Apple’s iPhone series has been hugely successful over the last couple of years, but there are rumors that Apple will shake up the range with the release of an iPhone 6c in the near future. It is perhaps surprising for some market observers that Apple will change its winning formula, but there are clear reasons and incentives for the consumer electronics giant to do so.

iPhone 6C release date, specs and features [RUMORS]

Steve Jobs’ iPhone 6c vision

The first of these is that the idea of a small iPhone is one that can be traced back to its late founder and CEO, Steve Jobs. This iconic entrepreneur always favored smaller mobile devices, and explicitly expressed his preference for a 3.5-inch screened device. It is thought that the iPhone 6c is being developed in line with these preferences, even though the purported screen size of the device is not as compact as the 3.5-inches that Jobs reportedly favored.

But a 4-inch iPhone would be more in line with the ideas of Jobs, and would very much bring the iPhone back to its foundations. It is easy to forget now that Apple initially resisted the temptation to produce iPhones with huge screens, but as this became an increasing market desire and demand, the smartphone manufacturer wisely took this preference into account in its approach.

However, just because phablets and smartphones with large screens have become increasingly popular, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a marketplace for a small iPhone 6c. And actually, when one takes the time to examine the contemporary marketplace, there are several different issues which Apple can how to exploit with the release of such a device.

To be hit in China

Firstly, Apple is becoming increasingly popular in China, and the recent achievement of the corporation of overtaking Samsung in pure sales terms can be attributed to outstanding sales in the world’s most populace nation. China is becoming an increasingly important marketplace for corporations all over the world, particularly as the Chinese middle-class is growing in both size and affluence.

Nonetheless, a more affordable variant of the iPhone could be hugely popular in China, and Apple is clearly producing the iPhone 6c with an eye on such developing economies and marketplaces. It is the success of apple in penetrating developing economies that has enabled it to have the edge over Samsung, and the development of a smaller and cheaper iPhone 6c could enhance this already burgeoning process.

Targets casual users

Additionally, an iPhone 6c could also help Apple gain some traction in the affordable sphere in the Western world. Although the biggest selling smartphones in the world are those which offer advanced functionality, and typically attract the highest price tags, there is always a marketplace for devices which are aimed at the casual smartphone user. It would be a reasonable criticism of Apple to state that the manufacturer has failed to really capture this niche as of yet, with the iPhone still viewed as very much a premium series.

So the release of a smaller and more affordable iPhone 6c could see the corporation achieve significant sales to less affluent consumers in the Western world. This would actually be welcomed by Apple, as the corporation looks to diversify its product range.

To be new revenue stream

Indeed, Apple promised the city at the beginning of 2014 that it would produce new revenue streams, as both investors and analysts were sceptical about the prospects of the corporation achieving significant growth in the future. This notion seems laughable now, considering the achievements of Apple over the last 12 months, Most notably among these was the corporation becoming the first to achieve a $700 billion market capitalization. But its early sales figures in 2014 lukewarm, and Apple has never been a corporation to rest on its laurels.

So it looks increasingly likely that we will see an iPhone 6c at some point in the foreseeable future. But when will it be released, and what can we expect from the device when it finally hits the stores?

Rumors

Well, the first thing to note is that recent rumors suggest that the iPhone 6c could be similar to the iPhone 5s in terms of its internal specifications. Naturally some Apple fans will see this as something of a backward step, but this device is not really be aimed at those wanting the state of the art in the smartphone marketplace, rather it will attract a more casual audience.

If Apple were to adopt similar specifications for the iPhone 6c as appeared in the iPhone 5s then this would very much repeat the policy of the iPhone 5c, which effectively hit the stores with iPhone 5 internals. Should this presumption turn out to be correct, it would mean that the smaller version of the iPhone would feature a 4-inch screen as predicted, while other specs would include an A7 processor with M7 motion coprocessor, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1,560 mAh battery.

This is still a pretty nifty lineup of features for a smartphone which is effectively a bargain basement device. But the iPhone 6c will also have some up-to-date functionality as well if recent reports are to be believed.

Features

Analysts have indicated that it is likely that the iPhone 6c will boast Touch ID technology, which was first introduced with the iPhone 5s. This technology has recently been integrated into the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus, as well as a handful of iPads, and Apple is likely to want it to function in this diminutive smartphone.

This would also suggest that the iPhone 6 will be heavily weighted at being a supporter of Apple Pay. The mobile payment marketplace will become more significant in the coming years, and this is another motivation for Apple to produce an entry-level device. The corporation wants to cover all bases with regard to mobile payments, and ensure that as many demographics of the general public can have access to an Apple device as possible.

With Apple likely to delay the iPhone 7 until 2016, we could see the iPhone 6c before the end of this year. It is believed that an October release date is possible for this new Apple handset.