Rumors regarding a 4-inch iPhone 7C have been circulating for some time, but it seems that these murmurings may morph into reality in due course. The latest reports on this forthcoming Apple smartphone suggest that the iPhone 7C may be going into production in the near future. This would be consistent with previous reports that have suggested that the iPhone 7C will be released in April, possibly alongside the Apple Watch 2.

4-Inch Apple iPhone 7C Already In Production

New smartphone in production

According to these latest reports, Apple has already engaged in a small-scale trial production of the smartphone, with mass production of the iPhone 7C ready to begin later this month. Leaks from closes to the Apple supply chain also suggest that this forthcoming mobile will be somewhat similar to the existing iPhone 5S in both shape and size. Apple will also provide consumers with three separate color options for the iPhone 7C.

Another interesting aspect to the reports coming out of East Asia is the suggestion that some of the specifications of the device have already been settled. The iPhone 7C will reportedly include a 1,642 mAh battery, while it is suggested that the price tag of the device off-contract will be somewhere between $400 and $500.

The iPhone 7C is expected to serve the dual-purpose of penetrating marketplaces in China and other developing economies, as well as providing an affordable variant to the premium version of the smartphone in the West. Although Apple has yet to confirm any of its specifications, or even the existence of this smartphone, it has been widely reported for many months that it will feature a 4-inch display.

Additionally, the iPhone 7C will also serve the purpose of effectively being a new product line for Apple. The corporation promised the city back in early 2014 that it would generate new revenue streams, and its recent financial performance has hastened the need for this to be achieved. The Apple share price fell significantly in the second half of 2015, with investors sceptical that the corporation can continue to grow revenue in the future.

Apple attempts to diversify

This has led Apple to investigate several different, and in some cases radical, product lines. While there is nothing particularly out of the ordinary in producing a smaller iPhone, reports that the consumer electronics giant is working on manufacturing an electric vehicle certainly do represent a departure from the norm for Apple.

The 4-inch smartphone is also a nod to the desires and predilections of the late founder and CEO of Apple. Steve Jobs had expressed a preference for 3.5-inch mobiles while he was alive, and although Apple is seemingly not ready to go quite as small as that, this 4-inch device does represent a reversal from the general trends of the industry. While Samsung may release a Galaxy Note device with a screen in excess of six inches in 2016, Apple is instead working on producing sleeker, more diminutive products.

Early reports on the iPhone 7C suggest that the next budget smartphone from Apple could be something of a powerhouse. Analysts are very much reliant on leaks at this stage of the game, as Apple certainly hasn’t released any meaningful information about the iPhone 7C. But there is now some agreement on what we can expect from this smartphone, and it seems that the replacement for the iPhone 5S will be a very powerful performer.

iPhone 7C specs

Firstly, rumors suggest that the screen in the iPhone 7C will be equal in resolution to the existing iPhone 6S smartphone. This would mean a resolution of 1,334 x 750 pixels, and an improved pixel-per-inch rating over the existing iPhone range. This naturally implies that the iPhone 7C will have an impressive screen for what is a budget smartphone.

It is also thought that the iPhone 7C will debut with 2GB of RAM, which would be equal to the recent iPhone 6S release. Considering the smaller display of the iPhone 7C, this would suggest that the smartphone will perform extremely efficiently when it is released. For Apple to arm the iPhone 7C with the same amount of RAM as the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus also suggests that the iPhone 7 will receive a significant RAM upgrade later this year.

Another interesting design aspect of the iPhone 7C that is already being linked with the device is the suggestion that it could feature curved “2.5D” glass. This would also ensure that the design of the iPhone 7C is somewhat similar to the existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S; both of which featured curved edges.

The iPhone 7C also seems to be the sort of smartphone that would benefit from an excellent camera. With its more affordable price tag, this handset is clearly aimed at younger people; the so-called selfie generation. So it is not surprising that the iPhone 7C is mooted to feature an 8-megapixel snapper equal to the quality of those featured in the recent iPhone 6S. What can be said is that Apple is unlikely to arm this device with optical image stabilization. A good quality rear-facing snapper is also anticipated, possibly with a 5-megapixel rating.

It will be interesting to see how many iPhone 7C units Apple decides to manufacture as the iPhone 7C goes into production. This will certainly be viewed as a mass-market smartphone, and one that can contribute to an excellent financial year for Apple in 2016. It will also be intriguing to note whether Apple decides to update this smartphone on a more regular basis than previous affordable variants of the iPhone range.

With an April release date anticipated, we should see Apple confirming the existence of the iPhone 7C and unveiling it at some point in March. With Samsung expected to release the Galaxy S7 in February, this will mean that the first quarter of 2016 will see significant shifts in the smartphone marketplace.