An introduction of a brand-new iPhone model released early next year is really unprecedented. The Verizon iPhone 4 was launched in February but it doesn’t count as a new model of phone. I criticised Apple’s release schedule in the last two years for focusing too much on the latter half of the year, so it’s refreshing to see a major product launch scheduled for the first-half.
The language of Kuo’s description of the phone is also interesting. Rather than describing it as a smaller iPhone 6, the report speaks of an ‘upgraded’ iPhone 5s. If true, I think Apple wants to clearly separate this device from the premium 6s and 6s Plus in the lineup. Another idea is that given the pattern of the iPhone lineup, the 2016 flagship iPhone 7 is going to have a drastically-different external appearance. As such, if Apple did match 4-inch phone design-wise with the iPhone 6s, it would only really be relevant for a few months anyway.
Kuo mentions the existence of the iPhone 7 for fall 2016, no surprises there. He suggests that the RAM in the SoC will differ between the 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch variants. To date, there has been no such discrepancies with the 6 or the 6s. I think its too far away for the RAM specs to be set in stone, but it just reminded me of something semi-related. I think the iPhone 7 Plus will have a new screen resolution. Specifically, 2208 x 1242 (up from 1920x1080). This eliminates the inelegant downscaling trickery that the Plus GPU currently has to deal with, as it renders the UI at 2208 x 1242 and then scrunches it down to native screen resolution. The additional RAM might be for this purpose; to support the additional pixels.