According to the report by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will be releasing a new 4–inch iPhone in early 2016. Powered by the A9 chip (currently used on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus), though the new 4–inch iPhone might not support 3D Touch feature to differentiate the smaller model from the larger iPhones lineup.
As reported by MacRumors, below is the detailed text from Kuo’s report,
As there is still demand for a 4-inch iPhone, we believe Apple will upgrade this product line.
Because the iPhone 5s is more popular than the iPhone 5c, we think Apple is likely to launch an upgraded iPhone 5s. We predict Apple will mass-produce this new 4-inch iPhone in 1H16 with metal casings. In order to make the current iOS 9 or next-generation iOS 10 run smoothly, Apple may adopt an A9 chip for this new phone.
The new 4–inch model could be marketed by the company as a “budget” model, as it will be similar to the iPhone 5C with a metal design.
As based on the report, this device could be a smaller version of iPhone 6s based on features such as the A9 chip and metal design.
Also, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a strong record when predicting upcoming devices from Apple. In the past years, Kuo accurately predicted the launch of 4.7–inch and 5.5–inch iPhones along with two sizes of Apple Watch, and the new 12–inch Macbook.
In addition to the new 4–inch iPhone, Kuo’s report mentions that iPhone 7 is likely to be released in September 2016, similar to previous iPhone launches.
iPhone 7 is expected to be upgraded with a new A10 chip. The 4.7–inch iPhone 7 will support 2GB RAM, while the 5.5–inch iPhone — iPhone 7 Plus will be upgraded to 3GB RAM, according to the report.
If the report is accurate, we could be seeing three new iPhone models varying in specs and design from Apple next year.