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Apple develops ‘iPhone mini’: analysts

Industry research firm claims Cupertino will release 4-inch budget model next year

Apple develops ‘iPhone mini’: analysts
Apple’s current next-generation line-up is the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 6-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

Smartphone industry analysts have predicted that Apple's next handset is likely to be a 4-inch shrunken version of its flagship, with a budget price-point to match, the Register reported.

Apple's current next-generation line-up is the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 6-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the latter of which belatedly answered the calls of investors and analysts for a large-screen Apple smartphone.

Apple has rigidly stuck to the premium market since the launch of its first iPhone. The iPhone 5C was expected to be a budget model, but failed to reach the necessary price point.

Zacks Equity Research claims Apple is developing the "iPhone mini" device for next year, but did not specify if the Cupertino-based firm would stick to its traditional cycle of launching all its iPhones in September at a single event.

"We believe that the launch will cash in on the market buzz created by strong sales of the new iPhones," Zacks researchers wrote in a note. "Since the Sep 2014 release, the iPhones created record demand far exceeding that of the previous versions of iPhone. Apple intends to sell the new iPhones in approximately 115 countries in the near term, marking it the fastest rollout in the history of the device."

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