The latest insider information on the iPhone 6c suggests that the diminutive iPhone variant will include some significant internal upgrades from the iPhone 5s. But the most respected Apple analyst does suggest that there will be strong similarities between this new handset and the previous smaller version of the iPhone range.

Legendary Analyst Spills Beans On 4-Inch iPhone 6C

Kuo talks iPhone 6c

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo believes that there will be upgrades in the iPhone 6c over the previous iPhone 5s, but that Apple will base the new device on its previous release. But one of the most notable features of the iPhone 6c will be curve-edged glass, which will make the new handset similar in appearance to the existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.

This 4-inch variant of the iPhone range has been anticipated for some time, with Apple expected to add it to its product range in an attempt to effectively generate a new revenue stream. It has also been reported that the smaller smartphone size that the iPhone 6c represents was a particular favorite of the late CEO and founder of Apple, Steve Jobs.

Kuo suggests that the iPhone 6c will be armed with an A9 processor, with an NFC chip particularly important in the makeup of the device. It seems that Apple will especially focus on Apple Pay functionality with the iPhone 6c, with the suggestion that this particularly compact version of the iPhone range will be ideal for mobile payments.

However, Kuo also suggests that the camera included in the iPhone 6c will be identical to that of the iPhone 5s, as Apple chooses to focus on other areas of the smartphone for updates. It is also reported by the legendary analyst that the iPhone 6c will feature a metallic case, and ultimately probably be in available in three different colors.

iPhone 6c release date

The Apple analyst has also had his say on when the iPhone 6c is likely to be released. Kuo believes that we may see the iPhone 6c hit the stores in the first quarter of next year, but does not believe that it will necessarily translate into outstanding sales. Should Apple indeed follow the suggestions of Kuo, it will be a very busy year for the consumer electronics giant, considering that the second version of the Apple Watch is expected at some point during Q2.

Kuo indicates his estimation that the new model of the iPhone range will be priced at around $450, and he believes that at this price point that it will account for around 9 percent of the iPhone sales during next year. Although this may seem like a relatively paltry figure, Kuo still believes that there is a strong incentive for Apple to launch this product.

The iPhone 6c will play a major role in Apple extending its penetration into emerging markets, while consumers with smaller budgets will be more readily able to purchase this more affordable version of the iPhone range. It seems that with the iPhone 6c, Apple has its eyes firmly set on the long game, with the smartphone playing a more strategic role than its major device releases. Supporting the Apple Pay mobile payment system will also serve the purpose of strengthening the overall Apple ecosystem.

Another valuable role that the iPhone 6c can play for Apple is in slowing down the effect of its post-seasonal slump. Apple typically has to tolerate iPhone sales slowing significantly at the start of every year, as customers recover from the festive season. But it is suggested that the iPhone 6c can play a significant role in mitigating against the scale of this decline in sales. With the Apple Watch lined up for the second quarter of 2016, and other new products rumored alongside the next-generation iPhone 7, due for a Q3 release, Apple has plenty of product and cashflow scheduled for the next 12 months.

February release

Meanwhile, media reports in China suggest that the iPhone 6c will be announced in January next year, ahead of a February release date. This will make the second month of 2016 extremely interesting, as it is generally assumed now that Samsung will schedule the release of the Galaxy S7 for February as well.

Reports in the world’s most populous nation have cited “Foxconn insiders”; always a key player in the Apple supply chain. And these sources also indicate that although previous affordable versions of the iPhone range have been a plasticky, the successor to the iPhone 5s will be metallic in construction. This would certainly makes sense considering how unfashionable plastic has become for smartphones in recent years.

It is also suggested from these reports that this smaller variant of the iPhone range will not support the innovative 3D Touch technology. It is not known at the time of writing whether this is due to logistical considerations, or if Apple simply wants to preserve this technology for its flagship handsets.

Apple to hit Mobile World Congress?

The January unveiling and February release date will unquestionably spark rumors that Apple may break its usual policy of not attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. However, much though technology fans may love to see Apple disrupt that event with an attendance, the likelihood is that it will stick to its existing policy of specialist reveal events.

One of the interesting recent rumors about the iPhone 6c is that Apple will ensure that the smartphone has an identical resolution to the existing iPhone 6c. This would mean that given the smaller screen size that the iPhone 6c will possess that the pixels per inch rating of the smartphone will exceed the flagship smartphone of the iPhone range.

This would be good news for existing iPhone consumers, as it would suggest that the iPhone 7 will benefit from a resolution boost. This would mean that the smartphone version of the iPhone 7 would be likely full HD, with Apple producing its first quad HD mobile in the shape of the iPhone 7 Plus.

On the whole, there is plenty for Apple fans to look forward to in 2016, as the consumer electronics giant freshens up its mobile range.