Apple could reveal a smaller iPhone '5se' as early as March
Published 25/01/2016 | 14:06
Apple is widely believed to be preparing a new iPhone that is smaller and cheaper than both its current models, and could release it as early as March.
The "iPhone 5se" will feature a 4-inch screen - the same size as the 5 and 5s models - as well as new features like an upgraded camera, Apple Pay and Live Photos, according to reports.
The company has been widely expected to launch a smaller iPhone, after upping the screen sizes to 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch when it released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014. Many millions of iPhone users are still using older models though, and Apple still sells the 5s, released two and a half years ago.
A refreshed entry-level model would mean buyers being introduced to more up to date iPhone features, as well as possibly providing a boost to iPhone sales amid suggestions that growth is flagging. Many analysts expect Apple to report its first ever decline in iPhone sales on Tuesday, with many owners of older models apparently opting not to upgrade.
Apple has been under pressure to sell a cheaper smartphone in the past, and responded with the iPhone 5c, which had a plastic case and did not feature Touch ID.
However, the device was not seen as a huge success, and Apple has not released a "c" model in subsequent years.
Perhaps to avoid comparisons with the 5c, the new model will reportedly be called the 5se rather than the 6c. 9to5Mac, which reported the name, said employees were referring to the "se" as "special edition" or as an "enhanced" version of the 5s. It said the phone will be revealed in March and go on sale either at the end of the month or in April.
An image of the phone appeared to leak over the weekend, showing the same rounded edges as the 6 and 6s models. It also houses the power button on the right hand side, rather than the top. It will reportedly have an 8MP back camera and 1.2MP front camera, the same specifications as the iPhone 6.
Apple held a press conference to fully unveil the Apple Watch in early March last year, and could use the springtime to refresh the smartwatch again, although reports have suggested that this could be pushed back.