“Unfortunately, the latest reports state that Apple is not planning on launching a 4-inch smartphone in the next couple of months,” Bill Maurer writes for Seeking Alpha. “Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri stated that evidence of the rumored low-cost iPhone 6C has disappeared since around March.”
“For Apple, this seems to be a debate over pricing and margins versus market share. Since the 4-inch model would be cheaper than its larger screen counterparts, it would likely be priced a bit lower. In this case, the smaller screen model would probably not be capable of achieving as high margins,” Maurer writes. “In the end, Apple would see this basically as the 5C, version two, a strategy which I don’t think the company is interested in currently.”
“On the other hand, if the company is truly concerned with increasing its global market share, then it definitely makes sense to have three phones. Giving consumers the most potential options should get you the most possible customers. With a sizable upgrade base that may not want a giant phone, the 4-inch would fit that need,” Maurer writes. “Even if only a few percent of current holders would stay with the 4-inch, you’re talking about millions of iPhones annually. Does Apple really want to pass up say 10 or 15 million potential customers just so it can maintain super high pricing or margins?”
Maurer writes, “I think the company may be making a mistake if it decides against a 4-inch smartphone this year.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: If they’re going to make a 4-inch iPhone, it should be on par (as much as possible) with the flagship iPhones – same processor, same amount of RAM, same storage options, very similar camera capabilities, etc. In other words, a high-margin premium device designed specifically for premium customers who are looking for a world-class 4-inch smartphone. Still:
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
That said, there certainly are times now, with Apple Watches on our wrists, where we’d appreciate a smaller iPhone that we could just tuck away in a pocket and forget — at least while Watch is so dependent on iPhone. But, watch OS 2, coming soon, will begin to lessen the dependence, so whatever desire we had developed over the past months months for a small iPhone to support Apple Watch has diminished since watchOS 2 was unveiled. It’s likely Apple is thinking this way, too. Even with Apple Watch and watch OS 1.0, we almost always want a larger iPhone* for the times when we actually use the iPhone anyway. So, we’re back to thinking the 4.7-inch display is the smallest iPhone Apple should make.
*The one major exception would be toting around an iPhone on a run for GPS mapping, but, even then, the iPhone 6 is plenty small and light enough to suffice.
Analyst: Apple has scrapped plans for a 4-inch iPhone 6c – July 27, 2015
Analyst: No 4-inch iPhone coming – May 12, 2015
KGI: 4-inch iPhone ‘unlikely’ this fall – April 22, 2015
Five reasons Apple won’t make any more 4-inch iPhones – December 9, 2014