to continue into 2015 with the so-called “iPhone 7” handsets.

Cue the four-inch handset

Yet if Chinese publication TechWeb has it right, Apple is expected to sandwich an “iPhone 6c” launch in between these two handset releases. The device, according to the report, should be unveiled by Apple at a special event in January, before launching online and in retail stores for February.

Concerning the handset’s price, TechWeb adds that Apple is planning on retailing the smartphone between $400 and $500. In order to preserve this price, the “iPhone 6c” should include a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, but not a 3D Touch display (which will remain exclusive to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus until the “iPhone 7” comes along).

Before now, we’d heard that Apple had ditched its plans for the “iPhone 6c,” though another report published earlier in the month noted that it wasn’t too late for Apple to bring a such a device to the market.

Will it happen?

Personally, I’m unsure a new four-inch iPhone is in Apple’s immediate product pipeline. Though the launch of such a device seems reasonable for September 2016, it’d be something of a surprise for Apple to add another handset to its iPhone line both after the holidays, and outside of September. Sure, there’s a significant demographic of customers looking for an iPhone that’s smaller than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 6s. But to release such a device in February is something I’m not expecting Apple to do.

4-inch iPhone 6c tipped for release in mid-2016

Is the 4-inch iPhone coming or not?

A 4-inch iPhone 6c is rapidly becoming the iPhone equivalent to the Sasquatch — something much discussed, but never actually witnessed.However, according to China’s IHS Technology Research Director Kevin Wang, we should keep faith because this mythical device is really on the way — and will be with customers by the middle of next year.

Wang made the comments on China’s popular Weibo network, although he didn’t add any further details.

What are the chances that it will prove true? I’d say that we’re almost certain to receive a 4-inch iPhone at some point, given the regularity of reports we’ve heard about a return to the 4-inch iPhone form factor. As for his precise forecast, though? I’d be very surprised — if not simply because releasing a new iPhone months before the unveiling of the iPhone 7 would cause marketplace confusion.

This wouldn’t be the first time analysts have guessed wrong. At first we were told a smaller, 4-inch iPhone 6c would arrive just two months after the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus — something which hasn’t happened. Wang himself claimed back in August that the iPhone 6c would be released by the end of 2015.

The most reliable analyst in all of this is the consistently-accurate KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo has echoed the mid-2016 release (hence mentioning Wang’s report here, and not just writing it off as a totally unfounded rumor), and also claims the handset will boast an A9 processor, metal casing, but sadly no 3D Touch technology.

He additionally thinks Apple will ship 20-30 million units of the smaller handset through the end of 2016.

Would you be on board for a 4-inch iPhone 6c? I certainly think it would be a good idea, although I would personally prefer if this wasn’t a crippled version of current-gen tech, but rather a smaller version of the iPhone 6s (or 7) that other customers enjoy.

Apple already showed with the iPhone 5c that it’s not too keen on making a cheap iPhone, so hopefully the rumors about a lack of 3D Touch — the most praised feature of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — turns out not to be the case.

iPhone 6c may be with you in time for Thanksgiving.

An iPhone 6c concept.

Apple could release its 4-inch iPhone 6c in November, according to a new rumor coming out of the supply chain in China.

The report claims that the handset is being assembled by regular Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn, which has started “mass-increasing” its workforce to deal with the task of building not one, not two, but three different iPhone models.

In addition to the iPhone 6c, Foxconn is said to be handling 100 percent of the iPhone 6s Plus orders, and 60 percent of the iPhone 6s orders — with the other 40 percent being handled by Pegatron.

If the iPhone 6c really does arrive in November, it makes sense of a previous report suggesting that Apple has already started doing final testing on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but not the 6c.

The existence of the iPhone 6c has been one of the year’s most on-again, off-again rumors. We first heard about it back in December, only for all signs of it to later apparently disappear from Apple’s supply chain partners, leading us to believe it had only made it as far as prototype level before being scrapped.

More recently there have been mixed reports, with some claiming that Apple will introduce all three new iPhones at the same time in September, and others saying that the iPhone 6c has been pushed back to 2016.

The Rumor That Won’t Die: Apple’s iPhone 6c.

Much like a horror film antagonist, some rumors just refuse to die, being continually brought back to life. Noted mobile phone info leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) is the culprit this time, tweeting that a 4-inch budget-priced “iPhone 6c” could be launched alongside the upcoming “iPhone 6s,” and “iPhone 6s Plus” this fall.

The Rumor That Won't Die: Apple's iPhone 6c

Blass, who admittedly has a good track record on such things, tweeted on Monday that “Sounds like iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and 6c will all arrive concurrently,” suggesting the iPhone event in September will present a smartphone three-way to attendees.

As usual, rumors like this should always be taken with a grain of salt free seasoning, and even Blass replied with a slight disclaimer about the original post a little later on:

Previous “iPhone 6c” rumors have indicated a new 4-inch “iPhone 6c” would be introduced alongside the 6s and 6s Plus in the fall, while others indicated the budget device could debut sometime in 2016. We’ve even seen photos that were allegedly that of the plastic back shell of a “6c” device. As usual, it’s all just rumors for now, and we’ll keep you posted if we hear anything else.

iPhone 6s vs. iPhone 6c vs. iPhone 6 rumors: 4-inch metal iPhone.

iPhone 6s iPhone 6c iPhone 6 Rumors

There’s a lot of back and forth on the iPhone 6c rumor, and a new report seems to indicate that Apple may have indeed planned three new iPhones for a fall 2015 launch… but then decided to stick with just two of them. However, a new 4-inch iPhone with updated internal components that would launch alongside the iPhone 6s family — often dubbed as the iPhone 6c — might still be in the works.

According to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri, the 4-inch iPhone 6c was under development in the early months of the year.

Arcuri gathered his intel from various sources in Apple’s supply chain, according to his note to clients. These sources said Apple was working on an “iPhone 6-looking version of the iPhone 5C,” and Arcuri said he had seen evidence of the iPhone 6c in Apple’s supply chain from January through March.

However, it looks like Apple may have killed or postponed the project.

“I think one of the reasons is because the iPhone 6 has sold so well,” Arcuri said. “And they said, ‘Look, why would we want to cannibalize? If we came out with an iPhone 6C, we would essentially cannibalize a price-reduced iPhone 6.’”

As was the case with previous iPhones, the iPhone 6 is likely to stay in Apple’s lineup for one more year once the new iPhones arrive, and it’ll cost $100 less than its original price. However, this doesn’t change the fact that some buyers may prefer a smaller new 4-inch iPhone, sized along the lines of 2013’s iPhone 5S.

Recent reports have indicated that an iPhone 6c launch might be scheduled for next year, and Arcuri isn’t completely dismissing the device.

There is also more indication Apple isn’t ready to dump 4-inch iOS devices just yet. Just a few days ago, the company released an iPod touch 6G model that’s on par with iPhone 6 when it comes to specs, with better internals than the iPhone 5S. The move may suggest that the iPhone 6c might still be in the works.

Finally, a new image leak from NowhereElse shows what seems to be an iPhone 6c battery, which might fit Arcuri’s story. According to the French tech site, the battery has a capacity of 1,715 mAh and may have been developed for a new 4-inch iPhone, as it’s smaller than the 1,810 mAh battery in the iPhone 6 but bigger than the iPhone 5c battery (1,507 mAh).

iphone-6c-leaked-battery-picture-1715-mah

iPhone 6c with metal back: busted.

iPhone 6c with metal back: busted

This morning a rumor flew quick across the Apple-friendly newlines that a new iPhone 5c with metal back was coming on quick. Several photos were included with this “leak”, showing how the next iPhone “C” model would toss aside the colorful plastic of old, coming clean with… basically the same metal frame as the higher-end iPhones. Does that make a lot of sense to you? No? Imagine our surprise when a link was shared to the origin of these images – none other than Ali Express, the auction and sales sitethree.

Is this a busted-rear iPhone 6c cover? Yes, it is busted. It’s not legitimate, certainly not made by Apple, and it’s almost certainly nowhere near the actual size of what’ll end up being Apple’s next iPhone.

bust

Instead you’ve got a case that might fit on the iPhone 6 and more likely doesn’t fit on any device accurately. This is a 3rd-party piece of equipment sold by a printer of 3D objects, one who says the case will fit on the iPhone 6 with 4.7-inch display – strange!

In the auction, this user suggests the function of this back cover is to “change your phone to 6G looks.” So actually you won’t even get a case that’ll change your device to an iPhone 6c, it’ll be a G. Whatever that means.

Have a peek at our recent iPhone timeline below to see additional bits and pieces for your iPhone and whatever device you plan on picking up next.

‘Leaked’ photo offers first glimpse of colorful iPhone 6c.

Is this the future iPhone 6c? Photo: Future Supplier

Apple decided to kill the iPhone C lineup when it debuted the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but the colorful plastic cases could be making a comeback in 2015, based on an alleged leak out of Apple’s supply chain.

A new 4-inch iPhone 6c might debut alongside the iPhone 6s this fall, according to leaked images that show an iPhone rear shell similar in size to the iPhone 5c. But this design may come with a few tweaks.

iPhone-6C-Rear-Housing-2

According to Future Supplier, two distinct differences appear in the rear shell they obtained. The first is the rear flash camera hole, which has been changed from a circle to an oval to be more like the flash of the iPhone 5s, even though the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have a round, dual-LED flash.

The other difference is a second line of speaker holes at the bottom of the hole. The iPhone 5c only has one. We can’t verify the authenticity of the images, and until more iPhone 6c leaks hit the web, we’re not likely to get our hopes up for an iPhone 6c. Many experts viewed the iPhone 5c as a flop, but now that Apple is only selling massive-screened phones, a smaller iPhone 6c unit could be a huge hit with consumers who are pretty happy with the standard 4-inchers.