Has Apple leaked the iPhone 6C on its own site?

Image advertising new iPhone Lightning charging dock has picture of what appears to be an updated iPhone 5C with a new Touch ID sensor

Apple appears to have leaked an updated version of its cheapest smartphone, the plastic-backed iPhone 5C, now with a Touch ID sensor.

The image used to advertise Apple’s new iPhone charging dock with a lightning connector shows an iPhone 5C with a red plastic back, but with a Touch ID fingerprint reader where a regular home button should be.

The iPhone 5C, released in September 2013 at the same time as its then top-of-the-range iPhone 5S, had similar specifications to the iPhone 5 from 2012. It did not have a fingerprint scanner, but used Apple’s older, simple home button.

iPhone 6C
Leaked image of the new iPhone on the left, and the original iPhone 5C, without the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, on the right. Photograph: The Guardian

The iPhone 5C was not updated in September 2014 during the announcement of the larger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, leading many to speculate that Apple’s experiment with a cheaper, less powerful iPhone had ended with the 5C.

Since the release of the iPhone 6, which made the smallest current iPhone start with a screen size of 4.7in, experts had speculated that Apple might introduce a smaller, cheaper iPhone with a screen size of 4in, matching those of the iPhone 5S and older smartphones.

It is possible that Apple will release a new version of the iPhone 5C, possibly called the iPhone 6C, in September when it is expected to reveal updated iPhones as part of its yearly refresh cycle.

If so, an iPhone 6C is likely to feature lower-powered components compared with its higher-end iPhones, but is expected to feature a Touch ID sensor, which was also added to Apple’s iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 tablets in October last year.

Having a Touch ID sensor fitted to all of Apple’s portable devices beyond its laptops would allow the company to consolidate its security and software systems around the fingerprint-recognition technology and provide support for Apple Pay – which uses Touch ID to authenticate payments – through all the company’s smartphones.

iPhone 6C
The image of what appears to be an updated iPhone 5C on the Apple Store listing of the iPhone lightning dock. Photograph: Apple

Apple has not replied to a request for comment.

Phablets take bigger share of US smartphone market as trend spreads

Apple Watch review: beautiful hardware spoiled by complicated software


Samuel Gibbs

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

iPhone 5S – first impressions

Samuel Gibbs: Apple's new flagship smartphone has some fresh features but you might be pushed to tell the difference from the iPhone 5 at first glance

Samuel Gibbs and Charles Arthur

11, Sep, 2013 @1:55 PM

Article image
Apple results: five things we learned
Apple's Tim Cook hints at iPad mini shortages, new product categories, seven mystery acquisitions and more. By Samuel Gibbs

Samuel Gibbs

29, Oct, 2013 @12:46 PM

Article image
iPhone 5S and 5C: 10 things you should know
For a start, both handsets will work on 4G, and the fingertip scanner can recognise up to five prints. By Juliette Garside

Juliette Garside

11, Sep, 2013 @12:59 PM

Article image
Apple unveils iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C - video

Two new iPhone models are unveiled at the Apple campus in Cupertino, California, on Tuesday

10, Sep, 2013 @7:06 PM

Article image
Can you buy the iPhone 5S or 5C with a clear conscience?
Apple has arguably done more than its rivals to improve conditions at factories and reduce its environmental footprint. By Juliette Garside

Juliette Garside

10, Sep, 2013 @3:43 PM

Article image
iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch to 'brighten everyone's day', says Apple

Apple will launch top-end iPhone 5S and cheaper iPhone 5C in an event to be shown to a select group in China

Charles Arthur, technology editor

09, Sep, 2013 @10:05 AM

Article image
iPhone 6 launch to break Apple records, say reports
The company has ordered 80m handsets for the launch of the new iPhone this year, according a leak from the supply chain. By Samuel Gibbs

Samuel Gibbs

22, Jul, 2014 @9:55 AM

Article image
How to extend your iPhone or Android's battery life
Tweaking settings and turning off unused features can help get the longest life from your smartphone. By Samuel Gibbs and Charles Arthur

Samuel Gibbs and Charles Arthur

09, Jul, 2014 @6:00 AM

Article image
Apple plans new iPhone launch for 10 September, say reports

Company lines up cheaper smartphone, dubbed iPhone 5C, and next generation model, thought to be called the iPhone 6. By Alex Hern

Alex Hern

12, Aug, 2013 @2:17 PM

Article image
Apple isn't dead yet – iPhone 5S and iOS7 have a secret weapon

The reality distortion field has gone into reverse, but it's blinding us to the truth: Apple is still leading the way, writes John Naughton

John Naughton

28, Sep, 2013 @11:05 PM