No, Apple Isn’t Releasing a New 4-inch iPhone

| Analysis

Apple is planning to release a new 4-inch iPhone in the first half of 2016, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He says demand for the smaller screen iPhone is high enough to warrant what amounts to an upgraded iPhone 5s, although that doesn't seem like a typical move for the company that looks to where the puck is going.

Apple isn't reviving the 4-inch iPhoneApple isn't reviving the 4-inch iPhone

In a note to investors (thanks, MacRumors)  he said,

As there is still demand for a 4-inch iPhone, we believe Apple will upgrade this product line. Because the iPhone 5s is more popular than the iPhone 5c, we think Apple is likely to launch an upgraded iPhone 5s. We predict Apple will mass-produce this new 4-inch iPhone in [the first half of 2016] with metal casings. In order to make the current iOS 9 or next-generation iOS 10 run smoothly, Apple may adopt an A9 chip for this new phone.

Apple still sells the iPhone 5s as its entry price point smartphone, and part of what keeps that price low is the fact that manufacturing costs are lower since the model is a couple years old. It runs iOS 9, just like the iPhone 6s, but is missing some features that require the newer hardware.

Assuming Apple does update the iPhone 5s with new internal components, including the A9 processor, the price will go up. If Apple is looking to keep an low cost entry point in the iPhone line up, increasing the cost for its 4-inch display model doesn't fit with its game plan. Price isn't, however, typically a driving point in Apple's iPhone strategy.

This isn't the first time predictions of a new small screen iPhone have cropped up, which isn't surprising considering some users aren't interested in the larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s lines. So far, those predictions haven't panned out, and I doubt they will this time, too.

Apple has moved on from the smaller screen form factor, and the iPhone 5s is still around because it's cheap to make and serves as an easy entry point into the company's ecosystem. Once the value in the iPhone 5s is gone for Apple, it'll be retired, just like so many other iPhone models before it.

Apple routinely leaves its older technology and designs behind, along with the customers that aren't interested in moving on to newer products. It'll be the same for the iPhone 5s and the 4-inch display.

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That would be unfortunate. I tried a 6 and found it too big and awkward. I traded with my wife for her 5C. That’s the size I want in a phone. Bigger is just uncomfortible to carry and talk on. In a couple of years when I’m looking at replacing it, if Apple isn’t making a small model I’m really noit sure what I’ll do. Maybe it’s back to a dumb phone for me.


For me, the perfect size is the 6sPlus.  Fits my hand perfectly, and the screen is large enough to see without glasses.  Not sure what I’d do if the reversed course and went to a 4 inch screen.  Probably use it strictly as a phone, and carry another device (like iPad mini) for apps . 


I dearly hope you’re wrong, Jeff, about Apple not planning to upgrade the 5s, & I completely concur with geoduck in finding my iPhone 6 just way too awkward & cumbersome (the iPhone 6’s center of gravity lies right beneath my index finger, causing it to seesaw out of my palm over that fulcrum,  constantly, unless I grip it with fingers I’d much rather not be using for that)  -  there is just no way I can do the one handed operations I got used to performing on my iPhone 5, even though my hand is no smaller than at least half of all US citizens’ hands.

I am constantly regretting my upgrading to my humongous iPhone 6, instead of to an iPhone 5s, although I do love advanced features in my iPhone 6 not available on an iPhone 5s,  which I know I would miss. So, I remain stuck in dissatisfaction with all iPhone choices available to me.


I don’t want a bigger phone. It has been what has kept me from upgrading.
The 6S and beyond are just too big for my personal needs.

In fact, I would actually like a smaller one.
A nano version or if possible a nice little clam shell version that one can fold up to be smaller and protected.

I use my phone for all kinds of things but I don’t particularly need a mobile video player to watch videos on. The 6S is just a tad too big for my hands to do what I can on my 5S. The 6S Plus is like holding a turkey platter to your face to talk. It is absurd…. I do see the need for it, but it is a bit laughable in its ginormity.


I’m in the service industry, and we’re finding the iPhone 6/s too big as well.

When you’re trying to get into places, it’s always catching on something and getting pulled off your Otter belt clip.  Our needs are Exchange support, in-house apps, and maps, and the 5s works beautifully for these.  The only time we find ourselves wishing for a bigger screen is when trying to read the road markings in Maps, which, ahem, should zoom along with the map. smile  (This goes for Google’s map app as well)


I think if my phone got broken I would actually end up getting another 5S rather than one of the newer models. I would love the newer features, but when it comes down to it, the form factor of the newest ones are ghastly large. My neighbors recently upgraded both of their phones and they seem to be fumbling about with their phones all of the time since they can’t do what they could with the smaller form factor. Women seem to have the hardest time with smaller hands and all but even my 6’4” neighbor seems to fumble about with his more than he did before.

Not sure why Apple wouldn’t have 3 or even 4 sizes so that all consumers could pick the size they liked the best.


I was sorry to see the end of my 4S.
I will be even more sorry to see the end of my 5S.

An iPhone 6+ resembles a flattened Motorola circa 1990.


I thought the answer were obvious. 3D touch is expensive. Which means iPhone 6s series are unlikely to move down the ladder to replace the current iPhone 6 price point.

So What might Happen next year around, if this rumors are true will be Apple making a complete revamp / update of its product line. If the A9 are going into the 4” iPhone 6c, then it is likely end up in the iPhone 6 as well or what ever it is called. Essentially the whole line of iPhone will be slightly upgraded.

Why? The article suggest A9 will be more expensive then old components. Which is not always true. Once you get to a certain scales the metric becomes different. The upcoming A10 will be Fabbed on TSMC 16FFC+, which will be more power efficient AND cheaper then the current 16FF+. Some industry expert even predict the 16FFC will be the next node to replace 28nm as the cheapest node going forward in a few years time. So what is likely going to happen is Apple test trial a variants of 16nmFFC A9 with the new iPhone before it is being massively launched .

Another Note is that the whole Mac Lineup next year will likely get Skylake update, which along side with A9 supports 4K H.265 hardware decode.


So as a 4S and 6+ user - I won’t drop back to one device because the 4S hits the mark for portability and comparative ruggedness - even if the performance is ‘average’.

I’ve been saying for weeks that the obvious next step would be a SMALLER phone - from an engineering perspective - big phone?, been there done that - its easier to get the functionality and performance in a bigger handset - years ago when screen size was merely displaying a dozen numbers there was a glorious design race to ‘smaller’ with Nokia in particular creating some amazing devices, some were almost jewellery - in the US its amazing what prehistoric handsets were foisted on the market by your mobile providers - it was different in Europe.

So Apple designers, put the functionality [camera, performance, battery life, haptic feedback etc] in a SMALL phone - its called innovation - you guys love a challenge and there’s no doubt your industrial design and manufacturing wizardry is way beyond the competitors ability - Samsung can’t even advertise the Curve in Europe without copying Apple’s adverts, woefully pathetic.


Wow! Knock me down with a feather. Judging by the (admittedly small sample) comments here, are all the pundits on the wrong track? Could it be that bigger is NOT what everyone wants? I like the 5s just like it is; no bigger. Wouldn’t mind all the neat new features, but not at the expense of the bigger size. I am not a towering giant, with humongous hands, so I’ll stick with my 5s.

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