The iPhone SE potential

Update: See iPhone SE

That Apple is continuing to make iPhones isn't particuarly interesting. (If they were to shut the place down and go into the hot tub business, now, that'd be something else.) How Apple continues to solve problems and bring greater value to the phone space is what's interesting to me. With iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the answers seem apparent, if not obvious — better cameras, better processors, and the continued expansion of Force Touch and Taptics across the product line. But what about an iPhone 6c?

Small problems

One of the "problems" customers face with the current iPhone lineup is size. People who really, truly prefer smaller phones have to choose between getting a 2013-era iPhone 5s with a 4-inch display, sacrificing a little on camera and specs, or a 2014-era iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display, sacrificing on one-handed ease of use.

High-end Android, for the most part, abandoned the 4-inch market segment years ago. These days, the "small" section of many Android lineups starts around five inches; no one seems to even ask about smaller Android phones anymore.

In contrast, up until six months ago, the iPhone's flagship model was four inches. That phone remains available today, though with inferior specs when compared to its bigger siblings. Which prompts people to ask about new 4-inch iPhones all the time.

Big problems

Then, there's distinction: Come next year, how does the company drop the existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus by $100 without also dropping average margins or demand for the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus? What's more, how would they introduce a 4-inch variant without doing the same?

Traditionally iPhone price tiers are based on storage. It's an abstract and has no direct correlation to cost, but it's something people easily understand. Bigger costs more. 128 GB is bigger, so it costs $100 more than 64 GB. Everyone gets it.

With iPhone 6 Plus, Apple expanded the definition of "bigger" to include screen sizes as well. 5.5-inch screens are bigger, so they cost $100 more than 4.7-inch screens. Everyone still gets it.

"Smaller" works the same way, just in reverse. 16GB is smaller, so it costs $100 less than 64 GB. 4.7-inch displays are smaller, so they cost $100 less than 5.5-inch displays. (So does "older" — Apple often drops the price of the previous generation iPhone by $100 and keeps it in the lineup as well.) Still getting it.

But this means that if Apple goes smaller again, introducing a 4-inch iPhone 6c, the expectation would be for it to cost $100 less. That may be one of the reasons we didn't get a 4-inch iPhone 6 in 2014 — all that bleeding-edge technology crammed into an even smaller casing would be expected to be delivered at an even lower price.

The iPhone 5c solution

Apple faced a similar "problems" in 2013 when they introduced the iPhone 5s. Instead of dropping the nearly identical looking iPhone 5 by $100 and slotting it into the mid-tier, they replaced it with the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5c was both easier to manufacture and visibly distinct from the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. It used brightly colored plastic for the casing and added an element of pop-art appeal to the lineup.

The iPhone 5c wasn't the blockbuster the iPhone 5s was, but it wasn't meant to be. iPhone sales are traditionally like major motion pictures: They spike on release day, then trend down until the next release. iPhone 5c was meant to be more like a TV show. The numbers may not be blockbuster-style, but they're solid, week in, week out. More importantly, the iPhone 5c preserved margins and demand for the iPhone 5s.

iPhone 6c potential

To me, there are two avenues Apple can take when it comes to a potential iPhone 6c.

If the company wants to make 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones less expensive and get them into more hands — all while maintaining the same kind of high-end exclusivity on metal finishes that the company did for iPhone 5s — then unabashedly plastic iPhone 6c and iPhone 6c Plus options could be on the horizon. The candy-coated casings would make such phones feel even bigger, of course, but that would be a different "problem".

More likely, Apple wants to keep 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone models exclusive to the high-end, a 4-inch iPhone 6c could make a lot of sense.

It would let the company remove the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from the product lineup, just like the company removed iPhone 5 in 2013. It could sell the smaller model for $100 less and preserve both average margins and demand for the latest, greatest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 Plus. It would also look different and have more modern specs, including a better camera than the iPhone 5s, which will presumably drop by an additional $100 this fall to take up position at the bottom of the lineup. (And punt the iPhone 5c out of most markets.)

Most importantly, it would let the existing 4-inch iPhone customer base move forward. It would keep them one year behind the flagships in terms of technology, and on a separate path in terms of design, but it would keep the range — and hence the value of the iPhone — for those customers.

John Gruber and I spoke about a potential iPhone 6c on his podcast, The Talk Show, many moons ago. It's an interesting idea and one Apple has almost-certainly explored because, again, they explore every interesting idea. Whether they ultimately go forward with an iPhone 6c or not will depend on whether they consider what I termed "problems" above to actually be problems, and if they do, whether or not the company feels an iPhone 6c would be the best solution.

Either way, unless and until Apple gives it all up for hot tubs, there are new iPhones coming our way this fall. And it will be fascinating to see how Apple arranges the rest of the product lineup around them.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

61 Comments
  • Keep the iphone6c 4 in. You will make a lot of people happy with that decision Apple. It makes sense to have more models at different sizes. Tailor to more customers. Samsung gets that. Unfortunately they put a turd inside of the smaller form factor phones.
  • I don't think they will go the same direction that they did with the original iPhone C line. I think the C will keep their colorized appeal, but find a metal body, similar in design and appearance to the current iPhone 6 line. This well help them keep their generational similarity. They will of course have a 4" screen and updated specs, I'd assume along the lines of an updated 5s with a better camera, improved processor, and sapphire glass on the display. This would be enough of an upgrade for 4" iPhone users to appreciate, allow them to price properly, and maintain their "C" line. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • // Tailor to more customers. Samsung gets that. // That's why Apple had 93% of global smartphone profits last quarter. Think about that: 93% of profits off of 23% of sales.
    Pull that trick off,,and copying anyone else will never, ever cross your mind.
  • I could be wrong... but I felt like the abandonment of the smaller iPhone was a calculated move by Apple to increase the demand for the Apple Watch. The bigger the phone, the less convenient it is for the menial tasks that an Apple Watch excels at. So, the larger iPhone and the smaller Apple Watch replace the 4" iPhone. Instead of a phone that can be easily used with one hand, but offers less quality in terms of gaming and media consumption, you now have a even smaller device, conveniently located on your wrist for small tasks, and a larger device that you only pull out when needed for larger tasks. You get the best of both worlds... and Apple wins by selling you two devices instead of one.
  • Never thought about it that way but I could see it. Create a market out of inconvenience, wouldn't put it past them. It's smart.
  • I agree it's smart. And more importantly... it will probably work. I've currently got a 5S... but I'll be getting the Apple Watch. Assuming all goes well, I'll get the 5.5" 6S+ in September, without worrying that it's too big to be convenient. The Apple Watch is the partner device that creates the convenience I need to allow me to get the larger iPhone I want. I win, because I get what I really wanted without compromise - and Apple wins - because they upsold me on the more expensive 6S+ AND a watch. It's brilliant.
  • Personally I don't want an extra device. I need to get away from my phone occasionally. After 10 pm I use Do not disturb every night for all notifications. The watch strapped to my wrist annoying the living hell out of me sounds the worst. If I wanted a bigger phone I would just buy the 6+ but I prefer the for factor and convenience of the 6. No watch necessary.
  • I'm not sure the word "necessary" is a word anyone would attach to a smart watch... or any of Apple's products really. We all managed to get by just fine before smart phones existed - so none of it is "necessary". The Apple Watch is added convenience, and you can disable the functions you don't want, just like you do with your phone after 10pm. Used in tandem with a larger iPhone - and you get the best of both experience and convenience. That's what Apple is selling us.
  • I am not disagreeing. But your "convenience" is my "annoying little watch of doom".
  • Apple would never "make a market out of inconvenience." Those are abominable tactics, and you shouldn't support any company that uses them.
  • USB C? $70 adapter hmmm... Cash money seems to be the answer. Maybe I am naive. But thats how it spells it out to me. It is cool I'll still buy their products... until I don't. But I am not buying a silly watch or a laptop with one port thats literally the definition of "inconvenience" to me.
  • I think Apple is doing just that... but that's not all they are doing. They are improving the overall iPhone experience with the larger screen, while improving convenience with the smaller watch. Apple most likely views it as improving your overall experience with their devices... which is a very "Apple" thing to do. And they will sell more devices in the process. Also, very "Apple."
  • This. I am not trying to trash talk Apple. All my main devices at work and home are Apple. But some of their decisions leave me scratching my head. But I always realize they are were they are for a reason and that reason isn't giving everyone what they want... it's giving them what Apple wants them to want.
  • And t runs counter to their focus on user experience and customer satisfaction. Just look at how much Tim Cook loves his customer sat stats
  • But Apple achieves customer satisfaction by giving them a better experience, even if they aren't asking for it. One of the biggest complaints people have about Apple is that they don't offer less expensive computers, like Dell or other PC companies. Apple is more interested in selling premium devices at premium prices. People pay that, and are satisfied. Apple does not give people what they want, simply because they ask for it. Quite the opposite. They give you what the feel is the best user experience they can offer. And right now, it seems like they believe that larger screens on the iPhone is the better experience.
  • This is the ticket. Get used to 4.7" as "small" in the Apple world. In fact, I expect the iPhone 7 Plus to push 6" in the same form factor as the current iPhone 6 Plus (in part thanks to forced touch eliminating the need for a home button), bolstered by an even thinner, battery sipping Apple Watch 2. You will see carriers offering bundled deals of the base model AW2 with an iPhone 7 Plus purchase.
  • Since getting my iPhone 6 (which I love) I've been secretly hoping that iPhone 6s / 7 will include an equally powerful small screen alternative. For the iPhone 6 to be he death of the 4 inch screen I think would be a tragedy, equally, for it to be a 6c (less powerful/premium) version I also think would be a mistake. If there is no longer a viable 4 inch version, then I think iOS controls (natively along the top of the screen) need to be brought down to accommodate we primates with 'average' length thumbs. Depending on your hold, those buttons can be a real stretch, and the double tap to drop thing isn't a smooth enough solution for a company as perfectionist as Apple in my opinion. Time will tell! Sent from the iMore App
  • Since getting my iPhone 6 (which I love) I've been secretly hoping that iPhone 6s / 7 will include an equally powerful small screen alternative. For the iPhone 6 to be he death of the 4 inch screen I think would be a tragedy, equally, for it to be a 6c (less powerful/premium) version I also think would be a mistake. If there is no longer a viable 4 inch version, then I think iOS controls (natively along the top of the screen) need to be brought down to accommodate we primates with 'average' length thumbs. Depending on your hold, those buttons can be a real stretch, and the double tap to drop thing isn't a smooth enough solution for a company as perfectionist as Apple in my opinion. Time will tell! Sent from the iMore App
  • I think that there simply HAS to be some kind of 4" option for 2015. Think about how completely *boring* the next iPhone event will be, if all that they introduce is iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus! They will look exactly the same but be slightly faster as usual. Ho-freaking-Hum! The 5c and the 5 will both be so old that they will have to be dropped from the lineup at that point too. If they keep the iPhone 5s around, or move the internals into a plastic body ("iPhone 5sc?"), then you've got a two year old phone being sold as "new." None of these options are really very good. They will either drop 4" phones altogether (a bad mistake IMO), or there will be some kind of brand new smaller iPhone. I find it hard to believe that they will drop 4" phones altogether and piss off such a huge, core group of their supporters and customers.
  • I agree with the button placement !!ESPECIALLY ON AN IPAD!! on the iPad the buttons at the top are crazy !! Sent from the iMore App
  • I think the iPhone 5s internals will become the new 5c"s" this fall. So it will be the same 4" form factor but with the a7 and Touch ID.
  • My personal belief is that they will make a 4" *aluminium* "iPhone mini" this year, and they will make a big deal about how it "wasn't even possible last year," and present it as a marvellous feat of engineering as usual. This is because according to all the sales records we've seen, *most* folks who bought the iPhone 6 and 6 plus were not upgrading from old iPhones but moving from Android. Clearly, a lot of 4" iPhone users were not interested in the larger models this year. If Apple instead only makes a plastic version of this "mini" phone, then this will be like giving a giant middle finger to a large portion of their customers. A group that contains some of it's most ardent admirers and followers. So while I welcome a plastic "iPhone 6c," it isn't enough. They need to make a "proper" iPhone 6 mini. This is the year we find out if Apple is now "all about the money," or if they actually are going to make a product that their customers have been telling them they want.
  • Apple doesn't typically give people what they want. They tell people what they want. We'll all get used to the larger phone screens... and a couple years from now, we'll have trouble remembering how we managed to get by with those small antiquated 4" iPhones. I feel like the Apple Watch is a great example of Apple's ability to tell us what we want. The masses haven't been clamoring for a Smart Watch. But Apple is telling us that we want it, while simultaneously creating an increased need for it with larger iPhones. And if history holds - the masses will eventually jump on board and believe Apple - even if they didn't agree at first. When Apple tells us what we want, they are usually right. They think about it more than we do. I initially didn't think I needed an iPhone. I was happy with my iPod and dumb phone... but now I couldn't imagine going back. I wasn't initially wowed by the Apple Watch. But I am getting one, because Apple has a history of knowing what I want before I do. I'll be getting the larger iPhone in September too... and I'll probably love it.
  • I think you are belabouring the point a bit too much perhaps. Apple definitely gives people what they need rather than what they ask for, but the two things aren't as disconnected as you make out. They still have to listen to what people want a little bit. If they didn't, we wouldn't have seen the larger iPhones this year. There is also no good explanation for the fake gold finishes they use now other than "people (in China and India) want them." There is a ton of clear evidence that a lot of folks actually prefer the smaller phones so Apple would be remiss (and a bit crazy) not to make them. Not to mention the fact that the whole "three sizes" thing is a typical Apple product strategy that they have done many times before.
  • I'm not arguing that there is no connection between what people want and what Apple makes. Rather, I'm arguing that Apple believes it knows what you want more than you know what you want. I could be wrong about the 4" iPhone going extinct... but if I am, I doubt very much it is because Apple is giving in to public pressure. Rather, it will be because Apple sees a credible market for a top-of-the line 4" iPhone. I just don't see Apple going in that direction, because it seems like they've already left that behind, and Apple isn't prone to going backward. It just seems to me that Apple is moving toward larger phablets and tablets, and toward smaller wearables... and that leaves the 4" iPhone like a tweener device. I can easily forsee a day when tablets and wearables are the only devices people own. As technology moves forward, the Apple Watch will become more powerful... the Apple SIM will give an iPad all the functionality of an iPhone... and the iPhone as we know it could easily cease to exist. That is just the direction that I see Apple pushing us toward. And if I'm right about that, there is no way they will be deterred by people who like things the way they were before.
  • Interesting, and I don't necessarily disagree. I think we are enough on the same page that I'm just going to leave it at that.
  • All of what you just said makes me sad about humanity a little bit. Or a lot. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Meh. This is how the world works. Innovation is rarely something the masses ask for. Rather, it is a forward thinking company that is able to sell the idea to the masses. Apple does that better than most. For instance, 30 years ago, buying a road atlas was a foregone conclusion. Then printing out internet directions became a thing... and finally, turn-by-turn navigation devices. People didn't demand that technology... but that doesn't mean that it doesn't make our lives significantly better/easier. You should be glad that Apple is able to convince the masses that it's innovation is good. It makes our lives better in ways that we didn't previously consider needed improving.
  • Wow people still want crappy tiny 4 inch phone when 4.7 is not that big anyway. Sent from the iMore App
  • I see the "c" as a targeted at iPods buyers to be honest. They seem to have abandoned them these days?
  • I totally agree. there hasn't been an iPod refresh in forever Sent from the iMore App
  • There are many advantages to a smaller phone. Ultimately the current trend will turn. I blogged about this a few weeks ago and set out arguments I've not seen anywhere else. Ousboui.wordpress
  • Can't find your blog. I'd be interested in reading it though. I agree that there are many advantages to smaller phones. Having said that... it certainly seems like the market is moving toward larger more powerful phones with smaller wearable devices to provide the convenient function that fills the advantages that a smaller phone would provide. We're not all the way there yet... but it certainly seems like that is the direction we're heading. The 3.5" smartphone screen is dead and gone forever imo.
  • Indeed. In my case, I don't give a rat's behind about my "phone" as no one ever "calls me on the telephone" at all. That's 20th century thinking. All I use my phone for at the moment other than a camera, is as a clock/timer/alarm, as a weather forecast, and as a text machine. Facebook, the Web, email and pretty much everything else is a pain on the iPhone and I use an iPad mini instead. I expect the Apple watch to completely replace my iPhone, at least for the things I use it for, with the exception of the camera function. Since I currently carry my iPhone and iPad with me at all times, I further expect that once I get the watch, the iPhone likely won't even make it's way out of my bag more frequently than once a week or so. The kicker is that way Apple has set things up, the iPhone is the centre of the mobile "digital hub" so it's a "hard requirement" to buy one to play in mobile at all. Apple could have gotten around this limitation by giving the iPad the few extra hardware items it needs to be a drop in replacement for an iPhone and by bugging the carriers to give iPads a more equitable mobile contract, but they chose not to. iPhone is required, that's just the way it is for the moment. For all these reasons, I am going to be actively searching for a "small" iPhone next time, the smaller the better and the cheaper the better. If the iPhone is just a gatekeeper or a forced requirement for mobile computing and if it's basically just going to act as a hot spot, why would I want anything other than the smallest one? In other words, if you have and use an iPad or an iPad mini, the larger phones they came out with this year hold no attraction whatsoever, and the iPhone itself is rapidly becoming just a necessary annoyance.
  • I think you're right about a lot... but just off the mark with your conclusion. You are right that the Apple Watch will replace a lot of what you currently use your iPhone for... but that doesn't mean that your iPhone will get smaller. Rather, it will become bigger. Just as you mentioned the possibility of the iPad replacing your iPhone. If you are using your watch for the menial tasks that your iPhone does... that means that you don't need a smaller screen anymore. Instead, you need a larger screen that allows you to do more complex activities that the small watch screen can't do well, simply because it's so small. I currently own an iPhone and a MacBook. But I can easily see my future being an Apple Watch, an iPad, and a iMac. The iPhone and MacBook would become tweener devices that are replaced by either added convenience or added power.
  • All I can say to this is that I hope they keep around the smaller, cheaper iPhones for the short term (because they are required and I don't want to spend a fortune on one or be forced to carry a big one around). For the long term, I think (well I hope) that the Watch will eventually have the cell radio in it, and that the other devices you carry will be an either/or proposition. My "perfect" scenario would be an iPad mini that I can use the same way most people use their phone, and the Apple Watch for notifications, calls, texts, etc. I have almost no interest in carrying around an iPhone except for the camera, and of course Apple could easily just put the same camera in the iPad in any case. I hope that I'm not going to be *forced* to buy an iPhone each and every year just to get an invitation to the mobile party, and if I was also forced to make that iPhone a "big" one, that would be very bad indeed. I'm optimistic that Apple will see things this way as well.
  • I like the styling and feel of the 5C but would never buy one with the limited storage on offer. Would really like a full spec 4" phone with full memory options and touch ID. OK with plastic and slower processor as a compromise. I tried the 6 and really didn't like the bigger size and went back to the 5S.
  • iPhone 6c... Oh my. Please don't apple Sent from the iMore App
  • I love my 6 plus, but I know a fair number of people who refuse to give up their 5/5s size and would jump on a 4" 6c variant immediately. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'd buy a 6c in a heartbeat if it's the same size as the 6 and supports T-Mobile US's LTE band 12 (for indoor signal penetration that I need ASAP). Especially if comes in a wider variety of colors this time (I'm thinking less pastel and more primary colors).
  • "The candy-coated casings [of a 6C and 6C Plus] would make such phones feel even bigger, of course..." That's interesting, Rene, why do you think so? Sent from the iMore App
  • Never gonna happen.
  • I'm definitely in the 4" screen camp. It would be a dream for them to release a 6 designed 4" phone with the latest internals. I can see them releasing a 4" phone, but I imagine it'll just have last years specs. Unfortunately, that's my issue. Not willing to compromise specs..... but i really don't want a bigger phone!
  • I don't want last year 's technology. I want next year's technology in a 4" iphone.
  • I just pre-ordered the new Apple Hot tub, lol
  • One of the clues from Apple came during the conference call a few weeks ago when Tim Cook stated that a fair proportion of the world's population do not have smartphones. It looks like Apple will not be ignoring that potential in the market.
    I have a 5c and I predicted here recently that Apple would ditch the 5s and replace the 5c with a new multi coloured plastic 4" model when others were yearning for a replacement for the 5s.
  • i am one of them, still using the old, reliable nokia... unless apple willing to lower the price in 6c, most of them would end up with cheaper android $100 cheaper is not good enough, it need to more, a lot more
  • Knowing this, I don't understand why Apple doesn't just position the plastic model iPhones as a "loss leader." It's not like they aren't all rolling in more money than Scrooge McDuck. With Apple's notably super-fat margins, they could produce an entry level plastic phone and sell it full price, at cost for less than a hundred bucks, easily. This phone would be "free on contract" although brand new. Now *that* would drive adoption! And all they'd have to do is forego the profit on a tiny segment of their business. The increased volume would probably balance it out and then some.
  • I like your idea of "loss leader". It has to be cheap, and I am sure tons of people will buy a plastic iPhone at $300, need not to be $100. Apple maybe making loss or break even on the cheap iPhone, but they will make more profits down the road. When the user begin to trust Apple product, they will start to invest more. For example, I got to know Apple via its iPad. Loving It so much, and when I am looking for a new pc, I go for Mac. I am now waiting for the right price iPhone to get one. Have been waiting for ages, and may soon opt for android since I rarely use a phone.
  • i refuse to change my no-so-smart nokia phone for ages, anticipating a cheaper apple phone in 5c, but was left disappointed, because C for apple is not cheap. i can easily get a cheap android if i want to replace my old phone. now i've a rMBP, and want to live in apple eco-system, hope the 6c can cater for a slightly lower end market, pricing wise. the main reason i don't get a smartphone is i stay at home almost 6 days a week, i use my iPad 7 days a week, plus my phone only ring a few times a week... smartphone is not a necessity for me, just a luxury it would be nice to get a cheaper new iPhone... i can't see myself getting an android, and i will definitely resist a not-so-cheap 6c
  • I'm in the wanting to stay with the 4" screen size camp. But if it's going to be like the 5c I'm not going to buy one. I don't want to settle for an inferior product. I want a 4" phone that has the same capabilities as the others unless there is something that is limited specifically by the size. But things such as RAM, processor, and case material don't fall into that category.
  • I'm hoping to possibly an increase in screen or a smaller dimensions regarding the bezels. I realize it has a home button but that doesn't stop other manufacturers like Samsung to have a smaller but bigger screen device footprint than the iPhone 6. My nexus 5 is smaller than the 6 and that has a 5 inch vs 4.7 inch that the iPhone 6 has. I'll like a c device. The iPhone 5c while called a flop, was very popular and sold much better than any other android alternative. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • The perfect size for a new 6c is a 4.3 in screen. It will still be smaller than the flagship phones, but not so tiny as the 5s and prior phones. It's the perfect size. Sent from the iMore App
  • The perfect size for a new 6c is a 4.3 in screen. It will still be smaller than the flagship phones, but not so tiny as the 5s and prior phones. It's the perfect size. Sent from the iMore App
  • Fun to think about what Apple will do. Fall 2015 will be fun to watch for Apple admirers! Sent from the iMore App
  • I don't understand why Apple couldn't release a "5SC" when they released the iPhone 6; what was stopping them besides deciding on a non-crappy name?
  • Absolutely nothing. This is in fact one of the big indicators that they might not be moving forward with the plastic phones. Although on the other hand it doesn't actually prove anything. I think there is an obvious value in dropping the phones that don't have TouchID and the phones that don't have the motion coprocessor though. So if there isn't an "iPhone 5sc" I would think the iPhone 5c will be gone next time either way.
  • Then wouldn't that make the iPhone 6c essentially the same as the iPhone 5c but just with upgraded specs? :|
  • I thank Apple will most likely keep the 5c around but the internals of the iPhone 5c will use the iPhone 5s internals instead of the iPhone 5's ageing A6 processor. The iPhone 6c should really replace the iPhone 6 in the lineup when they announce the iPhone 6s in September.
  • It is a misconception that the 5c is cheaper than the 5. Yes, the 5/5s form factor has reportedly been Apple's most difficult form factor to produce, but, to understand what Apple was doing is to look at them from a more global marketing perspective, not just north america. The iPhone 5, Apple's first LTE capable iPhone, had a limited number of LTE bands. Apple wanted to move into emerging markets, like China and others, with more than one LTE capable iPhone, but, the 5 did not have bands that would work in these other markets, only the new 5s would. They also, yes, wanted to do a new form factor, one that might be easier to market in these new emerging markets (muti-colored resin). To engineer an entirely new iPhone takes a lot of effort and costs. What they did was simply update the LTE chip in the iPhone 5 innards, made minor modifications to make it fit into a new external enclosure (more colors, and, yes, a bit easier to produce), wallah, iPhone 5c comes out at $100 less than the 5 (they would have reduced the 5 by $100 anyway :P ). So, the 5c is essentially the iPhone 5 inside, this cost Apple far less than designing an entirely new iPhone, the innards costs more to re-engineer than to just fit it inside a different external case. But, now they had 2 iPhones they could offer in these emerging markets. So, 6c rumors are unfounded, in my mind, by many factors, not just this. What I think we will see is the 5s go into the 5c form factor, maybe add NFC chip for Apple Pay (maybe).
  • This would certainly suck for those that want a 4" with top specs but so are the times.