All eyes are set on what Apple has in store for its fans across the globe and looks like the Cupertino tech giant is not going to keep them waiting. Recent reports reveal that a model from the iPhone 7 lineup may just be launched as early as January 2016.

According to the Chinese website TechWeb citing unnamed Foxconn sources, the 4-inch model unofficially being dubbed as the iPhone 7C, iPhone 6C or the iPhone 7 Mini, will be unveiled in January and should start shipping sometime in February.

It was last month that a note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted  Apple’s plan to bring out a 4-inch device much earlier in the year. He also speculated that the smaller variant will arrive sans the 3D Touch technology to clearly mark it as the lower-end model in the iPhone 7 lineup, wherein other high-end variants are expected to be launched during the company’s annual fall event next year.

The note also reveals more details about the handset sharing that it may house the A9 processor and may adorn a metal chassis as opposed to the plastic one seen on the iPhone 5C. Comparisons with the iPhone 5C are only natural, as many may recollect that it was the last 4-inch version of the handset introduced by the company.

As per the note from Ming-Chi Kuo, the 6C model could boost iPhone sales to 20 million to 30 million additional units being sold for the year 2016. Also as rightly noted by Forbes tech writer Evan Spence, “Any smaller iPhone is going to be weak by design, and used to up-sell you to the larger models.”

The move could also be coming to tackle the weak iPhone 6S sales. As reported by Cult of Mac, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus probably sold around 10-15 percent fewer units across different countries despite a strong launch, when compared to last year`s iPhone 6.

This could probably mean that Apple may indeed bring out the smaller version of the iPhone much earlier than expected. Keep coming back for more updates.