Apple is largely expected to unveil the successor to the iPhone 5c in the coming year, with the device likely to be a 4-inch phone that is lower cost than the other iPhones on offer.
Unfortunately, however, it seems as though Apple is looking to cut costs as much as possible, with recent reports suggesting that the company will use its older A8 processor rather than the newer and more powerful A9.
The report comes from a Japanese Blog called Mac Otakara, which says the new device has entered production and could start shipping at any point, suggesting that Apple may not wait until its September event to unveil the latest line of iPhones. What’s likely is that Apple will unveil the new 4-inch at some point in the next few months, and will then wait until its September event for what will likely be called the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
The report that suggests that the new device will feature an A8 processor is contradictory to reports by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who suggested that the device may implement an A9 chip so that it can properly handle the transition from iOS 9 to iOS 10, however this was more of a guess rather than information from the supply chain, which seems to have been the source for the recent report.
Other specifications in the new device are likely to include Bluetooth 4.1 for connectivity to devices like the Apple Watch, as well as an improved FaceTime HD camera that will feature f/2.2 aperture. Apple is also reportedly likely to include the 3D Touch technology that it introduced in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. 3D Touch essentially adds another layer of input for the user, allowing different commands to be implemented based on how hard the user presses on the display.
Of course, while Apple may be looking to cut costs as much as possible, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Apple currently doesn’t really cater to the low-end or midrange market, and some suggested that this was changing with the release of the iPhone 5c, however Apple didn’t really expand on that device. Currently, the only 4-inch device available from Apple is the iPhone 5s, which certainly isn’t a bad device, but is a few years old at this point. Many are hoping that Apple will introduce a new device that is similar in terms of price as the iPhone 5s currently is, but offers up-to-date specs that might not necessarily be flagship quality but will last at least the next few years.
In fact, it seems as though the new device will largely be based on the iPhone 5s, with some reports even calling it the ‘iPhone 5s Mark II.’ It’s not known exactly to what extent the new device will be based on the iPhone 5s, however it’s certainly possible that we will see a device that looks very similar to the 5s in design, however the hope is that it won’t be that similar in terms of specifications.
It will certainly be interesting to see how successful another 4-inch phone from Apple is, especially considering the fact that the trend really does seem to be for devices that are larger, exactly why Apple has opted to go for larger displays. It’s undoubtedly possible that the device could be aimed largely at markets outside of the US, such as in developing countries with people who might not have as much money for a smartphone. Of course, Apple wouldn’t be the only large tech company working to connect those in developing countries, with the likes of Google and Facebook having announced a number of initiatives to do so.
Apple also wouldn’t be the only smartphone manufacturer to cater to those in developing countries, with most major smartphone manufacturers releasing smartphones at a range of price points.
Only time will tell what the new budget-minded iPhone actually looks like. Another important thing to think about is how much the device will actually cost. When the iPhone 5c was released, it cost $549 for the 16GB unlocked model of the phone, which is still a lot more than many are hoping to spend. Ideally, Apple will be able to keep the price of the new device under $500.