New Apple iPhone SE rumours: What features will it have?
Published 14/03/2016 | 10:28
Apple has confirmed it will be hosting an event on March 21, where it's widely predicted the company will showcase a new, smaller iPhone, ahead of the iPhone 7 launch in September.
This new handset, expected to be called the iPhone SE (special edition), is expected to be joined by a downscaled iPad Pro measuring 9.7-inches, and some new Apple Watch straps.
Rumours and leaked images suggest it will sport the same 4-inch display as 2013's iPhone 5s, but have a number of new features to bring the smaller phone up to date, coupled with the smooth curved glass sides of the 6 and 6s.
The new iPhone is also expected to sport a 12MP rear-facing camera and 5MP front-facing lens. Initial rumours suggested it may sport a new dual-camera system, but it's now more likely Apple is saving such a change for the later iPhone 7.
Another addition unlikely to make an appearance is a pressure-sensitive screen, after images surfaced claiming to show the new phone free from the components required for 3D touch, Apple's pressure-sensitive display technology present in the Apple Watch and iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Other new features include a near-field communication (NFC) chip for Apple Pay, and a body with redesigned plastic antenna strips which match the 6s' design.
Apple is expected to stick to the same colour range as the 6s cycle - gold, silver, space grey and rose gold.
The iPhone SE is expected to go on sale on Friday March 25, just days after its reveal. Apple usually waits around two weeks between the event and sale date, but it is unlikely to take preorders on the new handset, reports suggest.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told MacRumours the iPhone SE will cost between $400 - $500 in the US, equating to between £300 and £400 in the UK.
While that price bracket isn't necessarily cheap, it would be significantly lower than the current starting price of £539 for an iPhone 6s or £619 for an iPhone 6s Plus. The iPhone 6 starts at £459 at the time of writing, while the iPhone 6 Plus begins at £539.
Kuo also predicts Apple will slash the price of the iPhone 5s by 50 per cent, following the release of the SE - currently starting at £379 , down to around $225, roughly equating to £160 minus tax.
Should Apple choose to keep selling the newly cheaper 5s alongside the comparatively affordable SE, both would be key additions to Apple's arsenal in its push into developing nations such as China and India.