Apple's smaller iPhone could launch in February

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iPhone 5c colours

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Apple's previous attempts at a low-end iPhone did not go well.

Apple's smaller iPhone, rumoured to be called the 6c, could be announced in January 2016 ready for a February launch, according to Chinese blog TechWeb (via 9to5Mac) which cites "Foxconn insiders."

Apple held a January "Special Event" in 2010 which saw the unveiling of the iPad but has shifted its focus towards the middle and end of the year ever since, choosing to unveil new iPhones in September. KGI Security's analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record on Apple rumours, backed up the early 2016 claim.

The 6c would follow on from the 5c, an "unapologetically plastic" device that the company killed last year. Both iPhone models - the 6S and 6S Plus - have large screens which some users find hard to use.

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The device would feature an all aluminum design, making it light and, most importantly, putting it in-line with Apple's higher end iPhones.

Ben Thompson, an independent analyst who writes the Stratechery blog, has previously claimed in his "Daily Update" emails that the iPhone is seen as a status symbol in many countries and the plastic iPhone 5c failed because it appeared cheaper than the top-line models.

Beyond the aluminium body, the 6c would be unlikely to support 3D Touch, the headline feature of the iPhone 6S, according to the report. The device could support TouchID and Apple Pay.

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