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Apple may backpedal on its 'bigger is better' iPhone strategy

A new rumour has surfaced suggesting that Apple will re-introduce a 4-inch model into the company’s iPhone line-up next year.

The company’s latest flagship devices, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which launched earlier this year were the largest released by the firm so far at 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches.

Read more: Apple patents indestructible iPhone technology

The company had previously been against releasing larger smartphones or phablet devices, as it went against the company’s “one-hand use” philosophy. However, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus utilise a new “Reachability” feature which makes on-screen icons easier to access one-handed.

Despite this, rumours from Apple’s China supply chain suggest that a 4-inch iPhone will be launched in the second half of next year. According to G for Games, an unconfirmed report emanating from the Asian country indicates that female users will be the primary target market for the smaller handset.

At the moment, not much else has been confirmed regarding the release, so while it could offer flagship level hardware, it may also be a budget device like the iPhone 5C. Some industry experts have suggested that the latter is more likely, particularly given speculation that the Cupertino-based firm will discontinue the iPhone 5C in 2015, leaving the 5S as the only smaller-screened model.

Read more: iPhone 6 Plus: The King of phablets

If the rumours do turn out to be true, it would be a decision that sees Apple looking to the past rather than innovating for the future, but it would also be an understandable one, particularly as users with smaller hands may be struggling with the larger iPhone 6 models.