What We'll Likely See in Apple's Rumored iPhone 6c Smartphone

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-03-14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What We'll Likely See in Apple's Rumored iPhone 6c Smartphone
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    What We'll Likely See in Apple's Rumored iPhone 6c Smartphone

    To attract the users that Apple hopes it will, the smaller, cheaper iPhone 6c will need the right mix of features.
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    It Must Replace the iPhone 5s
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    It Must Replace the iPhone 5s

    While the iPhone 5s has been a solid smartphone for Apple, it is outdated. The device's aging processor can't handle some of today's most graphics-intensive apps, and its design is looking obsolescent. The new 4-inch iPhone must be an appealing successor to the iPhone 5s, providing up-to-date specifications across the board. Image 1: Please use this image:
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    A 4-Inch Screen Works Fine for a Midrange iPhone
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    A 4-Inch Screen Works Fine for a Midrange iPhone

    A 4-inch iPhone is the perfect size for those who aren't so keen on the size of so-called "phablets." Apple's high-end smartphones, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, feature 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays, respectively. A phone with a 4-inch screen provides an option for customers who don't want the bigger screens but still want a screen large enough to watch movies or view images.
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    Touch ID and Apple Pay Are Requirements
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    Touch ID and Apple Pay Are Requirements

    It would make no sense for Apple to launch a smartphone without its Touch ID and Apple Pay support. In light of the company's recent fight over privacy and security, offering a smartphone without a biometric sensor would be a huge PR mistake. Plus, many customers wouldn't be keen on buying a smartphone that didn't come with the additional security and the ability to purchase products on the fly. Apple's Touch ID is a necessity.
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    A9 Processor Would Provide Plenty of Processing Power
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    A9 Processor Would Provide Plenty of Processing Power

    This might be asking a bit much, but Apple should bundle the A9 processor that is in the iPhone 6s line in its upcoming smartphone. It would likely be one of the most expensive internal components and possibly drive up the iPhone's price, but having that extra performance boost would appeal even to budget-conscious customers, who might be willing to pay a bit more for extra power.
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    Give Customers Some Storage Options
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    Give Customers Some Storage Options

    Apple has been a little stingy when it comes to storage options on its lower-end handsets. Customers buying the iPhone 5s need to choose either a 16GB or 32GB option. In a world where apps, music and video are gobbling up storage space, Apple needs to offer at least a 64GB iPhone 6c. And the smart move would be to offer a 128GB version as welll.
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    A Metal Chassis Could Close the Deal
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    A Metal Chassis Could Close the Deal

    Going plastic with the iPhone 6c could be a major mistake on Apple's part. Yes, a plastic iPhone could help keep costs down, but Apple's many midrange competitors incorporate metal chassis designs. Apple seemingly has no choice but to offer a metal iPhone 6c if it wants to appeal to a broad base of customers and deliver a compelling alternative to the competition.
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    Apple Can't Skimp on the Cameras
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    Apple Can't Skimp on the Cameras

    Rumors suggest that Apple will offer an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera in the new iPhone. However, while Apple has never been a leader in camera technology, cameras are exceedingly important, and so it would be nice to see Apple surprise folks with a 12-megapixel alternative. The supply chain sells camera components for relatively affordable prices. Why not deliver something customers wouldn't expect—and allow them to take better pictures?
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    Leave the Major Design Changes for iPhone 7
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    Leave the Major Design Changes for iPhone 7

    Although Apple should deliver a nice design with the iPhone 6c, it doesn't need to reinvent the wheel with its upcoming handset. The design should be similar to that of the iPhone 6s, while feeling elegant and offering something someone would want to whip out of their pocket and show to friends. Apple needs to keep its next-generation design ideas for the iPhone 7, which should launch this fall.
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    Get the Pricing in Check
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    Get the Pricing in Check

    Pricing will be the critical component that will determine whether Apple's new handset succeeds. To be successful, the device should be available for less than $500 off-contract. If customers choose monthly installments, payments shouldn't be higher than $20 per month. Apple's handset will be a midrange smartphone. Its prices should reflect that.
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    Don't Make Customers Wait
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    Don't Make Customers Wait

    Apple must not make customers wait too long to get their hands on the iPhone 6c. Supply chain rumors have suggested that Apple has been producing its new iPhone for months, so why not make it available on March 21 or soon thereafter? It's one thing to wait a few weeks for a brand-new high-end smartphone, but quite another to wait that long for a midrange, iterative update. Apple must make the device available as soon as possible after its unveiling.
 

For weeks there has been unending speculation about what mobile devices Apple will announce this month. Apple has finally confirmed that it will hold a special media briefing on March 21 to make those announcements. However, it won't announce its next-generation iPhone models at the event; that will be reserved for later this year. Instead, there will be iterative updates to Apple's iPad and Mac lines, as well as some new watchbands for the Apple Watch. But the most intriguing announcement at the briefing could be a smaller, cheaper iPhone designed to appeal to midrange customers. Over the past several weeks, there has been talk that Apple will introduce a small-scale iPhone, perhaps called the iPhone 5se. But some pundits say it makes more sense for this new smartphone model to be called the iPhone 6c if Apple holds true to its current model naming conventions. But no matter the name, the iPhone 6c should come with a sleek design, surprisingly high-end components and a price that will appeal to a broad range of customers. But if this new model is to attract as many new customers as possible, it will need to come with many of the following features.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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