Why would Apple want to release a smaller 4-inch device that’s tentatively being called the “iPhone 6c?” My response is, why wouldn’t they? Yes, phones with large screens are all the rage these days but there is still a market out there for smaller devices that fit comfortably in your hand and your pocket, particularly if you have small hands.

BACKGROUND: Report claims Apple will shock the world with a third new iPhone model this year

My wife, for example, is still rocking an iPhone 4. I know, the 2010 device is positively ancient by smartphone standards but it still functions very well and she’s not a power user who needs to have the latest hardware. In fact, she doesn’t even mind that she can’t upgrade the device to anything beyond iOS 7 because the phone as it is fits her needs just fine.

Eventually, though, she’s going to have to upgrade, if for no other reason than the iPhone 4 has no 4G connectivity. And when that happens, she’s not going to want a massive device that isn’t as comfortable to hold as the older iPhones.

And this is where the iPhone 6c or a similar device would come in. There are still plenty of people out there who value having an easily pocketable phone and frankly there aren’t that many high-quality Android phones out there that are 4 inches or less these days — even quality low-cost Android phones like the Moto G have displays that are five inches. In fact, the last major Android phone that would be considered “small” by today’s standards was the Nexus 4 that released back in late 2012.

So this sort of thing is right in Apple’s wheelhouse. A four-inch iPhone 6c won’t be the massive seller that the iPhone 6s will be but it will definitely be appealing to a lot of people… assuming, that is, that Apple doesn’t encase the device in ugly green plastic like it did with some iPhone 5c models…

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.