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3/29/2015
11:06 AM
Nathan Eddy
Nathan Eddy
Commentary
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iPhone 6C With 4-Inch Display? Expert Says No

This week, the Apple rumor mill started to churn with talk of three different iPhone 6 series devices, including a 4-inch iPhone 6C. However, a smaller iPhone doesn't seem to jive with the company's plans.

Apple Watch Event: 10 Things We Learned
Apple Watch Event: 10 Things We Learned
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

The Apple rumor mill is kicking back into high gear with an unconfirmed report indicating the tech giant will release three -- count 'em, three -- iPhone handsets in September, including a lower-end iPhone 6C with a 4-inch display.

Japan Display and LG Display are two companies named in a Digitimes report that will manufacture the screens for the new devices, although the report also noted Sharp could also participate in the process.

According to unnamed sources, the handsets will also feature scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, near-field communication (NFC), and fingerprint scanning technologies.

Despite the reports of cracked displays that seem to affect users of smartphones across the market, Michael Oh, president and founder of Apple repair specialist Tech Superpowers in Cambridge, Mass., said he doesn’t see the company swapping out its own technology for Corning’s.

Don't look for a smaller iPhone.

Don't look for a smaller iPhone.

"People talk a lot about Gorilla Glass, but it’s very difficult for a consumer to perceive a big increase in value because their phone is using the glass," Oh told InformationWeek in an interview. "Is the consumer willing to pay $10 more, or even $5 more, if it has Gorilla Glass? I don’t think people perceive it that way -- at the end of the day it’s a smartphone, and you take care of it."

The Digitimes report also quoted sources saying that on the processing side, the likely-named 6S series will sport Apple’s A9 chips, while the 6C will use the A8.

In addition, The Wall Street Journal also reported the new handsets could include a version of the force click feature found on Apple’s latest line of notebooks, where pushing down with more force corresponds to additional actions.

"Apple plans to add sensors to detect how hard a user is pressing on a screen to its next iPhones, incorporating a technology used in its forthcoming MacBook and Apple Watch, according to people familiar with the matter," the Journal reported earlier this month.

The sensory capabilities of the Force Touch track pad on the new MacBooks allow users to tell the computer what they want it to do based on subtle differences in the amount of pressure applied, which makes it possible to perform a variety of different actions in different apps, all on the same surface.

[ Read about how the iPhone 6 is pushing NFC mainstream.]

Going back to screen size, Oh cautioned that he takes the 4-inch, iPhone 6C rumor with a generous helping of salt, finding it "very difficult" to believe Apple would go back to a smaller screen size, unless the device itself was substantially changed in some form.

"It could be incredible pixel density, but then you run into legibility issues and so forth. It could be that it serves as some other interface or design, but I can’t think of a way that would work without it being a step back," Oh said. The other possibility is that it’s super, super cheap."

Since the launch of the Apple Watch on March 9, the Apple rumor mill has slowly started to churn again, as fans await the next major release from the company. Just a week ago, several websites reported on a new Apple TV offering the company might unveil in the next few months.

Still, it's logical that some iPhone rumors would spring to life following the Apple Watch release. Although some have referred to the next-generation of iPhones as the "iPhone 7," it's more likely the talk of iPhone 6C is in line with the company's current naming scheme.

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Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio
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nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
4/3/2015 | 6:25:03 AM
Re: Another release
Yes Kelly22 and I would reiterate that companies other than apple do have products in multiple sizes but the problem is if you want to buy a phone with latest processor or hardware capacity, you can only buy the one with larger screen size. All other models which are smaller in size (like with the name mini) have less attractive specification. For me this is a big plus and only offered by apple.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
4/3/2015 | 6:17:40 AM
Re: Another release
@Angelfuego: I absolutely agree with you, this has been a case with me quite often where I have regretted my decision. I think the first mistake if always necessary to set your direction and especially to identify what you really wants. This is also they reason why sometimes a product have good sales figures initially but fails in the end as people learns from their mistakes.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/30/2015 | 5:09:19 PM
Re: Blurry Lines
@asksqn it really is, and no doubt the iPad mini sales are suffering as a result of larger iPhones. I think when the phone becomes impossible to hold in one hand and you can't squeeze it in your pocket, might as well call it a tablet.
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 4:41:13 PM
Blurry Lines
Apple has to ask itself - At what dimension does the iPhone become a tablet? Seems to me the phone is well on its way to becoming a tablet.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 1:54:37 PM
Re: Another release
One of the reasons I loved my 4s was due to the small size, when I upgraded, it seemed no other manufacturers had a small one that was close, so ended up biting the bullet and going with a standard size Android, and later, back to the 5s.  I don't see why they feel offering a smaller version, especially since many folks still lament the days of having a smaller device, means it should be a cheaper device.  I get that it opens room for the lower-cost markets, but still, I would love to see a fully-featured smaller device instead of the current lineups which for someone with smaller hands like me, means I can barely hold it in one hand.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/30/2015 | 11:09:28 AM
Re: Another release
@Nomii I'm bummed to learn that Apple won't be shrinking the 6, but you're right - at least the company still offers multiple sizes to those who want smaller phones. I know big phones are the trend but think some providers should offer a larger range of sizes.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 7:03:47 AM
Re: Another release
@Nomii, i don't think anyone is blaming Apple. I think its great that Apple provides options for consumers based uoin their preference for the screen size. Its a wise,marketing strategy that appeals to customers that have differing preferences. The person I was referring to blames herself and not Apple for purchasing the larger screem as opposed to the smaller size. I think we can all relate to buying something and then regretting it.
nomii
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50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 6:56:32 AM
Re: Another release
@Angelfuego: I would not blame apple for the wrong selection of the phone. Apple gives multiple size options to their customers from which they can select the one they like the best. If you are not big screen lover than 6 plus is not for you but the good thing about apple is that they offer other sizes with same specs, unlike other manufacturers.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
3/29/2015 | 8:47:55 PM
Re: Another release
@h@mmy, I was curious about which sold more, the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 plus? I guess you just answered my question. However, I wonder how many of those that purchased the 6 plus were happy with their decision. I only know 2 people that have the plus. One of them told me that she loves it and the other one told me that she hates it. I asked her why and she told me that the phone is just too big. She said it doesn't completely fit in her pocket, the phone covers the whole side of her face when she talks oin it, and that too many people can see what she is typing or looking at on her phone. She said this is especially true of people looking at her big screen on the train.
H@mmy
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50%
H@mmy,
User Rank: Ninja
3/29/2015 | 3:55:54 PM
Re: Another release
I thought the same too but the acceptance and sales of 6 plus tell a different story.
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