My prediction: no 4-inch 'iPhone 6c' is coming this year

A new rumor says Apple will introduce an "iPhone 6c" along with an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus this year, but I don’t see it happening, especially in a four-inch form factor.

I think Apple will keep the iPhone 5s in its line-up for those who don’t want the larger iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. The latest rumors of an “iPhone mini” are far from the first.

In January 2013, the Strategy Analytics research group predicted that Apple would introduce a smaller, cheaper “iPhone mini” for users of lower-end smartphones. In June 2013, DigiTimes said Apple would soon release an inexpensive smartphone with a plastic chassis.

Obviously, neither of those happened. And I don’t foresee a 4-inch iPhone in the works for 2015.

However, others disagree. In February BrightWire, a global investment newswire, said a smaller iPhone may come with a new technology for crash resistance. Cowen analyst Tim Arcuri thinks Apple is planning a 4-inch iPhone (along with current iPhone sizes). Purportedly, the “iPhone mini” would resemble a “shrunken” iPhone 5S.

Arcuri’s report follows a similar one  from Taiwan’s Electronic Times, which said in December that Apple plans to launch a 4-inch iPhone in the second half of 2015.

The smaller form factor still has its share of loyalists, and arguably has contributed heavily to the iPhone’s success in Japan, argues Seeking Alpha. Depending on their pricing, new 4-inch iPhones could also help Apple better compete against mid-range Android phones without heavily cannibalizing sales of high-end 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, the article adds.

I'm still dubious. However, we may find out if rumors of a Sept. 9 Apple media event announcing new iPhones and more are true.