Apple is reportedly working on one or more spiritual successors to the iPhone 5c that will use 14- to 16-nanometer FinFET chips manufactured by suppliers TSMC and Samsung.
The company originally intended to use 20-nanometer TSMC chips, sources in the semiconductor industry explained toDigiTimes. Switching to smaller architecture, however, will allegedly enable upgraded components with better power consumption. The people did not offer any specifics on which processors would be used or what the phones would be called.
The sources suggested though that Apple is not planning to launch them this year, but will instead introduce them in the second quarter of 2016. DigiTimes has a questionable track record, though, and that timing is highly unlikely, as Apple has kept to fall iPhone announcements since 2011's iPhone 4s.
Some sort of 2016 release could be possible however, as multiple reports have hinted at a low-cost device coming next year.
Earlier this year rumors and even parts leaks hinted that Apple was working on an "iPhone 6c." Both appear to have largely dried up, possibly implying that Apple may have been working on such a product, but abandoned it in favor of selling a discounted iPhone 6 alongside the more strongly supported iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Rumors about the 6c typically agreed that Apple would use a 4-inch display, but disagreed on whether Apple would use a plastic back — as with the 5c — or go with metal.