Apple for years shunned the shift in the consumer market to larger-screened smartphones. The iPhone debuted with a 3.5-inch display in 2007, and upped the ante slightly with a 4-inch display with the 2012 debut of the iPhone 5. But Apple finally went after the bread and butter of the smartphone market (long after its Android competition had made the leap) in 2014 with the release of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Needless to say, iPhone sales skyrocketed with these new larger-screened offerings.
Not everyone was happy with Apple’s move to larger displays, however. Many of the Apple faithful clung to the iPhone 5/iPhone 5s form-factor, citing it as being absolutely perfect for a smartphone and shunned upgrading to iPhone 6/iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 Plus/iPhone 6s Plus.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a pretty stellar track record when it comes to information on upcoming Apple products, it looks as though iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s users may soon have a reason to upgrade. Kuo is reporting that Apple will release a brand new 4-inch iPhone in 2016 that will come packing a current generation A9 processor and a NFC chip that supports Apple Pay.
The new 4-inch iPhone is also expected to feature 2.5D glass, which curves towards the edges of the phone like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Other features said to be included on the smartphone include camera specs that mirror those of the iPhone 5s and two to three color options. The 4-inch iPhone, however, will reportedly not feature support for 3D Touch — that will remain a “flagship” feature.
As for pricing, Kuo expects this new iPhone to cost between $400 to $500 off contract for a base model (16GB? Anyone? Anyone?). For reference, the 16GB iPhone 6 starts at $549 off contract, while the 16GB iPhone 6s starts at $649 off contract.