KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record on what if not when, says that Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone will “resemble an upgraded iPhone 5s,” but will get some new internals. Externally, he suggests the main visible difference will be similar curved-edge glass to the iPhone 6/6s.
Beneath the hood, he says the phone – expected to be dubbed the iPhone 6c – will get an A9 processor and NFC chip to support Apple Pay. The camera will, however, be identical to that in the 5s. Kuo’s investment note also supports recent reports that the 6c will get a metal case, stating that it will be available in at least 2-3 colors.
Kuo expects the phone to hit in the first quarter of next year, but does think that it may generate relatively modest sales …
The note estimates that the new model – expected to be priced at $400-500 – will account for 8-9% of next year’s iPhone sales, but says that there is still good reason for Apple to launch. There is still demand for 4-inch phones, and it will help Apple extend its penetration into emerging markets and consumers on tighter budgets. Supporting Apple Pay will also strengthen the Apple ecosystem.
Kuo believes that while the usual seasonal effect will see iPhone sales slowing early next year, the new model could reduce the scale of that slowdown.
The note supports the theory we expressed yesterday that the new phone will replace the iPhone 5s in the line-up.