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Apple Appears to Have Ditched Plans for 4-Inch 'iPhone 6c' in 2015

While several reports since last December claimed that Apple was planning to release a new 4-inch "iPhone 6c" as a low-cost option alongside the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" later this year, Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri recently told investors that supply chain evidence of the rumored smartphone has seemingly disappeared since around March.

Arcuri, in a research note obtained by Business Insider, speculates that Apple may have delayed or dropped plans to release the "iPhone 6c" due to concerns that the budget smartphone would cannibalize the iPhone 6, which has experienced record-breaking sales and could continue to be a hot product for Apple if given a price reduction alongside the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" in September.
"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.'"
Arcuri believed that the "iPhone 6c" would essentially be iPhone 6 hardware shrunken down to the size of an iPhone 5s, including an all-metal unibody that would differentiate itself from the plastic iPhone 5c released in 2013. Investment banking firm Jefferies predicted in late June that a 4-inch metal "iPhone 6c" will be released in early 2016, but that timing appears questionable.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors in April that claimed a new 4-inch iPhone was unlikely in 2015, and a few weeks later said that Apple is instead likely to release a new 4-inch iPhone with Apple Pay compatibility in 2016. Kuo said that Foxconn will be the primary manufacturer of the low-cost handset, but Apple's product roadmap could have changed since that time.

Apple frequently tests new products and services internally that are never released, so it is entirely possible that the company never planned to make the "iPhone 6c" available to the public. Sketchy rumors and leaked images of the purported "iPhone 6c" shell -- notably plastic -- began picking up in December, but few concrete details about the rumored smartphone have surfaced since that time.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Tags: Timothy Arcuri, Cowen and Company

Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago
I know SO many people who didn't upgrade from a 5 due to the size increase of the 6... shame.
Rating: 39 Votes
16 months ago
bummer. looks like i'll be holding on to my 5S until forced obsolescence forces me to move on.
Rating: 28 Votes
16 months ago

So, in other words, they released a 4" iPod touch instead.

Perhaps what people thought was a 4" iPhone was really just the iPod touch. In one of Ming-Chi Kuo's reports he referenced a pink iPhone. Perhaps that was really the pink iPod touch.
Rating: 23 Votes
16 months ago
So, in other words, they released a 4" iPod touch instead.
Rating: 22 Votes
16 months ago
So, why not just release a 4" 6C with the same internals as the 6 and sell it alongside the 6 at the exact same price as the 6? Would that still be considered cannibalizing if they cost the same? I am sure there's added cost on their part to offer two products, but might not two products capture more total audience?

Why does the C model have to be a budget phone? Apple doesn't need to sell a budget phone. I personally don't want to buy a budget phone. But I do prefer a 4" (or even 3.5") screen. And I happen to be pretty attached to the color options like my 5C.
Rating: 20 Votes
16 months ago
So now we're quoting analyst's imaginary conversations?

"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.'"
Rating: 15 Votes
16 months ago
I'm sure Apple knows better than me, but, honestly, rather than cannibalizing 6/6+ sale, I think they would have seen more upgrades from folks who prefer 5/5S size and did not upgrade to 6/6+.
Rating: 14 Votes
16 months ago
I don't get why they would scrap it... I know plenty of people who got the 6, but would have preferred the 4" screen of the 5s because their hands are small...
Rating: 12 Votes
16 months ago
Customers (screaming): iPhone screens are too small! You need to make a bigger phone!
Apple: -releases bigger phone-
Customers (still screaming): iPhone screens are too big! You should go back to the smaller size!
Apple: -releases iPod Touch with A8 chip and then decides customers are going to whine no matter what they do-

Love my iPhone 6 Plus! :D
Rating: 10 Votes
16 months ago

4" is increasingly a useless phone screen size. Yes I know all the die hard iPhone fanatics claim their 4" screen is superior to any other phone size, but after years of using the iPod Touch next to a larger phone size, I just find I can't use it properly. Content is too small to touch and interact with properly, many apps are just being designed around a larger interface these days, internet browsing is extremely annoying and I can't stand "mobile" versions of websites, and in general I just feel the size is too small for touch screen keyboard to be practical. With a 5.5" phone screen I am using now, I can browse the internet in "desktop mode" without too much inconvenience, and using the touch keyboard actually works.

I know Apple held off for so long to create larger phones, but I think its time now for fanbois to let go and unless you are 3ft tall and wear doll's cloths, or like your jeans to seem painted on, even a 6" screen phone will fit in most pant pockets and are still easily usable by one hand. When I see people texting on an small iPhone 4 it's just silly how cramped their hands are gripping the phone and hunched over to see properly.

Also, on a more pragmatic level, 4" screen sizes with "Retina" resolutions are probably getting more and more difficult to source, or getting more expensive, as most other phone brands, including Apple, have opted for larger screens. I think practically Apple will even have to update the iPod Touch screen eventually if they want to keep their insane profit margins in the future.

It's time to let go of 4" phone screens, Apple has.

No you're wrong, 4 inches is just useless in YOUR opinion for YOUR purposes. I have average- large hands and I can not use the iPhone 6 one handed. Its next to useless for me. The iPhone 5/5S form factor remains perfect for me. Content is fine, apps are fine everything is fine and perfectly readable, and the phone is a convenient size to fit nicely into my pocket. And the most important thing, I can comfortably use it one handed.

How about its time for people to start accepting that there is no size that is perfect for everyone. Just as the 4.7 and 5.5 work for many people, so does the 4. There is nothing superior about any of them, accept what works best for each individual person.
Rating: 9 Votes

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