A sketchy new rumor from the sometimes-unreliable Digitimes claims that Apple will be releasing three new iPhone models this year. While many Apple watchers are expecting to see the release of two new “S” models—the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus—the new report also says the company will release a third model this year.
We’ve previously heard rumors that the “C” iPhone lineup would be disappearing after the launch of the iPhone 6. However, Digitimes claims that Apple will be debuting an “iPhone 6C” later this year that will sport a 4-inch display like that of the iPhone 5 and 5s. It’s possible that this is related to the rumors of a pink iPhone launching with the next refresh.
The display panels for all three models will be sourced from Japan Display and LG Display, with the Plus and “C” screens also going into production at Sharp. The displays will be made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass, indicating that Apple may have given up on its attempts at sapphire smartphone displays for now. Based on previous reports, these displays are also believed to support Apple’s new Force Touch technology.
The larger phones are expected to ship with Apple’s Samsung-made A9 processor, but the iPhone 6C will reportedly stick with the current A8 chip. Some analysts claim that Apple will also stick with an 8 MP camera for this hardware update.
Digitimes says that all three phones will ship with Touch ID sensors and NFC support for Apple Pay, but doesn’t mention any other possible differences. On the current-generation devices, the main differentiating factors are software changes, which allow the iPhone 6 Plus to take advantage of its larger display when in landscape mode. The only hardware difference between the two is the inclusion of optical image stabilization on the Plus.
On the software front, Apple is working on a massive stability release that will squash bugs, fix problems, and optimize performance. That will reportedly ship as iOS 9 on these new iPhones.
As for the source of the rumor, Digitimes isn’t exactly known for its spot-on reports (though there have been a few solid ones in the past), so it’s probably a good idea to keep that in mind when considering these types of claims.