Analysts claim itty bitty iPhone Mini to land next year

Damn the trends, say pundits, new Apple mobe will be SMALLER


The next Apple iPhone won't be a larger handset, but rather a budget-priced miniature model, according to industry analysts.

A note from Zacks Equity Research suggests that the Cupertino giant is readying a lower-priced, 4-inch version of the iPhone 6 for release next year. Target sales for such a phone, Zacks reckons, are a minimum of 10 million devices sold per year.

This is hardly the first time we've heard rumors about a so-called iPhone Mini. Similarly, industry pundits have been buzzing that Apple will release a budget iPhone almost as long as we can remember – until the iPhone 5c dashed those hopes, that is.

But the rhubarb about a smaller iPhone has intensified ever since Apple chose to go large with the phablet-like iPhone 6 Plus, and Zacks is only the latest to chime in with a prediction that a mini model will launch in 2015.

"We believe that the launch will cash in on the market buzz created by strong sales of the new iPhones. Since the Sep 2014 release, the iPhones created record demand far exceeding that of the previous versions of iPhone," Zacks writes. "Apple intends to sell the new iPhones in approximately 115 countries in the near term, marking it the fastest roll-out in the history of the device."

Apple currently does not offer a small-screen option with its newest line of iPhones. The iPhone 6 sports a 4.7-inch Retina display, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen. Apple's budget line consists of the last-generation iPhone 5s and the low-end iPhone 5c, both of which have 4-inch displays.

A new mini model would presumably also have a 4-inch display but would introduce the slimmer, rounded case design of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, both of which are skinnier than either the iPhone 5s or 5c.

There are a few points that could make the predicted launch much less of a sure thing, however.

While there could be a spot in Apple's lineup for a smaller iPhone model, there might not be much of a market for one. A recent report from analytics firm Flurry placed small-screen phones at just 2 per cent of new devices activated during the Christmas week.

The launch of an iPhone Mini could also signal a shift in sales strategy from Apple. The iThings maker currently flogs last year's model as the value-priced option in the line, a strategy that would likely change if the company moved the Mini into the low-end spot. ®


Other stories you might like

  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022