The iPhone 6C may turn out to be a metal iPhone 7C

iPhone 5C
iPhone 5C

Apple has yet to announce a follow-up to the plastic, yet not hugely cheaper version of the iPhone, the iPhone 5C - but the latest rumour claims we'll see it next year.

An analyst with sources inside the company told AppleInsider he expects Apple to launch a 4-inch iPhone with slightly stronger specs than the iPhone 5S. That insider is KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a source we've heard a lot from before on the topic of Apple – he was pretty spot-on with his predictions regarding the iPad Pro.

Kuo says Apple realises there is demand for a smaller iPhone and the company wants to satisfy those customers again next year.

Metal beats plastic

He also believes mass production will start up in the first half of 2016, so it may launch alongside the iPhone 7 in September.

However, even though it'll have a metal back, the phone will reportedly be sold as a more affordable alternative to the flagship(s). That said, we heard similar whispers around the iPhone 5C - a phone that didn't turn out to be all that cheap when it officially launched.

Kuo said he expects the phone will include an A9 SoC, which is housed in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - making it a year old if and when it shows up next year.

We anticipated that Apple would actually launch an iPhone 6C alongside the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus earlier in the year but it was not meant to be.

For those who enjoy a 4-inch iPhone, it seems you'll have to stick with the iPhone 5C unless you're willing to wait until the second half of 2016.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.