The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus could have been accompanied by a more compact ‘6C’ model aimed at consumers who don’t care for larger, phablet-sized phones, an analyst claims.
According to Cowen and Company number-cruncher Timothy Arcuri, Apple had plans for “an iPhone 6-looking version of the iPhone 5C” that would retain the internal components of the iPhone 6 but feature a smaller four-inch screen.
Arcuri said he had seen supply-chain evidence of the handset's existence between January and March this year, and had been alerted to it by insiders with knowledge of the things that go on in the top-secret, airy labs in Apple’s Cupertino HQ.
However, any trace of the phone that we’re duty bound to dub the 'iPhone 6C' has now disappeared from view, Acuri says, suggesting that it has been scrapped.
The reason for the decision? That’s anyone’s guess. But Acuri posits that Apple got cold feet because it felt that the iPhone 6C could harm sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
He said: "I think one of the reasons is because the iPhone 6 has sold so well. And they said, 'Look, why would we want to cannibalise?
“If we came out with an iPhone 6C, we would essentially cannibalise a price-reduced iPhone 6.'"
Arguably more interesting than the revelation that Apple scrapped the 6C is what all this means for its smartphone strategy this year. Especially in view of sales data for recent iPhones from uSwitch Tech.
Now coming up for two years old, the iPhone 5C overcame a slow start to become one of Apple’s biggest-selling iPhones ever. So much so, that it’s still heavily promoted by UK carriers.
Conversely, the iPhone 6 outsold the iPhone 6 Plus on our site by a ratio of seven to one. Even taking into account the latter’s higher price, that’s a surprisingly weak showing for an Apple device.
The way we see it, this suggests that bringing out an iPhone 6C would actually have been a pretty smart move.
Certainly, it would appear to be a cleverer strategy than releasing a successor to the iPhone 6 Plus, after the handset proved less in-demand than might’ve been expected.
One way or another, we’ll find out for sure what's going down soon, with Apple set to unveil the next-gen iPhone, or iPhones, in September.
You can keep up with all the gossip about it with our iPhone 6S rumours round-up.