With the glorious birth of a new iPhone comes the inevitable death of an old model. This time it could be the iPhone 5C, but not the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.
Apple is planning on discontinuing the iPhone 5C with the launch of the 6S and 6S plus, keeping the 5S, 6 and 6 Plus, reports 9to5Mac’s typically reliable Mark Gurman. The report also says if there is a 4-inch iPhone 6C, it won’t be launched at Apple’s recently announced Sept. 9 event.
If this rumor proves to be true, Apple would have a five-iPhone lineup, with the iPhone 5S at the bottom and the 6S Plus at the top. Keeping the 5S makes sense since it will offer customers an affordable, small device that still has the Touch ID fingerprint reader.
At first, it doesn’t seem to make sense that Apple would sell so many iPhones at once, but it’s not as unrealistic as one might think. As of late, Apple has shown a desire to fill more niches with a variety of color and size options for its devices, in contrast with their one-size-fits-all past.
Additionally, if the affordable Android boom can teach us anything, it’s that there is a market for cheaper big phones. The 6 and 6 Plus at a lower price point could fulfill that role for Apple.
The 5C disappearing is a fairly obvious move; it’s the only iPhone without Touch ID and the only one still using a 32-bit A6 processor. Simply put, it lags too far behind the rest of the iPhone lineup.
What’s remains unclear is sizing and pricing. Typically Apple takes $100 of the price and halves the storage capacity of the prior year’s iPhone models, but since Apple is seemingly trying to appeal to a broader customer base, that could change. Many cell carriers are getting rid of subsidized phones, so the $0-with-a-two-year-contract phone is likely to go away.
These are all rumors of course, so take them with a grain of salt. We’ll know for sure what Apple does on Sept. 9.