Why Apple might launch a new 4-inch iPhone in early 2016

“When Apple launched the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus last month, the company did not fully discontinue the 5s model. Yes, the 64GB storage model of the 5s was axed, along with the 8GB storage model of the 5c. Given the age of these phones, this might not be a surprise,” Bill Maurer writes for Seeking Alpha. “But Apple has kept production of the 16GB and 32GB storage models of the 5s going. With the street expecting basically no unit sales growth for the iPhone in Apple’s fiscal 2016 period, I believe the key to further growth is the launch of a new upgraded 4-inch phone.”

“The 5s has lasted a lot longer than other phones launched at the same time, and it currently is going up against two larger screen iPhones that have sold extremely well. Based on Apple’s history, it doesn’t appear that the 5s will be on sale much longer,” Maurer writes. “So why is Apple still selling a phone that can’t compare with its current lineup? Well, the best reason seems to be size. Apple went to a larger screen size with the 6 line, and the 6s line has added features that make the 6s Plus more than 70% heavier than the 5s. Some consumers will argue that they don’t need a phone that is larger than a US dollar bill. If you’re putting your device in a pocket, it needs to fit in that pocket.”

“Obviously, there is still a market for the 5s, or Apple would have discontinued more than just the 64GB version already. In my opinion, I think the company is waiting until early 2016 to eliminate the phone because that’s when we’ll start to see production and sales of the current models start to fall off a bit,” Maurer writes. “At that point, Apple can have its suppliers start production on a new phone, let’s call it the 6C, that contains a 4-inch display but has much better specs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in July:

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

No 4-inch ‘iPhone 6c’ at Apple’s September 9 event, iPhone 5c to be discontinued – August 27, 2015
Should Apple make a state-of-the-art 4-inch iPhone? – July 31, 2015
Analyst: Apple has scrapped plans for a 4-inch iPhone 6c – July 27, 2015
Analyst: No 4-inch iPhone coming – May 12, 2015
If Apple makes a next-gen 4-inch iPhone, they should do it right, not make it a second class device – March 26, 2015


  1. What surprises me is that nobody is talking about Apple Watch owners, who rarely need a large screen, given what the Watch does for them. A 4″ iPhone, unobtrusively and comfortably kept in a pocket, is a perfect pairing for an Apple Watch. I have large hands, and the 6S I have is, frankly, too wide for them; the 5S was far more comfortable in my large hands.

    I’d like something 5S-width-and-height or, preferably, smaller, especially given that the height of the 6(S) is hard to keep in a front jeans pocket when one sits down. It’s easy for a Watch owner to imagine a huge demand from Watch owners for a smaller iPhone.

    I’d change my 6S for a 4″ equivalent in a heartbeat, especially because I have a Watch.

    1. The same for me. I have been saying about how the 6 and 6+ are bad for jeans and shorts for over a year and keep getting voted down. The Apple Watch has been great with it. I glad to see a lot of people on my side.

  2. i have a 6 for my work phone and a 5s for my personal phone. i still prefer the 5s. it’s more comfortable in my hands. i also use my phone when i go for runs. the apple watch does not have GPS so i relay on my phone to capture all my running data. i don’t want to run with a phablet attached to my arm and the watch isn’t where i’d like it to be. so the 4″ phone is ideal for my lifestyle.

Reader Feedback

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