Details Emerge on 4-Inch iPhone 5se Coming in March

Details Emerge on 4-Inch iPhone 5se Coming in March

As noted in this earlier post, rumors have been swirling that Apple will be holding an event in March to introduce new products. And in recent days details of what to expect have become more clear. The biggest news is that it's increasingly likely that Apple will announce a new 4-inch iPhone the week of March 14 that will take over the low-end slot in its lineup of models. The announcement could come at a media event or it could simply be an online announcement. It may also include new Apple Watch models with new bands and an iPad Air 3.

According to 9To5Mac, which usually has reliable inside information, the new iPhone may be called the iPhone 5se, not 6c as has been rumored. It will replace the iPhone 5s, which became Apple's low-end model when the company introduced the iPhone 6. And instead of being a smaller version of the iPhone 6s, as had been rumored, it will retain the basic design up the iPhone 5s, with its curved edges, but will add a variety of current features.

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Features

These features include an 8-megapixel iSight camera and 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera; a barometer for tracking elevation; an NFC chip for Apple Pay; the same wireless chips as the iPhone 6s; Live Photos; autofocus for video recording; and an all-metal casing with the same selection of colors as the iPhone 6s: silver, space grey, gold, and rose gold. Also, the iPhone 5se is expected to have 16GB and 64GB storage options. It won't include 3D Touch.

As is usual, details of the device keep changing, the reason being that Apple typically develops several different prototypes before deciding which to go with. Some prototypes had sported the A8/M8 chips, but in a separate post, 9To5Mac is reporting that it now appears that Apple will go with the more powerful A9/M9 chips currently in the iPhone 6s. This means that the iPhone 5se will be able to take advantage of the always-on "Hey Siri" feature that first appeared in the iPhone 6s. (With earlier iPhones "Hey Siri" only worked if the phone was plugged into a power source.)

Available in late March or early April

9To5Mac says that phone will be introduced in March and will be available in late March or early April. They also say that in the fall with the release of the iPhone 7, Apple will likely discontinue the iPhone 6 and 6 plus. The iPhone lineup will then include the iPhone 5se, the iPhone 6s and 6s plus, and the iPhone 7.

Possible iPhone 5se photo

In recent days a purported video of the new phone appeared, but 9To5Mac said that its sources indicated it was a fake (or possibly a rejected prototype). Then a photo was posted on the website One More Thing that purported to show the new iPhone next to an iPhone 5.

If the photo is the real deal, it would suggest that the iPhone 5se will have rounded volume toggles and a sleep switch location similar to the iPhone 6 rather than on top. It also suggests volume bottoms similar to the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 5se will not only serve as a lesser-expensive low-end model, but some people simply prefer the smaller 4-inch display over the 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays of the more recent iPhones. This helpful graphic from MacRumors illustrates the relative sizes.

So will we see it in March? The increasing rate of rumors, and their convergence around a March launch, does seem to fit the pattern that typically leads up to a product launch. 

Apple Watch and iPad Air 3

Regarding the Apple Watch, 9To5Mac has also posted the news that Apple will likely introduce new Apple Watch models in March. This won't be the redesigned Apple Watch 2, but rather will be new bands made from different materials and with new color options. 

They also say that it's possible the March event will include an announcement of the iPad Air 3 — in which case there will almost definitely be a media event. However, if the new iPad isn't ready to go, then the announcement of the iPhone 5se and new Apple Watch models may simply be online.

 

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.