Analyst: Apple preps 4-inch iPhone with low-end ‘iPhone 6s mini’ in 2015

“Though Apple moved on from the 4-inch screen size this year with the launch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the company may return to that form factor next year with a new low-end handset, a new report claims,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“Analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company issued a note to investors this week claiming that Apple has been working on a new 4-inch iPhone model that could debut in 2015,” Hughes reports. “According to Arcuri, it’s ‘possible’ that Apple could launch three new versions of the iPhone next year, with a so-called ‘iPhone 6s mini’ at 4 inches joining the current-generation screen sizes.”

“The analyst said his sources suggest the specifications of the 4-inch model could be similar to last year’s iPhone 5s,” Hughes reports. “But the device may feature a new design with curved screen edges, much like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve written previously:

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.

Related articles:
Five reasons Apple won’t make any more 4-inch iPhones – December 9, 2014
Apple rumored to be working on new 4-inch iPhone model – December 5, 2014


  1. I received my iPhone 6 the very first day it was available and I absolutely LOVE IT! I cannot imagine going back to a smaller form size. So, when my daughter could upgrade I strongly encourage her to get the iPhone 6 rather than the iPhone 5S. (She was trying to decide between the two). I was shocked to find out just this past week that she’s very disappointed that she got the iPhone 6 as she can no longer do things with one hand like she used to (which I still can). She wishes she had got the iPhone 5s. So I actually think that this would be a very wise move for Apple to offer all three sizes.

      1. Reachability does not work everywhere (like access to the notifications window). It also does not work when your hands are to small to reach across the screen for full access to the keyboard.

        I have the iPhone 6. It does work with my hands but sometimes I want my iPhone 5 back. The reaching is a bit of a stretch at times (no pun).

        1. While I agree it’s a kludgy solution, there really isn’t a better way to fix the one handed problem on the 6 and the 6 Plus. I’m sticking with my 4″ iPhones that don’t need those types of bandaids to use the device one handed. I hope this rumour is true, I would upgrade in a heartbeat for Apple Pay alone.

    1. I easily can imaging going with smaller size as I need the smallest and lightest flagman smartphone (iPhone 6 is both noticeable bigger and heavier than iPhone 5s). Alas, Apple has ceded this market this year, dumping it without reason.

      Despite speculations, unfortunately, the chances that Apple will release actually 4″ flagman device is small.

  2. Had to switch on my iPhone 5s recently and though I love my iPhone 6 screen size and better quality, I must say I love the 5s footprint and feel in my hand better…

    Apple should consider a full new comparable spec and performance iPhone 4-inch, if they are already going this way – there will be others who prefer it’s solid compact size and form, no doubt.

    1. I COMPLETELY agree with this guy. I’ve had the iPhone 6 for 2 months now and I miss the 4-inch factor, mostly because I could actually USE it with one-hand. Even this 4.7 inch display is too big for one-handed use and it’s not like I have miniature hands. And THANK GOD, I got a protective case as soon as I got the phone. Because it’s so big / slippery and trying to use it one-handed to no avail, I’ve literally have dropped it 5 times already…

    2. Sorry MDN but you have it wrong on this one. There really should be a third size for people like me (and from the looks of it a lot of the people in this thread) that want to be able to comfortably use their phone one-handed. (Also, let’s be honest… Reachability is at best a useful hack, that makes using the iPhone to preform functions on it TWICE as long.)

  3. I own a 5s and my wife and son just got 6s. I still find comparing the two that I prefer the smaller 5S screen. So I think there is still some of us who do prefer the smaller screen. The issue is if you make the smaller screen the lower-priced option then it doesn’t work for me I want fast and furious and small screen. It will be interesting to see how Apple tries to address the Bering needs of its market without totally confusing all of us with too many products as they have in the past

    1. Agree I too like the smaller size but perhaps a 4.2 inch or something just a little wider …. I do like using one handed and my hands are about average but could handle a little wider!

  4. Hmm…

    Who may want a mini…

    People who just want a very basic cheap phone (others look like a splurge).
    People who have smaller hands and want an easy to manage phone. (Comment above)
    People who think is slick, slim, ultra compact and just their style.
    People who own iPad minis (why have two?)–these aren’t going away folks.
    Oh prob more. But here’s a biggie, new on the scene…
    Parents, for their kids. 9-13. Get ready Tweens. They used to have iPods for these. Now they’re getting a contract (or pay as you go with proper restrictions!)

    Full disclosure: no, I haven’t used an iPhone 6 yet, except my wife’s. iPhone 5S user. But these above seem obvious to me!

  5. In general, the only people who oppose allowing Apple customers the choice of a full-featured 4-inch phone lack the elementary capacity for empathy. They are convinced that the only significant use case is their own. If they don’t need something, it cannot be important for anyone (except weirdos who can be ignored or mocked).

    Ever since the iPhone 6 hit the stores, people on this site have been reporting almost daily that they have used one, or even bought one, and found it to be too big for them to use comfortably. Yet MDN keeps reporting that “in general” those people who help pay their bills do not exist or matter.

    Yes we people with small hands are a minority, but we do exist. And matter.

    1. Precisely my dear Watson. Apple SHOULD offer the three sizes to cover their bases and varied consumer need. My need is not yours and vice versa.

      I love my iPhone 6 Plus but would have preferred just the 6 but being a camera dude I just HAD to have the optical stabilization only available in the 6 Plus. 🙂

  6. I gave up on my 6 after 3 weeks and returned to form another 5S.

    The old form factor was perfect for me to type one handed. The 6 is too wide. By making 3 Apple can serve all of its market. This is great news!

    1. My thoughts, exactly. I’ve had and used all the available sizes in hand, and 3.5″ is ideal, better ergonomically than the 4″. A new model could be as light as a dumbphone. Methinks MDN has a touch of the TDS on this one.

  7. There are many people who prefer the small form factor because of single handed use. John Gruber of Daring Fireball is one and so is one of his high profile guests on one of his podcasts.
    I prefer the bigger iPhone 6.

  8. I’ve tried the 6 and 6s and both are far too large for me. i only have small hands and can’t use either one handed. I also found the 6 too large in my pocket and the 6s i couldn’t fit in my jeans pocket.

    I held off going from the 4s to the 5s until, i had to change my phone as the battery & home button were knackered. The 5s is still a bit large for my taste, but at least i can just about use it one handed.

    I really hope apple bring out a iphone 6 mini, but it needs to be the same spec as the 6 any lower and it’s pointless.

    I’m glad the people who wanted a (imho) massive screen iphone are now happy, but really hope apple don’t neglect those of use who’d like a regular sized full spec / featured phone.

  9. I love my new phone 6, but agree that its bigger and slippery shell makes it less easy to handle and easier to drop (I’m using a thin rubberised case). I think Steve Jobs was right about the form factor of the original iphones – perfect ergonomics for most people. A smaller iphone would be a welcome addition to the current line-up.

  10. I hate the form factor of the 6. I would buy a 5s form 6s in a heartbeat (if it had the same speed, RFD, etc).

    This is the first iPhone I’ve ever HAD to put a case on – if you don’t it’s like trying to hold a live sardine!

    Maybe the 6 but with the flat sides like the 5? I don’t know, but I won’t be buying another iPhone in this form factor…ever!

  11. I miss the quality look and feel of the 4s and 5s I’ll dump my 6 for a smaller version as soon as it’s available. So it fits my jeans and my suit coat breast pocket better. The new technology is nice but it’s not the big step I thought from the 5s.
    Apple would do well in making a smaller super feature rich version not for the budget minded but for those that want something easy to hold and use without the bulk.

  12. “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.”

    In general, MDN makes blanket statements that don’t apply to most people. There would be plenty of demand for a 4″ model. My wife refused to upgrade due to the size change. I used her upgrade on ATT and picked up the iPhone 6. It is doable, but as others have said, the hand feel and overall usability ABSOLUTELY ARE impacted by its size. I do like it overall, but that’s not to say it hasn’t taken some adjustments to adapt to and there are still instances where I’m “reaching” for a 4″ screen and coming up short. Reachability is a mediocre solution.

  13. I cannot wait! I’ve had the iPhone 6 since launch day and the only feature it lacks is the small form factor of the 5S. And sorry MDN, but small form factor IS a feature. I don’t mind that Apple added larger screen sizes, but for those of us who appreciate the differences between, and can afford multiple devices we do not want a phablet. I want an iPad for certain things, and I want my iPhone to be easily held and used with one hand the majority of the time. I shouldn’t pick up my wife’s iPhone 5S and have envy. That has never happened to me before in decades of Apple product evolution.

  14. I’d like to chime in and say that I prefer the 4″ size iPhones too. I’m a 6’3″ guy with above average hands and I still love the 4″ form factor. One handed use is the most important thing with a phone for me, and the size of the 5/5S is great for that. Reachability is a bandaid that makes doing basic things on the iPhone 6/6 Plus a chore, you should be able to reach up and touch a button at the top of the screen one handed, not have to double tap, watch the screen come down, tap and wait for the screen to go back to the top. I’m not willing to give up ease of one handed use for .7″ screen space. Also with the curvy iPhone design, the larger size is comfortable but way scarier to use, you feel like the phones are going to fly out of your hands constantly. There’s very little to grip there. That same design on a 4″ phone would work far better.

    I digress, I hope this rumour is true as there is a sizeable number of people out there that want 4″ phones. I just hope they don’t use old processors and that it doesn’t lack features of its bigger brothers.

    Apple bowed to market pressure with the 6/6 Plus but I hope they realize that there’s a market that prefers compact phones that is underserved on the Android side. The 4″ Android phones are junk, it gives Apple a huge opportunity to own this space with something that is as good as the top end, big phones.

  15. I personally thought the iPhone 4 was too small when I first got it. But after I got an iPad 2, that phone was the perfect size as I did virtually everything but talking on the phone on the iPad. The iPhone 4 in my pocket felt better than my current 5s. For me personally, the smaller phone is more desirable. If you didn’t want to or couldn’t pay for both a 6 and an iPad, certainly the bigger phone would be more desirable.

    1. Agree pgoodwin1. I got a 6 the day they were released and it’s great, but I would happily trade it for a smaller form factor and the same processing power of the 6. My phone lives in my pants pocket most of the time, most often shorts. I’m a very active person and the 6 is noticeably bigger sitting there in my pocket swishing around with every movement. I don’t spend cubic light years looking at my phone’s screen every day, I have desktops, laptops and iPads to do that. My phone is a portable, with the emphasis on portable. The 6 is just not as portable as the smaller form factors. And don’t even start me on the 6+.

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