A rumor published earlier this week suggested that Apple is nearing the launch of its rumored refresh of the 4-inch iPhone 5s. The report, which pointed to an iPhone 6c instead of an iPhone 5s refresh, suggested that Apple won’t wait until September and will kick the new phone out of the nest sometime in mid-2016. Another rumor published on Tuesday seems to back up those claims, while also pointing to a much earlier launch.
Maco Takara said it has learned that Apple is already manufacturing a new 4-inch device that is referred to as the “iPhone 5s Mark II.” That’s probably just an internal name, or even a nickname drafted by Maco Takara, but the naming suggests the phone might feature a similar body to the iPhone 5s with upgraded internal parts. That’s a move away from earlier rumors suggesting this might be a “6c” smartphone that instead borrows from the iPhone 6/iPhone 6s design. The news outlet points to an A8 chip, replacing the A7 processor in the original iPhone 5s, in addition to a FaceTime HD camera with an improved f/2.2 aperture, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Apple hasn’t mentioned this phone at all, but it’s entirely possible the company wants to court consumers who find the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s too large for their tastes but who also find the iPhone 5s, which is still being sold, not powerful enough. No word on when this phone will actually ship, if ever, but it’s starting to seem like there’s at least something along these lines in the pipe.