As Apple continues to make preparations for the next generation iPhone series, there are increasing question marks about the existence of the iPhone 6c. This is much mooted smaller version of the smartphone that had been hotly anticipated to form one-third of a trio of iPhone releases later this year. But it now seems likely that it will take longer for this particular variant of the mobile to emerge.

iPhone 6C Will Not Launch At Apple's September 9th Event

Apple is holding its iPhone unveiling event two weeks from now, or at least this is very much the expectation of analysts. There is an Apple event scheduled for this timeframe, and it is widely anticipated that Apple will reveal the next generation iPhone at this conference. However, many Apple followers now believe that the iPhone 6c will be delayed until next year.

iPhone 6c delayed

It has been widely reported this week that although a 4-inch iPhone 6c will probably appear at some point, we shouldn’t expect to see it in the next couple of months. Apple is apparently working on the iPhone 6c behind closed doors, but it seems that delays in production have ensured that the current smartphone will not form part of the next iPhone release schedule.

The smaller smartphone is set to significantly resemble the existing iPhone 5c handset, but is expected to have internal specifications similar to the iPhone 6. This will certainly make the iPhone 6c an attractive proposition for consumers, as it would deliver a pretty powerful smartphone package, while being delivered to market at an affordable price point.

In addition to the 4-inch iPhone 6c, it has also been suggested that Apple is working on a prototype iPhone with a 3.5-inch display. This device would be in line with the preferences of the late founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, who had expressed his particular taste for the 3.5-inch screened smartphone during his life. However, 9to5Mac reports that after some experiments with this diminutive smartphone, Apple decided to shelve the project, at least for the foreseeable future.

iPhone 6c to fill iPhone 5c gap

While Apple may not release the iPhone 6c in September, when the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus hit the stores the release of these two devices is at least anticipated to create a gap in the market for the iPhone 6c indirectly. Apple will reportedly discontinue the iPhone 5c once the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus are available, and this would naturally suggest that a gap in the Apple portfolio is being cleared for the release of the iPhone 6c.

The release of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will also provide an opportunity for another source of affordable iPhones for consumers while they await the release of the iPhone 6c. It is expected that Apple will slash the price of the iPhone 6 by $100 as soon as the new smartphones hit the market.

Another interesting report this week suggested that the iPhone 6c will strongly resemble the iPhone 5c when it is released. There has been some speculation that Apple could produce a physical construction for this smartphone similar to its predecessor in the affordable iPhone niche, and this has now been confirmed to some extent by media reports.

GizmoChina claimed that its sources have revealed that the iPhone 6c will feature the same design as the iPhone 5c. The publication declined to confirm whether this would include a plastic feel to the device, but it does suggest that Apple will be retaining some of the major design elements from this previous handset. GizmoChina stays that this information has emanated directly from factory sources in East Asia, and has also suggested that existing protective accessories for the iPhone 5c will still be compatible with the iPhone 6c when it is finally released.

It remains to be seen how Apple will position the iPhone 6c when it does emerge. Analysts have suggested that this smartphone will be more consciously aimed at the increasingly important Chinese marketplace than previous iPhone devices. But it will doubtless remain an entry-level smartphone for the Western marketplace as well, and this will require some skilful branding and marketing from Apple once the handset is announced.

With 2016 increasingly looking to be a likely date for the release of the iPhone 6c, it is instead suggested that Apple could unveil the device in the second quarter of 2016. With Samsung set to release the next generation Galaxy S7 in April 2016, it could make commercial sense for Apple to release this smaller next generation iPhone variant before the Galaxy S7 is made available.

Possible specs

In terms of specs for the iPhone 6c, naturally Apple has not confirmed anything at all related to this device. But considering that reports have suggested specifications close to the existing iPhone 6, this gives us a template on which to make some estimations about what to expect from this forthcoming smartphone.

An 8-megapixel camera should be present in the device, with some reports suggesting that an LED flash will also be included. It would seem that the iPhone 6c will be particularly targeted at a younger audience, and this could motivate Apple to include a particularly strong front-facing camera in the device. In order to attract the selfie generation, we could see a disproportionately high megapixel rating being included in the front-facing snapper.

Considering that this is effectively a bargain basement device, Apple is also only predicted to produce only a 16 GB version of the iPhone 6c. This could pose logistical issues for the consumer electronics giant, as last year’s 16GB iPhone 6 model was criticized owing to the large amount of storage space required by iOS 8. This could have been solved by the time that the iPhone 6c is released by an updated iOS version, but Apple may also be tempted to produce larger storage versions of the handset.

Finally, it seems unthinkable that Apple will do anything other than migrate the Force Touch technology that is becoming a staple in its device range. It is likely that a certain emphasis will be placed on Apple Pay in the iPhone 6c, and this would obviously tie in with this proprietary technology.