The case for an updated iPhone 5c is rather compelling. A lot of people really didn’t like Apple’s slightly cheaper iPhone, but having said that there were plenty of people –– we’re talking millions here –– who really dug the firm’s plastic-fantastic iPhone. Many consider the iPhone 5c a failure, but this is complete BUNK; the handset sold in excess of 25 million units. Now, I appreciate this isn’t a big figure for Apple but compared to similar handsets shipped by Samsung and HTC and Sony, the iPhone 5c was a HUGE success –– could you imagine if HTC sold 25 million HTC One M8 Mini handsets!? No, neither can I… which is why writing the iPhone 5c off as a misfire by Apple is not only stupid, it is actually just wrong!
“Apple’s retail strategy for the iPhone has always been to have three tiers; position one is the ‘brand new’ handset, position two is the previous ‘flagship’, and position three is the ‘free with a two-year contract’ model that is two generations back. Before last year’s iPhone announcements these positions were occupied by the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 4,” notes Forbes.
The iPhone 5c, because it was largely based on the iPhone 5, save for the inclusion of LTE and improved battery life, had a significantly lower BOM (bill of materials) cost than Apple’s iPhone 5. Plastic is cheaper, easy to use, and the numbers Apple shifted made for excellent profit margins. In this respect the iPhone 5c was the iPhone 5 repackaged and sold onto consumers, with a few additional bells and whistles, as a new phone.
Apple is apparently prepping something BIG for the iPhone 7. The company is said to be very keen on striking while the iron is hot –– and the iron is very hot at the moment, with record iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales. What this rethink will entail remains to be seen, but sources are now claiming it is going to be very special indeed.
Apple’s 2015 iPhone releases are expected to be more or less identical –– at least with respect to design –– to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The BIG changes will be under the hood with improvements to the CPU, display, memory and sensors. A lot of sources believe the biggest new addition will be a Force Touch display, as seen on Apple’s new MacBook and the Apple Watch.
The iOS 9 update will bring with a bunch of new features, but the most notable of which is likely to be its reportedly insane power management system, which would double the battery performance of Apple’s iPhones –– if true this is a HUGE deal.
The other big talking about about 2016’s iPhone lineup is the return of Apple’s iPhone Xc class of devices. Multiple reports have now claimed Apple will bring back its C range either in 2015 or later, alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016.
A trio of devices would be a HUGE deal for the market, especially when one takes into account just how destructive two have been in 2014/15. Whats’ more, should Apple retails the C class iPhone at a far lower price point than previous iterations, then it could very successfully attack the mid-tier segment of the smartphone space, a place more or less completely untouched by Apple products, unless you factor in older models
“Apple has a few tricks up its sleeve for 2016,” says Yahoo news. “The company has plans to launch a new, completely redesigned iPhone next year — and it won’t be the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus we’re all expecting.”
Just how Apple can change the overall design, look and feel of the iPhone remains to be seen. There’s only so much you can do with a phone’s design, save for making it thinner and removing bezels. One area where Apple could innovate is to do with the Home button. The inclusion of force touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus would get users accustomed to using gesture-based taps for different functions, so it is within the realms of possibility that Apple could remove the home button in favour of some kind of touch-responsive panel that sits flush to the chassis.
“The next iPhone could offer a flash on its front facing camera, according to code found buried in early releases of the operating system that will run on it,” reports The Independent. “The feature, which will allow people to take selfies in the dark, was found in early releases of iOS 9. The same code seems to indicate that the phone will receive an update to a 1080p camera, from the existing 720p one, and support for panoramic selfies and slow motion video.”
Apple’s WWDC 2015 keynote is now in the bag and we have quite a bit of stuff to shift through in the mean time, as Apple announced updates for iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and its Apple Watch platform as well as new services like Apple Music, Apple News and a bunch of Apple Pay announcements –– the mobile payments app is coming to the UK in July.
The event itself lasts for three days, but the meat of it –– i.e. the stuff you and I are interested in –– is disclosed during the keynote and shows us exactly what Apple has in store for its ecosystem for the coming 12 months. Sadly, there was no Apple TV update. According to reports Apple has yet to finalise the new Apple TV puck and is struggling to finalise license agreements with content providers.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, otherwise known as the most well-connected Apple analyst in the world, has issued a new note to investors about what he believes will be the hardware specs of the next iPhone. Before getting to those specs, it’s important to note that Kuo is more often right than wrong–making him a rare source of knowledge in the field of iPhone rumors. It doesn’t appear Kuo has any inside contacts at Apple feeding him tips, rather he has deep sources within Asia’s supply chain which allows him to predict with great certainty what future Apple products will be made of.
He’s done it with great accuracy many times before and is often referred to as the most switched on Apple analyst on the planet. Obviously, though, predicting something as secretive as the next iPhone is tricky and we’ve already heard plenty of theories about what Apple’s 2015 iPhone –– or iPhones –– will entail. Nevertheless, Kuo makes a compelling argument for his claims. His work inside Apple’s supply chain gives him access to protected contacts and information, which in turn are turned into reports about what investors should expect from Apple’s forthcoming iPhone.
So, what does Kuo know (or thinks he knows) about the next iPhone?
Kuo says “Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enhance user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market.”
Force Touch is of course the driving input method on the Apple Watch. It allows the screen to detect how hard and long a touch is applied. This enables greater input methods. It seems like a given for the iPhone and opens up an entirely new array of input possibilities–which are much more useful on a bigger display than the one found on the Apple Watch.
Kuo says “Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model.”
No surprise here given Apple just introduced two new screen sizes last year. One thing that some people will find disappointing is Kuo says there won’t be a new 4-inch model, which while though small by today’s standards, some people still love. This makes sense too; Apple isn’t going to go back on something it took the best part of five years to change. The old days are done and smartphones with 4in displays are, quite literally, going the way of the Dodo (or BlackBerry, if you prefer that analogy).
Kuo says “There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose gold Apple Watch Edition.”
This is actually somewhat of a surprise considering we already have a gold iPhone. The key phrase in Kuo’s prediction is “color”, however. I find it hard to believe that Apple will make a rose gold iPhone that is made of actual gold. It would cost a fortune–or well over the Rose gold Apple Watch’s $17,000.
Kuo says “The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12 MP.”
iPhone, welcome to 2013!! But seriously, we all know Apple has the camera tech to eek out the best pics even though it uses lower megapixel sensors, but a 12MP sensor addition is much welcome and long overdue. I for one would rather have built-in optical image stabilization across the line, though. Here’s hoping the next iPhone has that too.
Kuo says “One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality.”
Not exactly groundbreaking, but nice nonetheless. Not only will this help with calls, it could signal Apple has bigger plans for Siri in iOS 9, as an extra mic would make it easier for Siri to accurately pick up what you are saying.
Kuo says “The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted.”
A9? No shock. More RAM? About freaking time! Even though Kuo is predicting 2GB LPDDR4 RAM–double the iPhone’s current RAM, it’s still well behind most Android phones that have 3GB or more of RAM. Still, this will be a nice little boost that is going to make the next iPhone a monster powerhouse.
Kuo says “The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes.”
Look, “bendgate” with the iPhone 6 was overblown. Though it got a crazy amount of media attention, hardly anyone’s iPhone actually bent. Regardless, it’s nice to hear Apple is taking any flaw, no matter how rare, seriously.
Kuo says “If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens.”
This is an interesting assertion. First, Kuo clearly isn’t sure of this. Second, if he is right and Apple is going to add a sapphire covering lens to the iPhone 6s Plus it will further distinguish between the Plus and the regular model. Those 4.7-inch fans might feel like Apple is treating them as second class citizens–never a good thing. We shall see. Currently Apple does use sapphire on both iPhones via the Touch ID and camera lens coverings.
Kuo says “The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay.”
This is good news for two reasons. First, the Touch ID is one of the best features on the iPhone. When it works, it’s flawless. The bad thing about it however is that if your hands are moist or have dust on them, the Touch ID won’t recognize your fingerprint. Anything that makes sure the Touch ID works all the time is a good thing in my book. The second reason this is exciting is because Apple Pay is awesome–it just needs bigger adoption. Apple wants to make it easier for people to use Apple Pay so an improve Touch ID experience makes sense.
Kuo says “Gesture control support.”
Very brief. So, what is gesture control support? It’s the ability to move the device in a gesture pattern to do something on the device itself. For example, a tilt gesture would allow you to tilt the iPhone to scroll through a web page without needing to touch the screen.
Everything Kuo is predicting sounds good in our book. Though he didn’t give a timeline for the next iPhone’s launch, he did say mass production of the device will start in mid-to-late August. That puts a late September launch (as usual) likely. Kuo also says Apple will ship 80-90 million iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus’ in 2015 with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.
Over on Page 2: The Case For The iPhone 6c
A lot has already been said about Apple potentially rekindling its iPhone 5c range either in 2015 or 2016. A lot of people said the iPhone 5c was a failure, but this couldn’t be further from the truth; Apple sold in excess of 25 million iPhone 5c units –– a huge number compared to what HTC, BlackBerry, LG and Sony sold in the past 12 months.
Whatever you think about Apple and the iPhone 5c, you have to admit the handset was, compared to a lot of BIG Android and Windows Phone releases, was a success. You see iPhone 5c handsets everywhere. People liked the colour options, seemingly, so the idea of a reboot isn’t completely stupid –– and now there’s actual evidence that something is cooking.
This is the image in question:
Now, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the iPhone 5c, as it looks pretty much identical. But here’s the rub: this sucker has TouchID and Apple’s iPhone 5c did not…
Here’s an extract from our iPhone 5c Review which was published WAY back in 2013. As part of our coverage we’ve added a new aspect to the review, which you’ll find on Page One whereby we re-review the handset from the perspective of 2014/15’s market. Below is our original verdict on the iPhone 5c:
“Yes, it is plastic. Yes, it doesn’t have the same updated specs of the iPhone 5S. And, yes, it is basically the iPhone 5 encased in a new plastic unibody chassis. But none of these facts are necessarily a bad thing. The iPhone 5 was a great handset, and the iPhone 5C is too, even more so when you factor in its improved battery life and jazzy new outer-casing.
“But for me what’s most interesting about the iPhone 5C is what it says about the changing culture within Apple under the stewardship of Tim Cook. It is becoming more egalitarian and seems to be actively looking for a new breeds of disciples to add to its growing flock.
“The iPhone 5C, whether you like the handset or not, represents a significant shift in Apple’s business philosophy. Apple is no longer just a premium handset maker, operating at the heady heights of the mobile space. Previously Apple went after the snobs and it had one phone. Now it’s still chasing the snobs, but the 5C shows that it is also very interested in everybody else now too.”
“Many have surmised that Apple is planning to bring back the “C” moniker that it dropped last year when it launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” reports The Mirror. “In fact, it’s been widely suggested that the company will launch three models this year and update each of its handsets.”
However, things may not be quite as they seem; what we may be looking at here is not an iPhone 6c for 2015, but an iPhone 7c for early 2016. According to a report from the Economic Daily News, display manufacturer AUO has recently inked an agreement with Apple to supply the iPhone maker with 4in touchscreens destined for use on an alleged “iPhone 7c”.
Now this isn’t a confirmation that Apple is producing another 4in iPhone but it certainly adds weight to the body of information already surrounding the handset. Plus, the case for an iPhone 7c is pretty strong, as noted earlier; a lot of Apple’s fanbase really did like the 4in form factor as well as the colour options and the slightly lower cost associated with a “c” brand handset. Hell, you even see celebs rocking the iPhone 5c these days, proving that even when someone can afford a top of the line iPhone they still opt for the cheaper, more colourful option.
The report details an expected shipping date for these panels as Q1 2016, which would mean we can’t expect production to begin until later in the year. Essentially it’s shaping up that this iPhone 7c may be announced in about a year’s time alongside the iPhone 7 and potentially an iPhone 7 Plus, meaning three Apple iPhone launches in one year for the first time ever.