Rumours have been floating that Apple will introduce a new iPhone with a 4-inch screen as early as next month.
On Wednesday, RBC analyst Amit Daryanani projected that Apple could snag $5.5 billion in revenue from a 4-inch iPhone this year. Daryanani is predicting that Apple will sell more than 10 million units of the new phone. Assuming the smaller phone would steal some buyers away from larger iPhone models, the final tally would be 10 million units in additional sales.
Though $5.5 billion sounds like a healthy number, it would be but a tiny slice of Apple’s overall revenue for the year. The phone would have just a “modest positive impact” on Apple’s bottom line this year, Daryanani said, adding just 2 percent to its fiscal year 2016 earnings.
While a smaller, lower-priced iPhone is hardly an innovation, the device could rev up demand in developing countries such as India where budget-conscious consumers have been turning to cheaper phones from Samsung and other vendors.
A 4-inch iPhone could persuade more people to upgrade their older iPhone 5C or 5S models, Daryanani said, specifically citing India as one market that could benefit Apple with consumers adopting the new phone. India is the fastest growing smartphone market in the world, but Apple takes home just a 2 percent cut of that market with its premium-priced iPhones.
No details are known for sure about the 4-inch iPhone, which could be called the iPhone 5se. Reports say the phone would launch on March 15 and start selling on March 18. The phone would borrow the same processor, camera and curved glass edges used in the iPhone 6 lineup. The price would be the same as the iPhone 5S, though the cost would vary by region.