We heard rumors earlier this week about Apple planning to release a new 4-inch “iPhone 6c” in February 2016 but we didn’t give them that much credence… until now. MacRumors flags a new research note from accurate Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities that claims a new 4-inch iPhone is indeed launching early next year and it sounds like the device will be aimed at supplanting the iPhone 5s as the go-to smartphone for people who want a cheaper, smaller device.
The analyst expects the new iPhone to cost between $400 and $500 and to feature Apple’s A9 chipset. He also confirms previous leaks that said the new device will have more color options than other iPhones but, unlike the iPhone 5c, it will have a metal build instead of a plastic one.
While he doesn’t believe the new iPhone will post sales numbers anywhere close to the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, he does think it has the potential to make Apple some extra cash.
“While new model may not generate huge sales, Apple still has good reasons to launch,” he explains. “[There is] still-existing demand for 4-inch smartphones. We estimate 15-17 million 4-inch iPhones will be shipped in 2015. We estimate the new 4-inch model will account for 8-9% of total iPhone shipments in fiscal 2016.”