Apple’s forthcoming 4-inch iPhone to be powered by Apple A8 SoC, sources say

Citing “credible sources,” Japanese website Macotakara is reporting that Apple is preparing the “iPhone 5s Mark II” with the following specifications:

• Apple A8 chip
• 802.11ac Wi‑Fi
• Bluetooth 4.1
• FaceTime HD camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture based on iPod touch (6th generation)

This new 4-inch iPhone would be an improved version of the iPhone 5s, but would not offer the latest Apple A-series processor, the A9, found in iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. For reference, last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are A8-powered smartphones and are not exactly slouches when it comes to pocket computing performance even today.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Rumors of specs for a new 4-inch iPhone, and even of a new 4-inch iPhone itself, are all over the map. Take with multiple grains of salt.

There is definitely a market for a 4-inch iPhone – made the right way. In March, we ran the following poll and found:

4-inch iPhone MacDailyNews poll

Would the lack of an Apple A9 be a deal-breaker for you?

KGI: Apple to release new 4-inch iPhone in early 2016; A9-powered, but no 3D Touch – November 4, 2015
Why Apple might launch a new 4-inch iPhone in early 2016 – October 15, 2015
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. Because it needs to drive a significantly smaller screen, I think an A8 is a good match for a new 4-inch screen iPhone. It would probably improve battery life and/or reduce battery size, and help with any heat-dissipation issues that comes with smaller casing (less surface area), when compared to a design that uses an A9 variant.

      Since the attraction here is to be smaller and lighter, using the mature A8 (instead of squeezing a cutting-edge A9 in there) makes sense. Plus, Apple already has 80% of the design “in the can” from in the recent (unexpectedly cool) A8-based 6th gen iPod touch, which has a 4-inch screen. I said before that this new iPod touch would not even exist, if Apple did not get its engineering done “for free” from creating the next-gen smaller iPhone. This rumor even says it has the same camera.

      Apple should use the same colorful anodized aluminum casing style used with the current iPod touch. I think it looks really good (especially the blue one), and adds distinctiveness compared to other iPhones choices. Like iPhone 5C, but better colors and NOT “unabashedly plastic.” 🙂

  1. It would seem users who want a 4″ phone with flagship parity, isn’t going to be happy.

    What you will choose from is either a 4″ phone at a lower cost, and year old/hybrid specs, or a 4.7″/5.5″ phone with current specs.

    Let’s hear it. How bad this is going to turn out?

    1. Last year’s SoC and TouchID, no 3D touch?


      Stopping making 4″ flagmans was strategic mistake to begin with, and second-rate re-entry that is not even flagman is dubius.

  2. Not enough to get me to upgrade from my 5s. Still prefer the smaller screen size, but I’m not going to buy a whole new phone just for the ~25% performance bump that the A8 would bring. Stick the A9 into a 4″ iPhone, and I might be interested. A gimped freebie phone with last year’s internals is a nonstarter for me.

  3. I’m holding onto my 4s, even though it responds to commands like a sleeping dog, because it really like the size. Is it too much to ask for a small iPhone with all the current bells and whistles, including the A9? Obviously battery life will take a hit because you cannot pack as much lithium inside a smaller phone, but that is a minor consideration.

  4. I love my 5s, and want another modern 4″ iphone to upgrade to, but if it is just a minor upgrade I will just stay with my 5s.
    But maybe this rumored iPhone is not meant for me but for me, but as an entry level device.
    I will wait and see, but if that’s the case I’ll just upgrade next summer to the 7 instead.

  5. iPhone 7 could have an even bigger screen. You guys pining for a smaller phone better get with the times. None of those baby boomers running Apple want to go back to squinting at tiny screens.

    1. I’m a baby boomer who wants a 4-inch iPhone, with ApplePay. If I want to read a book, I’ll use my iPad mini. And if an older processor will give longer battery life, then that’s an advantage.

  6. But an iPhone 5S Plus, or whatever they would call it, running last year’s processor but the latest iOS, [and 64GB storage? 128GB possibly?] would definitely find a market. The relatively compact size would be priced slightly lower and would therefore still sell well.

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