4in iPhone 6c is apparently on its way

There might still be some hope for small-handed Apple fans

Whispers of a new 4in iPhone have cropped up once again.

The latest rumour comes straight from China's Economic Daily News, which reports that supplier AU Optronics has signed a deal to mass produce 4in screens for the Cupertino tech giant.

While you can still snap up the smaller 4in iPhone 5s and 5c handsets directly from Apple's site, it's safe to say that its real stars are the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

A smaller iPhone with updated internals (possibly based on the existing iPhone 6) would be a way to offer both small-handed gadgeteers and those on a budget, a chance to carry on riding the Apple train.

Confusingly, this latest report refers to an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7c. We say confusingly, because we would expect a smaller handset based on current-gen hardware to be called the iPhone 6c.

Then again, it wouldn't be the first time that Apple's naming convention has caught the entire tech world off guard. Remember the numberless "new iPad"?

Making matters even less clear is KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that Apple's 4in iPhone, whatever it's called, won't be out till 2016.

As with most things Apple, we'll have to wait until the official launch to separate the rumours from the facts, but we'll be sure to bring you all the latest developments between now and launch day.

[via Apple Insider]