Home Mobility Back to the future –Apple and the 4 inch iPhone 6

Back to the future –Apple and the 4 inch iPhone 6

Will they or won’t they? Rumours and counter-rumours are swirling round the blogosphere on speculation Apple will build a smaller ‘female friendly’ iPhone.

Once small was beautiful. Then big was beautiful. Now the iPhone may go small again – black is the new black.

Credible reports have emerged from Asia, from the usual mysterious sources in Apple’s complex supply chain, that the company is considering building a smaller version of the iPhone 6 with a 4 inch screen – which takes us back to the days of the iPhone 4.

The reason, the rationale goes, is that despite the rush to larger screen suitable for multimedia consumption, even giant ‘phablets’ with 6 inch screens or more, many people like the smaller phones – they fit more easily and elegantly into a small handbag, or a suit pocket.

A number of websites have picked up on reports out of Taiwan that Apple’s suppliers have been asked to source components suitable for a baby iPhone. Respected business publication Forbes has picked up on them, publishing two opinion pieces – one on why Apple will do it, and another on why it won’t. Read them here and here.

The arguments can be summed up thus:


Customer demand (the handbag factor), offers a cheaper option when the iPhone 5 models are phased out, baby iPods have been a success, will fill a market niche as competitors’ phones get bigger.


Demand is not as great as you might imagine and in any case Apple tells people what they want rather than listens to them, usage patterns are changing to larger screens, the Apple Watch will satisfy those who want small sized Apple elegance, the next iPhone 6 refresh will be smaller and lighter anyway.

Will they or won’t they? Who knows? Who cares?


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.