How does a 4-inch iPhone 6c sound to you?

“I think that any iPhone range changes will be left until September, and while I wouldn’t expect any radical changes to the pricing structures or value, the iPhone 5C is currently sitting on the bottom rung of the ladder with a rather pathetic 8 GB of internal storage,” Ewan Spence writes for Forbes.

“While the iPhone 5s does have Touch ID, it does not have the hardware to support Apple Pay, and Cupertino is putting a huge amount of focus on mobile payments. If I was Tim Cook I would want all of my handsets to be Apple Pay compatible. That would require some re-engineering on the 5s,” Spence writes. “Couple that required re-engineering with the loss of the colored polycarbonate styling of the iPhone 5c, add in the continued demand for the smaller four-inch screened smartphone, and the answer is a reworked iPhone 5s with Apple Pay support added into a polycarbonate-based four-inch handset.”

“Arguably this would be seen as a ‘new’ handset rather than a discounted older handset, and that approach makes it an easier sale on the high street by Apple Store staff, carriers, and third-party resellers. It just needs a name to tie it into the ‘new’ Apple ecosystem that differentiates it from the existing handsets and evokes a strong reaction in consumers,” Spence writes. “How does the iPhone 6c sound to you?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While we maintain that “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,” we absolutely do understand that, not in general, a smaller iPhone does offer certain benefits – pocketability, bringing along GPS for Apple Watch runners and cyclists, etc. (As iPhone 6 Plus users, we do know what it’s like to have one strapped to your arm while running. It’s not small.)

What if Apple went even a bit further and made a 4-inch, hard-coated polycarbonate “iPhone 6c” that was just a bit thicker in order to deliver heretofore untold battery life and a certain degree of indestructibility? Any takers?

47 Comments

    1. Yes. Apple is fairly consistent in its practice of continuing the existing iPhone design for a full three years, with minor changes. Therefore…

      iPhone 5s continues and becomes the “free” (with contract) option, in its third and final year. Still a great 64-bit phone.

      iPhone 6 (4.7-inch screen) gets colorful casing, and becomes the “new” iPhone 6c, the middle option starting at $99. It does not necessarily need to be plastic; it can be anodized stamped aluminum, like iPod touch. And speaking of iPod touch, I think there will be a new one this Fall, based on the same design (minus the “phone parts”); maybe it’s time to call it “iPad something.”

      iPhone 6s and 6s Plus at the top of the lineup.

      The following year (for 2016 release) is the year Apple decides if there is sufficient demand for an ongoing “smaller” iPhone. And it will be a new design or a significant upgrade of the 5s design.

    2. While Ewan Spence makes some good points, he undermines his argument in his zeal to make a (rather obvious) point regarding the role of the iPhone 5c and 5s in the evolving iOS ecosystem.

      The Apple Watch offers an Apple Pay solution to tens of millions of existing iPhone 5s users. No need to panic.

    1. I also went with the new Moto e and am overwhelmingly pleased. Clean pure Android (5.02) runs very well. And for $150, I got an LTE phone for practically the price of an apple care package.

      1. First generation’s thickness is overboard. If you want huge battery, 9.3 mm thickness of iPhone 4/4S would be more than enough since normal 4″ device thickness is 7.6 mm of iPhone 5/5s).

        However, as result, the device will weight not 112 grammes, but more like 160 since battery is by far the heaviest thing in there.

        1. Do you know, I don’t find 160 grams beyond the capability of my arm to lift a phone as high as my ear.
          An iPhonne battery life that requires once a week charging is far more important to me than the difference between 112 and 160 grams. Not least because I dont spend all day with the thing stuck to my ear.
          My old Nokia 6320 had a battery life measured in days – admittedly it did a lot less, but the ability to forget to charge it for a day, or two, or three, is something that would be worth paying for – and no I don’t want to buy a phone and then strap some add-on battery pack (nor do I want a huge case) so there is a balance to be had.
          For all of the iPhone’s bells and whistles the biggest issue is when the thing dies on you and then you are without every feature.

  1. Same hardware as the flagship iPhones and not plastic then I am in. I don’t mind the same thickness as iPhone 4S to give a better battery life. I have the Air2 I don’t need a Phablet iPhone at all.

  2. MDN was against big screens until they were for big screens…

    Flip Floppers..lol

    Me personally, I prefer the design, size and FEEL of the 5S over the 6 or 6+, I’ve held them all, touched them and put them into my pocket. The 5S feels sturdier, looks better and fits better IMO.

      1. Everyone, including MDN, runs into situations that change their minds. Apple has a way of doing that…

        While I have also railed on MDN from time-to-time for various reasons, fairness dictates that we also acknowledge the numerous highly accurate and forward-looking conjectures and predictions offered by MDN via the MDN Takes and under the name of SteveJack. Overall, the combined Apple-related wisdom on this forum has done a pretty good job of charting Apple’s path over the years. In some cases, we offered ideas regarding product enhancements or capabilities that may have been superior to the approaches actually implemented by Apple.

  3. There are times I wish for the 3.5″ iPhone but I blame that on jeans that are too snug. So I’ll put my vote down for the 4″.

    Just like everyone said about the larger iPhone, it’s a personal preference. So make the smaller version with the same tech and let the people pick based on screen size. Right now you have to go with last year’s tech if you want the smaller size.

  4. I trade away my iP6 for a 4″ version any day of the week.
    I have a iPad and a MBP for when I need a larger screen.
    The 5S was almost the perfect size for me. I thought the bigger screen on the 6 would make typing on the screen easier — didn’t help a whole lot and what little it did help was overwhelmed by the fact that I can’t reach across the entire screen now (and I have *big* hands). If I’m going to have to use two hands, I’ll use my iPad.

    Now if Apple were to produce a larger iPad, I’d give up my iPad3 in a second.

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