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Apple’s announcement today reinforced its commitment not only to the iPod, but also to a form factor — namely the four-inch-screen size form factor of the iPod Touch.

Apple also put an A8 processor in the new Touch, a powerful chip that has until now been used in the iPhone. I think this points directly toward a new four-inch iPhone in the near future.

If Apple had completely turned its back on the four-inch screen, it would have made the new iPod Touch in the same sizes as the (4.7-inch) iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. After all, the main purpose of the Touch is to consume music, video, and gaming content — exactly the kind of stuff that drove phone makers to move toward larger displays in the first place.

iPod Touch

Above: iPod Touch

Image Credit: Apple

But it didn’t. There’s something about that four-inch size that people like, and I think Apple knows it.

I liked the way my old iPhone 4 fit in my hand. I liked the width of the phone because it was grippable. I liked its length because I could always reach the whole screen with my thumb when using the device with one hand.

I’m going out on a limb and predict that Apple will announce a new phone this fall that looks almost exactly like the iPod Touch and comes in the same colors. It will contain an A8 chip just like the iPod Touch.

The main difference is that there will be a cellular voice and data radio chipset under the hood, as well as a Touch ID sensor and an RFC chip for Apple Pay.

Apple might even ease back from the price of the iPhone 6 line, which ranges from $650 to $850 for an iPhone 6, and $750 to $950 for the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPod Touch starts at $200. If the 4-inch device hits somewhere in the neighborhood of $400, it could be a very nice way for Apple to attack the market for mid-level phones. A phone like that might absolutely kill it in emerging markets like India, China, and Latin America.

Rumors of a new four-inch iPhone have been swirling around for a long time, and they don’t seem to go away. Our sources continue to report the rumor circulating in the supplier community. I think there’s something to it.

What do you think?

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