In a recent note to investors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that Apple will release a new 4-inch iPhone to replace the iPhone 5s in 2016, MacRumors reports. The analyst highlighted that the iPhone 5c will likely reach the end of its product cycle later this year, with the iPhone 5s becoming the new entry-level device in Apple’s smartphone lineup, once the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are released.
“iPhone 5S still going strong; next 4-inch likely in 2016. Shipments of 5S are still going strong at 5-7mn units every quarter, an impressive level at such a mature stage of the product cycle. Momentum is being sustained by a more affordable price and the product’s outstanding design”.
Kuo further said that it’s necessary for Apple to have a new 4-inch iPhone because it will not only be a key for the Cupertino company to extending momentum in the 4-inch category, but it could also “complete the Apple Pay ecosystem”, assuming it will be equipped with NFC.
The KGI analyst has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple’s upcoming product plans, and has previously claimed that Foxconn will be be the primary manufacturer of the new 4-inch iPhone next year.