All Sections

Apple’s rumoured iPhone 6c is a plastic 4-incher too far

Rumours of Apple bashing out another 4-inch smartphone appear to be justified, with further evidence of an ‘iPhone 6c’ emerging this week. But do we really need another dinky iPhone, and a plastic one at that?

Grapevine chatter at the end of 2014 revealed that Apple might not be entirely done with 4-inch handsets, despite boosting the screen size for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Now it seems that the rumoured new 4-incher will be the iPhone 6c, a direct follow-up to Apple’s iPhone 5c, which was launched all the way back in October 2013.

What is the iPhone 6c?

The company Future Supplier, which sells smartphone parts used in renovation and repair, posted a handful of photos showing a new shell for what appears at first glance to be the iPhone 5c. But peer a little closer and you should spot a couple of differences, revealing that this is an entirely different beast. In fact, this plastic frame has more in common with the iPhone 5s than the iPhone 5c.

These leaked snaps show the shell’s camera flash aperture – round on the 5c – to be oval, just as it is on the iPhone 5s. They also reveal dual speaker grilles on the bottom of the chassis, while the 5c only had one. This is once again in keeping with the iPhone 5s, which sported two speaker grilles.

The belief is that Apple is planning to carry on the trend it set with the 5c, by using legacy hardware as the base for its ‘budget’ range of devices. Therefore we fully expect an iPhone 6c with a 4-inch display but a plastic shell in place of the iPhone 5s’ slick metal body.

Beyond that change, the device is likely to mimic the 5s completely, with a 1.3GHz dual-core chip, 8-megapixel primary camera and 1GB RAM, alongside 8 or 16GB of internal storage space. We reckon you’ll also find TouchID in place, especially with Apple Pay rolling out across the globe this year (fingers crossed).

So why is Apple wrong to do another 4-inch iPhone?

When Apple made the jump to larger screen sizes for its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, some questioned the company’s decision and many cited the iPhone’s pocketable size as a defining reason for their love of the device. However, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold through the roof, giving Apple record profits and proving that the time was right for a larger device.

For many, especially Android fans, the volumes Apple shifted wasn’t a surprise. With mobile games growing more complex and a huge number of video streaming services now available on the App Store and online, Apple’s iPhones were crying out for bigger screens to make the most of the content. Android users have been enjoying 5-inch-plus displays for ages now, with some smartphones stretching up to 5.5-inches before you even dive into phablet territory.

The decision to offer a smaller iPhone once again, but make it an older, less powerful one than the current flagship isn’t likely to appease those few jilted fans who still cry out for a more pocket-friendly Apple device. After all, why wouldn’t they just bag the now-reduced iPhone 5s? We’re not expecting the iPhone 6c to be much cheaper, given the ridiculous pricing of the iPhone 5c at launch, so there seems no obvious need for it beyond simple nostalgia (obviously we could be more than proven wrong at launch, if the rumours turn out to be fishy).

Apple fans not entirely sold on the bigger screens would probably prefer to see a middle-ground device, something like a 4.5-inch version of the current iPhone 6, complete with lush aluminium exterior, new internals and the sleek new design style.

Instead though, they’ll perhaps have to settle for a plastic fantastic version of the iPhone 5s, with a few pounds knocked off the price-tag – which, if we were being cynical, seems like a hollow concession.

Would you buy a new 4-inch plastic iPhone? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments