(Pocket-lint) - Everybody has heard that Apple might be working on an iPhone 6S and maybe even an iPhone 6S Plus, but there are other reports circulating that claim Apple is developing a next-generation budget iPhone called iPhone 6C.
Such a phone would be the successor to iPhone 5C. It's expected to launch this autumn, with a number of different features, including but not limited to: a 4-inch display, A7 processor with M7 motion coprocessor, Touch ID, oblong-shaped dual LED flash, two rows of speaker grilles, and a design that's similar to iPhone 5C.
Although the rumour mill is just getting started when it comes to iPhone 6C, we've already started to compile all the reports, leaks, and even concepts below, with the purpose of painting a clearer picture as to what the Cupertino-based company might have in store. Nothing is yet confirmed, but it's still fun to speculate.
Apple seems to follow a pattern when it comes to iPhone releases.
It usually unveils devices in September, followed by a launch just a few weeks later. Apple also tends to release major updates to iPhone every other year, and in between those years, it launches minor updates to iPhone. Thus, if Apple does have an iPhone 6C coming down the pipeline, it will likely debut this September.
Apple showed off iPhone 5 in September 2012, followed by iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in September 2013. One year later, Apple unveiled iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. At the time, Apple didn't announce whether it also planned to refresh iPhone 5C, which led many to think the company wanted to discontinue its budget line.
But then, in December 2014, the first reports emerged claiming Apple wanted to release three new iPhone models in 2015. DigiTimes, which has a sketchy track record when it comes to Apple rumours, reported that a 4-inch iPhone model will join a 4.7-inch iPhone 6S and 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus in the second half of this year.
And finally, DigiTimes also claimed the iPhone 6C will be manufactured by Wistron, but in January, Chinese website Feng.com reported Apple had yet to place any supply chain orders for a 4-inch iPhone. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good record at reporting Apple rumours, also said a 4-inch model is unlikely to release this year.
Keep in mind it's assumed Apple will name its next-generation budget phone "iPhone 6C".
Reports have asserted iPhone 6C will sport a design that's similar to iPhone 5C.
Chinese parts supplier Future Supplier has posted what it claimed is a first look at iPhone 6C. As you can see from the leaked image above, the purported phone's rear shell has a glossy, plastic coating, along with an oblong-shaped dual LED flash and two rows of speaker grilles, both of which are design elements in iPhone 5S.
MacRumors suggested iPhone 6C could have iPhone 5S' hardware.
The iPhone 5 was almost identical to iPhone 5, after all, except for the fact that it has a plastic body. The iPhone 6C - being a step up - could therefore mirror iPhone 5's successor, iPhone 5S, and feature a 4-inch screen, A7 processor with M7 motion coprocessor, 1GB of RAM, 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 1,560 mAh battery.
It's worthing noting that Touch ID, a fingerprint recognition feature first made available on iPhone 5S, might also come to iPhone 6C. Apple might want all new iPhones to be compatible with Apple Watch and Apple Pay, so the company could conceivably include a NFC chip in its next budget phone.
Apple is rumoured to include its new Force Touch technology and 2GB of RAM in its next high-end smartphones, thought to be called, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, so it's assumed that those upgrades will not come to iPhone 6C.
Marketing agency 3DFuture has published renderings of what it believes iPhone 6C will look like, but as you can see from the image above, it based the concept on iPhone 6.