Report: Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6c to be made of metal

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Apple really is working on a more affordable iPhone 6c that will be unveiled later this year, according to a new report, but it will be more like “an extended version of the iPhone 5s” with a metal unibody, rather than an updated iPhone 5c made of plastic.

Jefferies analyst Ange Wu expects the iPhone 6c to be assembled by Hon Hai Technologies in Taiwan, while more than half of the handset’s metal casings are likely to be manufactured by Foxconn. Wu estimates that the casings will make up around 10% of Foxconn’s sales next year.

A metal unibody would make the iPhone 6c more expensive to manufacture than another iPhone made of plastic, but it would likely help it sell better, too. Some expect the iPhone 6c to be a smaller version of the iPhone 6s, as opposed to a cheaper iPhone aimed at those on a budget.

That’s what the iPhone 5c tried to be, and while many expected the device to be a big success, it didn’t quite turn out like that. Its aging internals and lack of flagship features like Touch ID meant many were willing to spend the extra for an iPhone 5s.

But if the iPhone 6c is simply a smaller version of the iPhone 6s for those who do not want a larger smartphone, it’s likely to be much more successful.

As for those larger iPhones, “Hon Hai gets half of the business and Foxconn Tech gets 25%” of iPhone 6s casing production, Barron’s reports, while “for the larger iPhone 6/6S Plus, Apple raised stake in both, giving 60% of the business to Hon Hai and 35% to Foxconn Tech.”

It’s thought the iPhone 6c will be unveiled alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus this September.