Apple is rumoured to launch a smaller 4-inch iPhone 6 next year according to news sources coming out of Asia last week.
Even though sales of the 6 and 6 Plus have blown away all expectations and sold a record 10 million devices in the launch weekend, the larger size of the new models (4.7-inches and 5.5-inches respectively) means that one-handed usage is difficult for many people, especially women with smaller hands.
It was Apple’s staunch defence of this principle that kept the company from launching bigger screened phones until this year, and they are now playing catchup in the size stakes with manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola and LG.
Here are the schematics that were presumably leaked from Asian supply chain sources (Apple is said to impose a $50 million fine for product leaks, so it’s unbelievable that such leaks still happen):
Unify the iPhone lineup
The cheapest phone that Apple offers is the plastic iPhone 5C (which uses internal components from the two year old iPhone 5) followed by the mid-range 5S, both of which now don’t match the new styling of the latest model.
This means there are now four phones spread awkwardly across three generations of technology and four different storage sizes. You can see why it makes sense for Apple to unify the whole lineup.
An ideal budget option?
The 4-inch iPhone 6 would be an ideal replacement for the 5C and 5S as the only budget option. It could launch when the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus (what a mouthful, come on Apple just call them iPhones) debut in September, and it would use iPhone 6 internals such as the A8 chip.
The rumours say the smaller iPhone will be released in the second half of 2015, but it’s not clear if this means at the same time as the 6S or whether just quietly beforehand.
iPhone 5c discontinued
The colourful iPhone 5c, which some claim has been a failure (even though it became the best-selling smartphone in the UK prior to the launch of the iPhone 6) is most likely going to be phased out next year.
If Apple wants to keep a 4-inch version in its range, it’s a wide move to update the 5S with the aesthetics of the iPhone 6 – but would it be called the iPhone 6 Mini or something else entirely?
Why the fuss about one-handed use?
What’s the big deal with one-handed operation anyway?
As anyone that’s driven in Thailand knows, there are plenty of people driving scooters while using the phone, so perhaps Apple is targeting that segment of the market?