KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has revealed in a research note that “as there is still demand for a four-inch iPhone, we believe Apple will upgrade this product line”.
He added that because the iPhone 5s is more popular than the iPhone 5c, Apple is likely to launch an upgraded iPhone 5s.
“We predict Apple will mass-produce this new 4-inch iPhone in the first half of 2016 with metal casings,” he said. “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.”
According to Kuo, the new model will not feature 3D Touch support, in a bid to differentiate it from the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. By Kuo's estimates, Apple could ship up to 30m units of the new phone by the end of 2016.
The upgraded 5s model will not impact on the usual third-quarter launch, when Kuo believes the iPhone 7 will be launched.