Apple rumored to be working on new 4-inch iPhone model

“Apple’s ‘one-hand use’ philosophy can still be seen on the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, via the new ‘Reachability’ feature which brings the on-screen items closer to the bottom bezel,” Mihai Matei reports for G 4 Games.

“Next year however, Apple might plan on facilitating one-hand use by borrowing a page from its previous designs,” Matei reports. “Specifically, a fresh report from Asia has revealed that the Cupertino-based giant could add a 4-inch iPhone model in its 2015 line-up.”

Matei reports, “Allegedly, the smartphone will be created to facilitate single-handed operation, with ‘female users’ being an important part of its intended market segment.”

Apple's current lineup of iPhone displays (5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus left, 4.7-inch iPhone 6 center, 4-inch iPhone 5s/c right)
Apple’s current lineup of iPhone displays
(5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus left, 4.7-inch iPhone 6 center, 4-inch iPhone 5s/c right)

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In general, the only people who still think they want a 4-inch iPhone are those who do not yet own a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

After iPhone 5s and 5c go the way of the dodo, the 4.7-inch display should, and likely will, be Apple’s smallest iPhone display going forward.


  1. Or in other words.. An updated 5S.

    The iPhone 6 4.7″ screen is almost perfect, 4.5″ would work better for my hands.

    6 plus… I’ve played with it. Way too big for me. Phablets are NOT my thing..

    Reach ability works… If you only need to touch the top of the screen once….. If you have to continually use the upper section, or just more than one touch, it’s worthless. (More movement to accomplish a simple task)

      1. Great, love my 6 too, *except* for the opposing shutter and power-off buttons. Always killing power just at that perfect photo moment. Apple, please return the power button to the top.

    1. “An updated 5S”

      The key question here is updated to what? If it will be updated up to iPhone 6 innards, then it will be still last years model, I will not buy that. Apple has to update perfectly fine iPhone 5/5S design with iPhone 7 innards, so it would fully competitive flagman device.

      1. If they are able to have delivery starting after the first of the year it can easily join the current 6 line up.

        I would be happy with the current 6, but my 5S is still under contract and there is no need to rush.

        The wife, on the other hand, is eligible for an upgrade and isn’t bothering with the current 6 as it’s too large to be comfortable in her hand. For some the current 6 range is simply too large for some people. Great for the hip techs and those who want to be seen with the latest gear but Apple needs to address this market.

        1. You won’t see an iPhone “6S” in the beginning of the year. This likely will be part of the iPhone 7 lineup, which would be the Plus, the 7, and a 7 Mini (or Nano or whatever they call it). Apple isn’t about to pull a Samsung and start releasing new phones every 4-6 months. Plus, with the iWatch coming out in the spring, Apple is going to need all hands on deck to handle a brand new product launch and the inevitable problems/glitches that arise.

    1. I would love to have an iPhone 6/6+ if I had the money. I would also love longer fingers. Evidently neither one is going to happen soon! 😐

      I have tried my friends’ larger iPhones. The 6+ is way too large for me. The 6 with an OtterBox is completely unusable. With Apple’s leather case, it’s a stretch but doable. But I’m interested in seeing an iPhone 6 with a Speck CandyShell Grip like my current iPhone 5 has. Haven’t come across one yet.

      I agree with the post about being forced to buy old tech to get a smaller phone.

  2. If this is true, i would hope the new 4″ device would have the same feature set as the bigger phones. There’s no reason why someone who is looking for a smaller phone should have to sacrifice any internal spec that isn’t limited due to its diminutive size. The choice should be based on size and not, “am i getting all the latest available features.”

    1. Apple has already established precedent that features might NOT be consistent across sizes of the same generation, e.g. only the 5.5″ iPhone 6 Plus had an optical image stabilizer for the camera.

        1. I don’t know whether they left out OIS from the 4.7″ 6 for technical or business reasons, but believe me, I was pissed that they’d make us shell out another $100 for it. Sure, that came with a larger screen, but that means more weight and more awkward handling/carrying around.

  3. iPhone area/size and weight are critical to those who use pants’ pockets. iPhone 6 is both significantly bigger and heavier than iPhone 5S.

    So Apple going away from market where no one could compete with them was not smart move. This is the reason why Apple did not get my money this year, no iPhone update. I want absolutely the smallest and the lightest flagman smartphone. Last year’s model like iPhone 5S is not a choice for me, I want true flagman.

    The line up of the new iPhones had to be: 4″, 4.7″, 5.5″ — then everybody would be happy. If Apple will release actually flagman 4″ device next year, not a plastic re-brand of iPhone 5s, it would be perfect. However, unfortunately, I doubt Apple will release new 4″ model as a true flagman.

    1. Size is a personal preference. And Apple should make sizes to sell to everyone. But don’t say that its critical because of pockets – I wear Diesel and David Bitton Jeans – hardly cargo pants. My iPhone 6+ fits in the front pockets just fine.

      1. iPhone 6′ area is whopping 39% bigger than that of my iPhone 4S, it is critical for pant’s pockets other than giant in some types of pants. It is also noticeably heavier than iPhone 5/5s, and I do not want that at all.

        1. I’m not worried about the weight, but the size is a concern for me, too. I bought a large family’s worth of 5Ss while I new the 6 was just around the corner – 7 total phones – because I knew that there wouldn’t be a phone in my size again anytime soon. (Apologies to the ladies in my family who carry theirs in their purses – the 6+ would likely have been great for them.)

        2. Really can’t see the point unless they reduce the overhangs either end one what in which case you would have a really compact phone with a decent size screen which could attract a different market and attract those who prefer compact phones.

        3. I have handled the phones in the store. The thinness of the iPhone 6 mitigates some of it’s girth. On paper, it weigh’s 17g more, about 1/2 oz. But I did not perceive that weight, only the width. OTOH, the 4/4S feels like it weighs a LOT more than my 5.

    2. The 6 feels nicer then the 5 5s/c. It’s thinner and actually s nice size. I have the plus because I love th battery life and I enjoy watching videos on it. But yes the 6 is nice. It’s not heavier or anything then the 5s. I like the feel of the new ones. Much better then the more square look of the 4 to the 5s.

  4. Yes, yes, yess, bring back the 4″ size! I know many, many 5 and 5s owners who were disappointed when 6 was announced and are not upgrading. And I know several people who upgraded their old 4 and 4s devices to 5s (after 6 was announced), because they held the 6 in their hands in the store and it was just too big for them.

    I had always thought that the 5″ size was way to big and that its market share will always be marginal at best. I was the first to admit here that I was wrong in my assessment of the addressable market for phablets. By the same token, don’t let your love for big screen get you to make the same mistake. The small-screen market size is still quite big and Apple needs to avoid making the same mistake again of ignoring a segment of the market for a specific device size. They had learnt a valuable lesson with the iPad mini, and the iPhone 6. This should be enough of a learning experience to avoid making the same mistake for the third time. I’m sure, though, that the robust sales of 5s (in the wake of the 6 availability) will tell them that 4″ size is still appealing to a large percentage of users.

      1. iPhone 5S size was perfect for me, when I got the 6 it was a very quick adjustment.
        the 4.7″ is great, but like I have always said.. with *my* hands.. something closer to 4.5″ IMO would have be the sweet spot for me.

        Side note.. I love all the Apple Fanboys (We have them just as much as anyone else does…) Who outright bashed Fragmendroid for the phabets.. Jumped all on the 6 Plus bandwagon since “Apple did it right”

        Now if Apple made a iPod in the 6 Plus size.. I can see myself buying one for the middle ground between my iPhone 6 and my Air 2..
        but using that 5.5″ screen for a phone?… not going to happen.

        Apple… please do not ever stop making the iPhone 6 4.7″ screen size.
        Make both 4.7″ and 5.5″ in every iPhone model from here on out… (and 4″ if you want to make a 3rd option) but don’t make everyone use the Phablet size.. not everyone wants something that big.

    1. Like me. Nothing wrong with 6/+. People were anxious for that. Now they have it and there’s no way to put it back, don’t worry. No need to fight for it like religion, politics or football. But for me iPhone goes in my pants pocket. And 4″ are maximum accepted. And well reminded, women hands. Better Apple be aware to that cause, like myself, lot of people are going for 5 (64GB) on outside market.

  5. While MDN take may be right, I can’t help but think that a 4 inch version of the latest gen iPhone with the slim profile would be as awesome for its size/weight as the 6 Plus is for its screen size/battery life. Even if it had the previous gen chip in it but NFC inside for  Pay and could be offered at the $99 price point, my guess is it would sell pretty well.

  6. That would be great, I like the glass back 4S,so hopefully they will get that back and upgrade the processor and memory (128GB) to the be the same as its bigger counterpart.
    I would not mind it being as thick as the 4S too, that would mean a bigger battery and longer usage times. I don’t care about the camera even if it is not the same as the bigger phones.

    They should upgrade the iPod touch too and add a 128Gb memory option and keep it as the only iPod touch instead of multiple memory devices from 16GB to 128GB.

    1. I’m reading that as a phone will all the features of the top of the line phone, except the size. Flagman being a term for standard bearer.

      It would be a tough call to buy a smaller screened phone with a less capable camera, for example, unless there is some driving reason. Real estate might be a factor in leaving a feature out of a smaller phone, but a business decision to leave it out to force customers toward the larger screen would be not very acceptable. Plus it complicates everything. Going back to the camera example, developers would have to write different apps which consider different imaging capabilities. Every difference is a branch in a tree. Pretty soon, instead of just the year-over-year differences (iP4 vs iP4s), you have a real branchy tree every year, starting with the iP5s vs iP5c functional differences, that developers must consider.

      I can sort of see three screen sizes, but beyond that, functional variations within a model years offerings should be minimized. Apple has made great strides with communizing the internals of the iPhone and iPads (single designs that accommodate the polyglot of frequency bands and modulation techniques in cell phones, amazing). They shouldn’t blow it with avoidable wandering away from simplicity.

        1. And I may be very creative in my interpretation, but that’s my shot at making sense of it. A standard (flag) can be borne by an individual, so I hope it’s close enough.

        2. I think your interpretation is spot on. I was simply pointing out that today’s populace is so verbally focused that they are continually making up/substituting words that sound similarly to the word or phrase they mean.

          I grew up reading print on the page, so I notice immediately when one word is substituted for another. This was just the latest example I’ve seen.

        3. Me too. And I see it creep into the printed page more frequently of late. I want to yell “Where are the editors?”, then I realize (wolla?) they were probably there, doing not much better that their writers. (OBTW, auto correct tries to save us, but fails. It wants to change “wolla” to “owl”.)

  7. Sorry, I disagree with the MacDailyNews Take on this. I have an iPhone 6, and I love it, but every time I pick up someone else’s 5s, I wish my 6 were that size—and I know *many* others who feel that way.

  8. Really?? After MacDailyNews cried and cried for more choices in iPhone size, now you want to decry the iPhone 5 size? On what planet does arguing for more size choices equal “who needs a 4″ iPhone size.”
    Lets get real, the increased phone size mainly benefits the people who want to use their phone as a modified iPad because they are too cheap to buy an iPhone and an iPad. I am a 6’4″ male and quite frankly if I didn’t need to upgrade my iPhone 4s this year, I would have waited because I knew Apple would eventually see the sense of a small form factor iPhone. I don’t want to talk on a phablet or a half phablet. Smaller phones makes sense and always have.
    Sometimes you guys really put your foot in your mouth like you did with your rage about Mac Mini users being cheapo “Windows” roll-overs. Long live the small form factor AND the right to upgrade memory components.

    Mac user since 1989 using every type and size model from Mac SE to Mac Pro to iBook to MacBook. Choice is everything!!!

  9. Yep, I agree with others above. I’d be happier with the 5s factor with similar (or better) battery life, equal camera, and even a bit thicker if that was required for the camera or battery. I’ve committed to the 6 for now (although it was a struggle and many other people also haven’t upgraded from the 5-series yet), but with an active life-style and not much smartphone/social-media dependance, I’d prefer a smaller phone in two years. For routine computer use, I have a desktop computer, laptop, and iPad.

  10. Plenty of Iphone people I have shown my 6 to say they prefer their 4″ size.

    Apple is not stupid. It is not the best idea to penalize the smaller screen size with lower performance. I would not be surprised if the 7 comes in three sized with equal performance hardware.

    As much as I like my 6, every time i pick up my old 3.5 ipod touch, something deep inside me delights in how it fits my hand so nicely compared to the 6.

    1. Oh my the 3.5 is way to small hard to read text and have to zoom in on everything. I prefer the 6 actually my plus is a bit big but nice for movies. And the 5 is a bit small. With more and more doing things on your phone I could never imagine going back to the iPhone 4/4s. Way to small.

  11. Even though my 4s has slowed with iOS 8 and I love the concept of ApplePay, I am reluctant to move to a 6 because it is larger than I prefer. Even though I’m a guy with big hands, that doesn’t mean I want a phone that fills my palm.

    So if Apple makes a 6s in a slimmed down size that still offers all the other features (other than battery life, of course) of the larger iPhones, I’m visiting the Apple Store to buy one.

  12. I’ve had the iPhone 6 since launch and I would LOVE to get a 4″ instead!!! I accept everyone is different but t I think Apple had it right in all previous versions. Sorry but the double touch to bring down the screen is a kludge at best.

    I do believe people vary, and what’s best for me isn’t what’s best for others. Glad they have the larger ones out now, but would be thrilled to see them offer something for those happy with where it was at but want the new features.

    I already have an iPad mini, and I have fantastic vision. The extra screen real estate really doesn’t do much for me, but the new inability to use it one handed without fear it’ll slip out of my hand and fall is constant.

    1. A 4″ phone in the lineup makes sense, but less than 128 GB and significantly better battery life than the current 5S and prior iPhones would be unacceptable. Apple needs to stop attempting to make its iPhones thinner and instead make them more capable.

  13. They should totally keep a 4″ iPhone in the product line, I disagree with MDN on this. MDN previously was shoving 4″ down people’s throat as the only way that made sense and now has changed their mind. Why not leaving that up to consumers’ which size is best for them?

    My wife could upgrade to an iPhone 6 now and chooses to stay with her iPhone 5 which serves her purposes. For now. She has very small hands so it’s good for her. I never even think about reachability with my 6 Plus even though yeah, it IS too big. I’m lovin’ it overall, that’s for sure, working seamlessly with all my other tech including a new 2015 Subaru Forester with a Pioneer AVIC 8000NEX CarPlay nav/audio unit. 🙂

  14. >>In general, the only people who still think they want a 4-inch iPhone are those who do not yet own a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.<<

    No way. I've been using and cursing the iPhone 6 since launch day. It's the first phone that is also so slippery that I absolutely had to put a case on it so it didn't pop out of my hands.

    Features…sure, I love all the new features and speed but all of this could have been done in the 5s form factor (and edge design). Doesn't anyone remember Steve Jobs holding the little jewels and proclaiming them the IDEAL size and shape for human hands??? (even if he didn't actually say this, he should have and I agree!)

    Give me an iPhone 7 with the 4" form factor or I'll be very unhappy with Apple products (it WAS the original iPhone that caused me to switch all windows products in the house to Apple…this is my first hint of regret…)


  15. Umm, MDN, I really am a big fan and long time reader. Since the days of the rumors of Portal Player technology driving some yet-to-be-announced Apple product. But on this take you have it flat wrong. A 4″ iphone is the LARGEST I would ever want, and do not intend to ‘upgrade’ my iPhone 5s until my choices expand from the current offerings of Big A$$ iPhone and Huge A$$ iPhone to include something ‘normal’ sized… Otherwise keep up the great work!

  16. I’d switch to a 4″ screen’d iPhone 6 immediately. Love the curved sides and all metal back of the 6, but I’m nearsighted and don’t need a larger screen and the footprint of the 5S fits better in my hand – would love the option of the three screen sizes of the same phone form factor

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