Rumors about the iPhone 7 continue to swirl, and generally we’re hearing the same rumors just re-racked and supposedly reconfirmed by multiple sources. One pesky rumor that’s back again for another round is the suggestion that there will be a new 4-inch iPhone model.
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This time, the report about a 4-inch iPhone comes from DigiTimes, which cites Korean language website TechNews. TechNews, in turn, cites sources within Apple’s supply chain. It should be noted, however, that TechNews has a mixed track record in terms of reporting Apple rumors. This report could be accurate though since this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Apple plans to release another 4-inch model.
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DigiTimes calls attention to its own report in March which stated that Apple will release three different models in the second half of this year: the iPhone 6S, the iPhone 6S Plus and a 4-inch smartphone being referred to as the iPhone 6C. That 4-inch phone is said to be a refresh of the low-budget iPhone 5C, which was released in 2013.
On the other hand, if you look at other websites reporting on the DigiTimes article, like BGR, suddenly the name of the phone that could have a 4-inch model is changed to the iPhone 7.
AUO said to be making iPhone screens
The DigiTimes report states that AU Optronics (AUO) is said to have won a contract with Apple to make screens for the iPhone. The company is reportedly making not only 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone screens but also 4-inch displays.
DigiTimes also states, however, that AUO’s role as a screen maker for the iPhone may not begin until 2016, which would probably be when the iPhone 7 family would land on the market. That’s according to reports from the Taiwan-based Apple Daily website and UDN, and it also explains why BGR shifted from the iPhone 6C name to the iPhone 7 family. When piecing the tidbits and rumors from various sources, it does suggest that Apple may indeed be planning for an iPhone 7C rather than an iPhone 6C.
The reason Apple is said to be bringing AUO into the iPhone supply chain is because yields from competing suppliers have been fluctuating. Adding another supplier would bring stability and security into the supply chain for what is Apple’s most important device.