KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note to investors claiming Apple will release a new 4-inch iPhone in early 2016. The note obtained by MacRumors says there is "still-existing demand for 4-inch smartphones," and that the rumored iPhone 6c will make up "8-9% of total iPhone shipments in 2016."
Apple may break tradition again and release an entry-level iPhone 6c to replace the discontinued iPhone 5c in February, according to the Chinese website TechWeb. Citing unnamed sources from Foxconn TechWeb claims Apple will announce the iPhone 6c in January then release the new device in February. The website also notes that Apple will ditch the “unapologetically plastic” casing of the iPhone 5c in favor of a metal body.
Citing reliable sources over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Japanese blog Macotakara claims Apple plans to abolish the 3.5mm headphone port to reduce the thickness of the iPhone 7. If true, this will make the iPhone 7 Apple's thinnest phone ever released, but it also means users will need to use Lightning connected headphones instead of the industry standard 3.5mm equipped models.
It should come as no surprise that Apple is working on the next generation Apple Watch. A report detailed by MacRumors indicates Quanta Computer has confirmed development of an upgraded watch coming late in the second quarter of next year. With the initial release planned for June 2016, production can then ramp up later in the year to fulfill demand. Rumors have pointed to several hardware and software improvements in the Apple Watch 2.
Next generation iPhone rumors are already flying, with heavy-hitting analysts starting to weigh in with their own research. As MacRumors reports, Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI securities expects Apple to release an updated 4-inch iPhone sometime in the first half of next year. This release schedule would be a departure for Apple, since the company has typically launched new iPhone models only once per year. Summer updates were replaced by fall product launches in recent years, with the iPhone 7 expected to debut in fall 2016.