Earlier this month, KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo offered up several details of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming 4-inch smartphone, widely dubbed the iPhone 6c. The analyst says this device will feature a 2.5D cover glass similar to that found on the iPhone 6/6s series of phones and an A9 processor.
Thanks to a new report from MyDrivers.com (via AppleInsider) we now have more information about Apple's upcoming device.
Looks like a 5s, but with significant enhancements under the hood
In line with previous reports, the new iPhone is expected to largely resemble an iPhone 5s in terms of both shape and size. The device will also apparently come in the same three colors that the 5s was available in: gold, space gray, and silver.
Additionally, the 4-inch display on the device will apparently sport a resolution of 1136 x 640, which is the same as the one on the iPhone 5s. It would be nice to see Apple improve the quality of the panel, but in all likelihood it'll be the same panel as the one found on the 5/5s/5c.
The phone is also expected to feature an A9 processor, in line with previous reports. Additionally, the report states that the iPhone 6c will come packed with two gigabytes of memory, a significant upgrade from the one gigabyte found in the iPhone 5s.
Finally, the new phone is expected to feature a slightly larger 1642 mAh battery, up from 1570 mAh on the iPhone 5s.
What about pricing?
The report claims that the new phone will sell for more than 4000 yuan (about $617), which would imply that it is more a "smaller flagship" rather than a "budget phone."
If that's how Apple winds up positioning the device, then we can infer a number of things about Apple's iPhone lineup once this device launches as well as the rest of the specs of the device.
The remaining iPhone 6c specs
In the case that the iPhone 6c is a premium, but compact, device, then I would expect Apple to upgrade the camera subsystem from that found on the iPhone 5s.
Previous rumors have suggested that the 6c will still feature an 8-megapixel rear facing sensor, rather than a 12-megapixel sensor like the one found in the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. That's a sensible expectation, but I don't believe that this would imply that Apple won't be offering an upgraded camera.
Indeed, recall that the iPhone 6/6 Plus also featured 8-megapixel sensors just as the iPhone 5s did, but according to Apple the sensor was new, leading to improved photo quality. I would be very surprised if the iPhone 6c did not feature the rear camera sensor from the iPhone 6/6 Plus and instead recycled the same one from the iPhone 5s.
As far as wireless goes, it's a toss-up between the iPhone 6/6 Plus cellular and Wi-Fi subsystems and the iPhone 6s/6s Plus subsystems. I could see this going either way, but if Apple wants to make the smaller iPhone truly a high-end iPhone that just happens to be smaller, going with the same cellular and Wi-Fi components found in the iPhone 6s/6s Plus would be ideal.
This sounds like a really nice device
Although the runaway successes of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus suggest that customers, on the whole, prefer larger screen phones rather than smaller screen ones, I am very sure that there's still a healthy market for a really nice, smaller iPhone.
Such a device probably won't be enough to fully offset the sales challenges Apple is apparently having with the iPhone 6s/6s Plus (it is widely believed Apple will see iPhone unit shipments drop year over year in the current fiscal year), but anything to stem the declines will surely be welcomed by shareholders.