The report, citing unnamed "Foxconn insiders" and other various sources, confirms that Apple is working on a new 4-inch iPhone with a "colorful metal body design," in contrast with the plastic-backed iPhone 5c, but adds that Foxconn has not received orders yet for mass production of the device.
Apple's exact release plans for the so-called "iPhone 6c" remain unknown, but the report speculates about a possible January unveiling of the device, and says the budget handset could be priced between $400 and $500 in the U.S. The iPhone 5c, released in 2013, started at $549 off-contract for the 16GB model.
Often-reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara said last month that Apple has developed a new 4-inch iPhone that is essentially an iPhone 5s with sixth-generation iPod touch features, including an A8 chip, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and an improved FaceTime HD camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture.
The report said the so-called "iPhone 5s Mark II," likely an internal name for the new 4-inch iPhone, has entered production and could be shipped at any time, and a recent research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other rumors point towards a 2016 release date.
GforGames recently cited a similarly sketchy report claiming Apple is experimenting with at least five different "iPhone 7" models with unique hardware features, reportedly including a USB Type-C connector for headphones, wireless charging technology, multi-Force Touch, dual camera configurations and Touch ID embedded in the display.
Follow our iPhone 6c roundup to keep track of the latest news about the 4-inch iPhone.