Apple To Release a 4-Inch iPhone Next Year, Analyst Says
The rumor mill is churning about Apple. Reports suggest that the company will release a new 4-inch iPhone next year alongside the iPhone 7. The rumor is being attributed to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities whose predictions about Apple are widely considered accurate. In a research note, Kuo said Apple is working to refresh the older 4-inch model, according to reports.
The iPhone with a 4-inch screen would look something like the iPhone 5s and tote the A9 processor, according to Kuo. The exact design is unknown but it will reportedly have a metal casing rather than plastic. However, it won’t sport the 3D Touch feature that comes with the larger models, i.e., the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. As for the iPhone 7, Kuo predicts that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will each tote an upgraded A10 chip and the iPhone 7 Plus will come with 3 GB of RAM instead of 2 GB to identify it as the high-end device, according to reports.
Could the 4-Inch iPhone Rumor Be True?
We caught up with Roger Entner, a principal analyst at Recon Analytics, to get his thoughts on the rumors. He told us it doesn’t make sense for Apple to roll out a phone model that was not selling well when it was on the market.
Is the rumor completely unfounded. No, it’s not impossible that Apple would go this route but it would break the company’s established mold, Entner said. Apple has demonstrated strict discipline by limiting the number of iPhones, focusing only on one or two devices at a time, he added.
“Adding a third device creates more complexity in the supply chain,” Entner said. “I don’t know how well a four-inch iPhone would sell unless it is priced at a substantial discount.”
Following Consumer Demand
Although smartphones are still about portability and what fits in a person's pocket -- and although the iPhone 6 is difficult to fit in the front of a pair of jeans -- Samsung proved portability was secondary to a larger screen size with its Galaxy line. In fact, when Apple didn’t have an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6, Samsung was beating the company soundly, Entner said.
“Only when Apple rolled out the the 5 and 6 did their fortunes change. To me, that indicates that the 4 isn’t really where the main consumer demand is,” Entner said. “If you want to round out at the bottom, that’s fine but I don’t think a lot more people will buy it.” If Apple reverts to a smaller screen, the company is likely to see lower sales, he added.
Does This Make Sense?
“Apple works very well as a premium product. There are very few companies that can raise the price of their product and sell more at the same time,” Entner said. “Apple pulled it off. Are they going to sell a 4-inch phone that’s even more expensive than the 5 or 6 or are they forced to sell it for less? Why would you introduce a new phone that cannibalizes the profits from the bigger phone unless you make a lot more in sales? I just don’t see it.”
Entner said he doesn’t see a new 4-inch iPhone model in Apple’s future because he doesn’t believe it will help sales or profitability. After all, the screen size doesn’t really make that much difference in terms of the pricing and a 4-inch iPhone would have a smaller battery.
“People would scream that the battery life really sucks compared to the 6,” Entner said. “I don’t think they want to sell a phone with a battery that sucks. I don’t think they are going to want fewer happy customers and less money. Maybe the analyst is right but I personally don’t see it.”
Posted: 2015-11-05 @ 11:09am PT
This is blogger nonsense. It's an economic bag of rocks!
Posted: 2015-11-04 @ 4:55pm PT
I hope the rumor is true and look forward to buying a 4" phone, whether from Apple or any other manufacturer. The gigantic devices on the market now remind me of the unwielding early phones. I long for the day of the Motorola clamshell that so many of us forgot in the shirt's pocket on the way to the laundry. A small phone is a beautiful phone, and for email, browsing, etc. there is a tablet that can WiFi or Bluetooth into that phone and that can be left at the office or at home when one wants to feel light.