While we have been reporting about the fact that Apple is planning to launch a new four-inch version of its iPhone on March 15, there still seems to be some speculation regarding the name and the pricing of this soon-to-be-launched Apple product. However, a string of reports coming from usually trustworthy sources seem to have at least partially answered these questions.
To start with, we now have reports that the new four-inch iPhone would be christened the iPhone SE. The earlier plan was to call the device the iPhone 5SE. This moniker was supposedly dropped by Apple as they thought it would only end up making things more confusing for the consumer who might end up mistaking it for an iPhone 5 variant. So, it is quite likely that we would be seeing the arrival of the iPhone SE in the next few weeks.
The newest piece of information regarding the iPhone SE is the possibility of it receiving a 12-megapixel camera — as opposed to an 8-megapixel camera that was rumored earlier. This piece of information comes from a research note issued to investors by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, an individual who has in the past been known to reveal accurate details about Apple products before they launch. MacRumors says it received a copy of this research note in which Ming-Chi Kuo reveals that the iPhone SE would be powered by the A9 chip from Apple – currently known to also power the iPhone 6s. It will also support NFC and therefore, Apple Pay. The device would share design aspects from the iPhone 5s although, it is rumored to get a 2.5D glass seen on the iPhone 6.
Other features that received a mention include the possibility of the device coming in 16GB and 64GB variants with support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and Live Photos support. Thanks to its smaller size, the battery capacity would be struck down to a 1,642 mAh battery which is smaller than the one you saw on the new iPhones, but is still an improvement over the iPhone 5s battery. However, 3D touch is not expected on the iPhone SE. This is probably because the phone is simply too small to incorporate the taptic engine needed to power the 3D touch UI.
As for the price, Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the new Apple iPhone SE would cost somewhere between the $400 and the $500 mark in the United States. He adds that the iPhone 5s could see a 50 percent cut in its prices once the iPhone SE arrives. The iPhone 5s which sells for around $450 could see its price drop to $250 next month. So, if you have been wanting to buy one, you might want to hold that purchase until March 15 for a clearer picture. The research note adds that KGI Securities expects the four-inch variants of the iPhone (which includes the iPhone 5s and the soon to be launched iPhone SE) to grow 131 percent year-over-year. Apple is likely to sell over 37 million units of its four-inch iPhone models in 2016, the report said.
The arrival of a relatively cheaper version of the iPhone — with almost all of the features of its higher-priced variants — is likely to boost the sales of the iPhone in several emerging markets where the iPhone is still considered a luxury item. This includes the huge markets of China and india, both of which continue to grow at a rapid pace.
Apart from the iPhone SE, there are also rumors about Apple announcing a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro and updated versions of its Apple Watch at the event. The new iPhone SE could go on sale as early as March 18, reports add, although some reports said that it could be pushed back until March 22.
So, are you planning to get yourselves the iPhone SE?
[AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato]