A worker cleans glass in front of an iPhone 5C advertisement at an apple store in Kunming, Yunnan province, China. / REUTERS/Wong Campion

The colourful entry-level phone will be dropped, and not immediately replaced

Apple is to drop the iPhone 5c after it launches the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — and nothing will replace it, at least immediately.

Every other iPhone will get upgraded or become cheaper after an event in September. But the iPhone 5c will be killed off.

The phone was released alongside the iPhone 5s in 2014. It packed the insides of its predecessor, the iPhone 5, into a new colourful case and became Apple’s cheapest handset.

But now it will be dropped, leaving Apple likely to keep selling the 5s, according to 9to5mac. It could be replaced by an iPhone 6c — but not immediately.

Many had hoped that the iPhone 6c would keep the smaller form factor of previous iPhones around. Apple expanded the size of its iPhones with the 6 and 6 Plus last year — a move that increased sales, but displeased some who preferred the smaller screens.

That 4-inch phone could debut later in the year. But it isn’t ready to arrive alongside the new phones, which are expected to launch at Apple’s September event.

The phone would probably pack the capabilities of the iPhone 6 into a smaller case, according to the reports.

The 5c might stay on in some markets, where Apple will keep it as a cheaper option in locations where they need to keep prices low. But otherwise the 5s will take its place, below the 6 and 6 Plus — which will drop in price — and then the new phones at the top.

Killing the iPhone 5c follows rumoursof its demise as early as November last year. It is particularly quick for a handset to be discontinued — Apple tends to keep its phones around for two or more years.