The iPhone 6C, Apple’s at-one-time-cancelled update to its four–inch smartphone, is back in the headlines.
The small screen-toting handset has been talked up once again by analysts, who reckon that Apple is ready to release the device and bolster its already massive sales figures.
So, what’s the deal? And when can you lay your hands on one? Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the iPhone 6C.
An early 2016 release date
According to analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who has made the claims about Apple’s new 4–inch screen handset, the so–called iPhone 6C will go into production early in 2016.
That’s with a view to releasing the device in the first half of the year, breaking Apple’s annual autumn release cycle and giving the iPhone a boost in sales.
2 A9 processor included
Apple is said to want to include its A9 processor in the iPhone 6C. That's the same one found in its top-end iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
Assuming that happens, it would put it well ahead of the popular iPhone 5S, the 2013 flagship which is still available but uses the older A7 processor.
It could also give Apple scope to sell the older device at a truly knockdown price, enticing cost-conscious customers, especially in markets like China and India.
3 But no 3D Touch
Word is that Apple will omit to include 3D Touch in the iPhone 6C. The top–end tech is currently only available in its iPhone 6S and 6S Plus and harnesses pressure-sensitive pads to free up new ways of interacting with your phone.
Apple would not want to infringe on its flagship phones' major USP by including it in a cheaper handset.
And it's likely to be just as reluctant to raise the cost of what is supposed to be a cheaper version of its bestselling smartphone by stuffing in state of the art touchscreen tech.
The plastic iPhone 5C was derided on launch. But after prices dropped it enjoyed a hugely successful second year, with Apple able to sell it as a budget alternative to its high–end phones.
However, the company abandoned the cheaper material this year and, according to Kuo, will not be going back.
The iPhone 6C is said to feature an all–metal design, in keeping with the current crop of iPhones.
Big sales are a dead cert
Kuo reckons that Apple is planning on selling between 20 and 30 million iPhone 6C units in 2016. That could account for around a tenth of its annual iPhone sales.
Apple is likely to sell the bulk of these new iPhones in China, where it is enjoying a boom in popularity, but does not have a truly mid–range device to challenge Samsung or Huawei.
The iPhone 6C could give those rivals a huge headache, with the Apple brand already proving a huge draw in the country.