According to Chinese website ‘MyDrivers’, China Mobile laid out its product roadmap for 2016 and included mentions of a new Apple product. As shown from the photo above, in April 2016 China Mobile is expecting to launch the ‘iPhone 7c’. This seems to be the 4 inch iPhone device that has been rumored for several months, although the rumor mill moniker has generally settled on it being called the iPhone 6c. MICGadget reported that Apple’s new phone would be called the iPhone 7c, matching this report, earlier in the month however.

The validity of the image could not be independently verified but its just another 4-inch iPhone rumor to add to the mound with many sources now claiming Apple will launch a new iPhone model early next year. The true iPhone 6s successor, dubbed the iPhone 7, is still expected at the normal launch time in September 2016.

9to5Mac has already reported that Apple is planning a March event for Apple Watch 2. It is possible that the new 4-inch iPhone could  also be unveiled at the same event. In terms of hardware components, the iPhone 7c is expected to include iPhone 6s hardware internals with an appearance similar to the iPhone 5s, crucially retaining the 4 inch display and smaller total chassis. The new 4 inch phone is expected to be targeted at a slightly cheaper price point than Apple’s high end iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus … but also appeal to those who were put off by the larger screens first introduced with the iPhone 6.

If the timing is accurate, the iPhone 7c would be Apple’s ‘new phone’ for about six months when the flagship iPhone 7 debuts in fall 2016. Somewhat confusingly, these reports seem to be claiming that Apple will launch an ‘iPhone 7c’ before the actual ‘iPhone 7’. This is why many are backing the iPhone 6c name, as the 4 inch iPhone would essentially be an iPhone 6s with a smaller screen.

Are you excited for the return of the 4 inch iPhone?

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About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.