The iPhone 7 will be a massive device release for Apple next year, with the new number indicating that this will be a true next generation smartphone. Early figures related to the iPhone 6s suggest that this could be a slightly underwhelming mobile for Apple in terms of sales, and the consumer electronics giant will be looking to top itself when the iPhone 7 is released next year.

iPhone 7 To Release With Three Separate Models

Fluctuating stock

Apple’s share price traded down by about 20 percent earlier this year, but its stock has recovered considerably on the back of numerous rumors. It seems that the hotly anticipated Apple Car is having a preferable influence over the value of the company, and as Apple prepares its first electric car behind the scenes, this is certainly an exciting time for the corporation.

It could be an equally exciting time for fans of the iconic iPhone range next year. The iPhone 6s was certainly a solid performer, but it was perhaps a bit of a disappointment to those who were looking for something of a revolution, or at least significant evolution, when the smartphone was released. It would be difficult to describe the iPhone 6s as anything other than an upgrade, and even if it was a slick and nifty upgrade on the whole, the lukewarm sales figures that Apple has racked up suggest that consumers certainly shared this impression.

So Apple will likely look to refresh the entire iPhone range when the iPhone 7 is released, and a new research report suggests that it will be taking a new approach to the entire concept this time round. The by now infamous KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been giving his thoughts on the iPhone 7 this week, and it seems that Apple fans may have three new devices to get their teeth into next year.

Three iPhone 7 models

Kuo indeed anticipates that there will be three iPhone 7 models released at some point during 2016. The opinion of this analyst is certainly worth paying heed to, as Kuo has built up a reputation of being the most accurate Apple analyst and predictor on the entire planet.

With this in mind, Kuo believes that Apple will indeed release the strongly anticipated 4-inch iPhone model at some point during the first half of 2016. This smaller variant of the iPhone series has been predicted by analysts for some time, but this is the first time that KGI Securities’ Kuo has explicitly predicted its release.

A 4-inch smartphone from Apple would make sense for several reasons. Firstly, it could be a particularly successful release in East Asia, where Apple is beginning to make massive strides. This has historically been a marketplace dominated by Samsung, but China in particular is now becoming incredibly important for Apple as well. Indeed, it has been widely reported that Apple is now shifting more iPhone units in China than even the United States; perhaps not surprising considering the vast population of over 1 billion people in the East Asian superpower.

So a more affordable iPhone 7 unit would certainly seem to fit into the ethos of Apple in this region. Additionally, it was reported earlier this year that one of the central reasons that Apple was considering this particular device is that it was a preference of the late founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs.

Jobs always viewed Apple as an innovator, and although the new CEO of the company Tim Cook has been extremely successful in terms of sales, it has been suggested that the company has failed to deliver this valued innovation under Cook’s tutelage. So this new 4-inch iPhone 7 could be a way of reinvigorating the smartphone marketplace, and placing Apple back at the head of innovation. After all, a smaller smartphone certainly goes against the general trend and fashion in the marketplace.

Enhanced iPhone 5s

Kuo believes that the new 4-inch device is likely to be an enhanced version of the iPhone 5s, but that the specifications included in the model may be somewhat similar to the iPhone 6s. In particular, the analyst predicts that the 4-inch iPhone 7 could include the A9 processor currently found in Apple’s iPhone 6s lineup.

The idea of releasing three iPhone models during 2016 could be a response to Samsung. It is already strongly recommend that the Korean Corporation will simplify its product range by releasing three Galaxy S7 models in 2016.

Perhaps where the two corporations’ approaches will differ is in terms of the release schedule. Kuo suggests that the smaller version of the iPhone 7 will preface the release of the smartphone and phablet versions of the iPhone 7, whereas recent reports have suggested that Samsung will indeed released the Galaxy S7 models simultaneously.

Although Apple has been significantly ahead of Samsung in the mobile marketplace over the last couple of years, the corporation will not rest on its laurels, and will definitely recognize the fact that the Korean corporation remains its major rival. By replicating the Korean company’s plans to produce three versions of its iconic smartphone range, Apple will be able to offer consumers the same level of choice as Samsung.

No 3D Touch for smaller iPhone

Elsewhere, Kuo believes that Apple will not incorporate 3D Touch into the smaller version of the iPhone 7, possibly in an attempt to ensure that it remains affordable. This would also enable Apple to significantly distinguish its premium devices from the smaller competitor, as well as via specifications. This would also suggest that the smaller iPhone 7 would retain the Home button that has become so iconic, despite the fact that other versions of the smartphone have been strongly linked with the removal of these physical elements.

Both models of the iPhone 7 are due a jump in screen resolution this time round, which suggests that we could see a quad HD phablet and full HD smartphone. If this is the case, it seems possible that the smaller 4-inch version of the iPhone 7 will adopt the resolution from the existing iPhone 6s smartphone.

With three brand new iPhone 7 releases in 2016, it promises to be a huge year for smartphone fans.