Analyst: No 4-inch iPhone coming

Gordon Kelly writes for Forbes, “KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a rock solid track record on Apple leaks in recent years… spoke privately to investors today breaking down 11 key features he understands will make up the key elements of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus when they are launched in September.”

AppleInsider obtained a copy of Kuo’s claims:

1. Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enhance user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market

2. Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model

3. There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose gold Apple Watch Edition

4. The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12 MP

5. One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality

6. The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted

7. The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes

8. If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens

9. The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay

10. Gesture control support

11. It’s expected that mass production will start in mid-to-late August. Total shipments will be 80-90mn in 2015, with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models

MacDailyNews Take: There is no “bending issue.” We have multiple iPhone 6 Plus units. They do not “bend” in real life use. It’s a complete non-issue.

As per 4-inch iPhones:

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.MacDailyNews Take, December 5, 2014

Related article:
Analyst: Apple’s next-gen ‘iPhone 6s’ add rose gold option, Force Touch, 2GB RAM, 12MP camera and more – May 12, 2015

20 Comments

    1. The size of the 4.7″ iPhone 6 is not significantly larger than the 4″ 5S. No point in making a 4″ iPhone to satisfy a very small minority of laggards who have never actually seen nor used the 4.7″ size.😕

      1. My wife uses my iPhone 4.7″ quite frequently (which I love). She doesn’t like it. She has average sized hands for a woman. So to say that only people who’ve never used it are asking for a 4″ factor is clearly false and naive (sorry MDN, I still like you! This is just one of the rare time that you are wrong).

        For YEARS Apple promoted the fact that a 4″ phone is *ideal* for one-handed use. And yes, the iPhone 6 can be used with one-hand with the touble-tap feature, but it’s not ideal. And my wife and I have two young kids (one still a baby) who need to be helpd *a lot*. That leaves us with: one hand.

        I sure hope Apple makes a 4″ phone again, but, hey, if they don’t she’ll adapt eventually. It just won’t be ideal.

        1. I preferred 4″, but I have accepted 4.7″; however, I certainly do not want an iPhablet (and have used my wife’s Plus sufficiently to be well aware of the difference).

          One thing that will make your life infinitely easier: reverse traditional thoughts of iOS. Most common apps used to be upper left (and iOS reinforces this by default positioning); however, with the larger screens, design your easy access to be lower right of the screen.

          If the design team at Apple is viewing, the simple change of auto-arrange from lower right instead of from upper left will pretty much eliminate the need for “double-tap”.

    2. I agree you, and disagree with MDN’s take. I’ve had an iPhone ever since the original came out, mostly upgrading every two years, per contract, then adding my father to my plan so that I could upgrade each year and pass the year old phone onto him. With the iPhone 6, I was very excited after seeing the keynote, and preordered as I normally do. As soon as I got the iPhone 6 (not the 6 Plus), I felt it was too big and awkward for me. I tried it for a week, but ended up returning it and staying with the 5s. I wanted the updated hardware with the faster more powerful specs and the ability to use  Pay, but knowing how much I use my phone each day and how productive I am with it outweighed the drawbacks of the newer model. Simply, I knew the user experience for me would not be as good, and I wouldn’t use it as much.

      I actually prefer the 3.5″ screen size of the 4s and before. I read a lot on my phone, and look at stock charts and graphs thru the day. I’m well into my middle age years. Still, most of my usage thru the day I can do with one hand. With the iPhone 6 I didn’t have that ease of use, and it really bummed me out.

      AAPL is my main holding in my investments. I’m thrilled that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are doing well, but I think AAPL would have had millions more sales offering an updated model with a 3.5″ or 4″ screen, as well. Tim Cook stated that something to the effect that only 20% of prior iPhone users have upgraded to the 6 series. I believe this is one of the reasons. There are many reasons why the iPhone started with a 3.5″ screen, and I think those are still relevant.

  1. I don’t doubt that “many” people would like the smaller 4-inch size, but I (and apparently Apple) think that it is not enough to make it profitable – er – make that Apple profitable.

    If Apple wants to cram in more stuff in their phones, they are going to need more space than 4-inches can provide.

    1. My view is having a complete line and serving most needs and wants within reason.
      Ergonomics of a smaller form factor is definitly superior to the larger phones and some trully love that.

  2. iPhone 5s (still better than any phone that does not have an Apple logo) will be in the next iPhone lineup for its third and final year (as the “free” with contract) choice. It is for the following year (2016) that Apple decides to create a new iPhone model with a 4-inch (or smaller) screen… OR not.

    1. I bought an Apple II+ and a Macintosh 512—can you see the pattern: second generation? So, I bought an iPhone 3g, and as the 2-year contracts for my grandfathered unlimited data matured, an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 5. My wife got a 3gs, a 4s, and a 5s. Getting a new phone each year was a no-brainer because we would be repaying the “subsidy” for a new phone in our AT&T bill, whether we actually had new phones or not.

      Last fall, I went to the Apple Store for my new iPhone. I spent over an hour with an iPhone 6 before I decided that I could not justify the money for a device that did not meet my use case. Every few weeks, I’ve gone back and tried the phone some more, but I can never get past the simple fact that I can’t use it with one hand. My right thumb simply does not reach the upper left corner. I regularly use the phone while I am doing something else with my left hand, so it is not free to help operate the phone. I could see no point in using up my biennial contract subsidy by buying a 5s that was already a year old.

      No, I do not want an Android or Windows phone. I don’t want second best, which is why I will not be in the market for a two-year old iPhone 5s next year, no matter how “free” it is.

      1. In fact, the timing is perfect for the 2016 iPhone lineup (next year) to be when Apple decides to continue with a NEW smaller iPhone model, or not.

        The 2015 iPhone lineup (this year) is when most customers with iPhone 5s have expiring two-year contracts. Apple can gauge the enthusiasm of iPhone 5s customers in moving on to a larger iPhone. If there’s a new smaller iPhone in 2015, many iPhone 5s customers may choose not to try a larger iPhone at all.

        A new smaller iPhone design is probably already prototyped, and could be ready for production within six months after incorporating the latest tech. If the first half of the 2015 iPhone model year shows there is still a significant demand for smaller iPhones (based on the number of iPhone 5s that remain in active use), Apple can decide to produce the new smaller iPhone. But If iPhone 5s customers mostly adopt larger iPhones with enthusiasm, the new smaller iPhone can be “shelved” indefinitely.

  3. I want the latest hardware in the smallest form factor. They already screwed up last year by not having the 6 in the smallest size. If they go another year then many users will be using 2 year old tech.

    1. Apparently that’s Cook’s strategy for guaranteeing record sales — wait until pent up demand is so great that Apple can’t possibly even deliver.

      Apple has all the resources it needs to offer 3 sizes of current-tech iPhones. “Supply Chain Genius” Cook just doesn’t have the leadership to deliver it when people want it. Right now he’s struggling to get the company to do two things at the same time — deliver MacBooks and Apple Watches. Asking Cook to do three things at once is not even in the cards.

      Meanwhile on the Mac front, the Mac Pro and others are lagging in performance compared to the competition … again.

  4. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a rock solid track record on Apple leaks in recent years BLAHBLAHBLAH

    OMFG he must PAY people to add that crap after his name. I see his name and associate it with SPIN and SPEW. 💤💤

  5. No problem. I’ll just wait for Nokia to break away from Microloser and buy one of their new small phones. Sure, it’t’s not going to be exactly what I want but if Apple can’t see that there is a market for SMALL MOBILE PHONES then fine. Who cares? I’ll just buy what is out there. The smaller the better, and will assume Apple just couldn’t do it.

  6. Apple seriously should think about three sizes, starting from 4″.
    They should stop the 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB nonsense and go with only 64 GB and 128 GB. Apple should think a little bit more deeply instead of stroking their bloated ego.
    That might not be possible as they have stopped thinking after seeing continued success in the last couple of years even after SJ died.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.