We’ve heard a ton of rumors surrounding a possible 4-inch iPhone mini launch later this year. Surely the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have proven to be very successful over the last few months, but there is still a significant market interested in better one-handed usability. For that matter, Apple still sells the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, and that might not be good for an iPhone mini project.
KGI Securities has a very positive track record when it comes to Apple predictions, and today Ming-Chi Kuo claims that we might not see a brand new 4-inch iPhone until 2016. The reasons have a lot to do with the current performance of the iPhone 5s, which is selling between 5 and 7 million units every quarter, something unprecedented for an Apple device this old. The statement to investors reads:
“iPhone 5S still going strong; next 4-inch likely in 2016. Shipments of 5S are still going strong at 5-7mn units every quarter, an impressive level at such a mature stage of the product cycle. Momentum is being sustained by a more affordable price and the product’s outstanding design. But we still believe it’s necessary for Apple to have a new 4-inch iPhone because: (1) it will be key to extending momentum in the 4-inch category; and (2) it could complete the Apple Pay ecosystem, assuming it is equipped with NFC. We predict a launch in 2016.”
All the previous rumors of an iPhone 5c revamp might just be put to rest after this, though Apple has always been famous for prototyping. It could also be that the internals of the iPhone 5s will be sandwiched in plastic going forward, but given how slow the iPhone 5c sales have been, that might not happen. Another year with the iPhone 5s as the free model on contract would be a smart move by Cupertino.