Latest iPhone 6c rumors: February debut, but no 3D Touch

Reports of a 4-inch iPhone's spring launch continue to swirl.

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At this point, we’re not sure if the long-rumored 4-inch iPhone 6c is a real product or a figment of our imaginations, but the rumor mill continues to churn with new details about Apple’s petite “budget” phone. The latest: Apple plans to announce the 6c in January and release it in February.

According to Chinese site G for Games, which cites a Chinese website with information from unnamed sources (including, apparently, Foxconn insiders), the pint-sized iPhone 6c won’t be wrapped in candy-colored plastic like the 5c. Instead, Apple is reportedly designing a metal body that will come in various colors. The 6c will also be cheaper than the 6s and 6s Plus at around $400-$500, which means it will ship without the new iPhones’ flagship feature, 3D Touch.

The 6c will reportedly include Touch ID and support Apple Pay, which is consistent with past rumors.

The story behind the story: We’ve been hearing about a new, more affordable 4-inch iPhone for months now—some rumors pegged its release to the September iPhone 6s launch event, which obviously didn’t happen. Are these rumors the result of wishful thinking or actual manufacturing intel? That remains unclear. However, it would be unusual for Apple to release a new iPhone in February after the holiday shopping blitz. But perhaps the company is hoping to keep iPhone sales at peak levels in the post-holiday slowdown by releasing a new device for 4-inch phone fans. Apple has proved in the past, most recently with the iPad Pro, that various device sizes appeal to different markets. Like iPads, iPhones aren’t one size fits all.

Would you pick up a 4-inch iPhone 6c if it launches in February? Let us know in the comments.

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