In January, we reported that Apple would be launching a new 4-inch iPhone in March with a design “nearly identical” to that of the iPhone 5s from 2013. Since then, several rumors and teases from various case makers have teased that the new 4-inch iPhone may have a design that looks a bit closer to the iPhone 6 in both shape and look. Checks with additional sources indicate that the iPhone SE, to be launched at Apple’s March 21st event next week, will look “almost exactly the same” as the iPhone 5s…
This means the phone will include a boxier, not curved, design complete with rounded volume buttons, a power button on the top, a headphone jack, speaker, and microphone on the bottom, and a back with a metal center and a glass bottom and top. We previously reported that the only easily apparent difference would be the product’s edges. There have been mixed reports regarding the look of the new edges, and sources say that while the front edges could be “very slightly” curved, the potential change is not noticeable. Regardless, the iPhone SE’s edges will be less shiny and likely lose the shiny mirror finish that helped make the iPhone 5s prone to scratches.
The other hardware differences are internal: an A9 processor, an M9 chip for always-on “Hey Siri” support, an NFC chip for Apple Pay, and upgrades to the cellular and WiFi hardware. We have now also learned that the device’s rear camera system will match the system found on the iPhone 6s: the iPhone SE is said to include a 12 megapixel camera and 4K video recording support like the upcoming smaller iPad Pro. We previously reported the ability to take Live Photos is also in the mix.
As for capacities, colors, and pricing, our previous reports indicate that the iPhone SE will come in 16 GB and 64 GB configurations, a boost over the 16 GB and 32 GB iPhone 5s offerings. The new phone will come in the same colors as the 6s, including Rose Gold, and will replace the 5s in the lineup by taking its $450 starting price. The iPhone SE will also fit into existing iPhone 5s cases, making it a simple upgrade for those holding on to the 4-inch screen size. Overall, this device is a heavily upgraded iPhone 5s with many of the iPhone 6s’s internal hardware capabilities, not an “iPhone 6s mini,” which is why Apple internally called the device the “iPhone 5SE.”
Be sure to read our roundup of everything to expect at Apple’s March 21st event.
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