The new iPod touch, for all its advancements, still sports the same 4-inch Retina display as the iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c. And it makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe, it’s the first hint that we’ll be seeing an updated 4-inch iPhone–let’s call it the 6c–this fall.
It’s possible that Apple has moved into a comfortable tic-toc development cycle for iPhones — releasing a new industrial design for the top-tier devices every two years with a new, low-end model coming out on the years when the 5s, 6s, etc. are released. This was the case with the iPhone 5c two years ago and could be the case with an iPhone 6c this Fall.
I think it’s important for Apple to continue developing 4-inch iPhones. It gives them a clear differentiator between device tiers — it feels like the extra $100 is going towards more than just internals. And, there’s still plenty of users that prefer the 4-inch form factor.
Imagine how clean the iPhone lineup would be if it consisted of a 4-inch iPhone 6c, a 4.7-inch iPhone 6s, and a 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. With those models alone Apple could span every price point from $99 all the way to $499 with a 2-year contract. And I suppose if they wanted to continue offering an iPhone at no cost with a 2-year contract, they could continue selling the iPhone 5s.
To take it back to the iPod touch, it didn’t strike me, just how much the new iPod touch looks like an iPhone, until I was browsing The Verge’s hands-on gallery — it clearly looks like a younger sibling to the iPhone 6. And, I’m sure Apple is clever enough to see how advantageous it would be for them to share parts between the iPod touch and iPhone 6c. Apple loves manufacturing efficiencies and and the new iPod touch feels like it was designed with that in mind — between the A8 processor, 8MP camera, 1GB of RAM, and 4-inch display there’s plenty for it to share with a potential iPhone 6c.
If Apple doesn’t release a new 4-inch iPhone this Fall that features hardware specs that are eerily similar to the new iPod touch, I’ll be astonished.