iPhone 6C release date, rumors: Apple may release iPhone 6C as iPhone 7C; 5C's plastic case being ditched in favor of metal


New speculations have spread about the rumored iPhone 6C, the successor to last year’s colorful and marginally inexpensive iPhone 5C.

According to reports, the iPhone 6C might not appear this year but early next year and could be part of the iPhone 7 line instead of the iPhone 6.

The report came from the website GforGames, which said that there are rumors in China that Taiwanese AU Optronics has been tapped to produce 4-inch panels that will allegedly be used for the speculated iPhone 7C. AU Optronics will not be the only producer of displays and glass panels involved, as the rumors also stated that mainland Chinese and South Korean companies will be taking up the orders for 4-inch panels as well.

In addition, GforGames added that the phones could come out within the first quarter of 2016.

This new rumor contrasts with an earlier report by the DigiTimes published in May. In that article, the DigiTimes claimed that the iPhone 6C will be released in the third quarter of this year, possibly in September. Citing industry sources, DigiTimes alleged that the iPhone 6C will be released simultaneously with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

MacWorld, on the other hand, said that the next C-model of the iPhone will do away with the plastic body that marked the iPhone 5C. Instead, according to Jeffries analyst Ange Wu, Apple will opt to give the iPhone 6C a metal case.

Wu further described a metal case in the Macworld article as more in line with the iPhone’s image, and helps to make the Cupertino-based tech giant’s devices distinct from its competitors’ products.

Other earlier reports have also cast doubt on whether or not Apple will actually release an iPhone 6C.

In January, Chinese website Feng.com published a report denying speculations that Apple has made orders in the supply chain for parts intended for a 4-inch iPhone. The report said a 5C successor is unlikely given Apple’s excellent sales record with the iPhone 6S and the 5C’s dismal performance in the market.