It almost feels as if the iPhone 5se is now a done deal. Major sources like The Guardian and The Independent are reporting on it, specs have been alluded to, and, if 9to5Mac are to be believed, we even have a name for Apple’s 4in device — iPhone 5se. Or is it iPhone SE? That depends on where you look. But for now we’re sticking with the latter, just because we can’t see Apple going back to the number 5 on a new handset. It just seems way too regressive.
But there is a strong case for a 4in iPhone.
A report issued by Amit Daryanani, of RBC Capital Markets, notes “only 40 per cent of the install base [current iPhone users] has upgraded to Apple’s larger 4.7 – or 5.5 inch iPhone models”. Daryanani admits the 15 million handsets a year figure is “modest” when compared to Apple’s usual numbers (75 million iPhone 6s units, for instance) but added, “a late March launch would allow Apple to provide a buffer in the upcoming June and September quarters, leading up to the debut of a flagship iPhone 7.”
So the iPhone SE is coming. We even have a launch date — March 21. Now, the handset itself is not yet confirmed but all sources, leaks and information point to a 4in handset called the iPhone SE. And if the last three iPhone launches are anything to go by, the rumours at this stage are usually right on the money. And this got us thinking: what would make us want to buy a 4in iPhone?
Here are six of our most wanted features for the iPhone 5se — features that would make the handset a worthy update on last year’s iPhone 6 and the iPhone 5s.
One of the biggest mistakes with the iPhone 5c was its polycarbonate body. Yeah, it was plastic when aluminum had become the material of choice for other iPhones. If the iPhone SE is to succeed where the iPhone 5c fails it MUST have an aluminum body. An aluminum body means the device will be thinner and, of course, give it that sleek, sexy look.
The only case where the iPhone SE could be forgiven if it does have a plastic body is if it’s a truly budget iPhone. But the iPhone 5c was marketed as a low cost iPhone, yet it still sold for only $100 less than the iPhone 5s. For all the tech trade offs you needed to accept with the iPhone 5c, those savings weren’t worth it.
iPhone 6s-Grade Camera
“Apple plans to tout the imaging prowess of the so-called iPhone SE in a forthcoming promotional video that features a scene comprised of 4K footage captured completely on-device,” according to a new report from Apple Insider.
“If true, the rumor hints at an iPhone SE feature set more in common with iPhone 6s than previously expected. Early rumblings and purported parts leaks led to speculation that the device would be a modest upgrade over the iPhone 5s, with a few key enhancements sufficient to satiate demand for a smaller 4-inch format iPhone, but not enough to threaten cannibalization of Apple’s bread-and-butter flagships.”
Cool Colour Options
One thing the iPhone 5c did get right is that is came in five different colors: blue, green, pink, yellow, and white. Here’s hoping that the iPhone 6c continues that tradition, albeit with a colored aluminum body instead of a colored plastic one. Apple does colored aluminum very successfully in the iPod touch line, so they could more than carry it off with the iPhone 6c. We’re hoping for red, blue, green, and purple options along with a neutral black and a silver model as well.
32GB Base Storage, Minimum
Look, this bit of advice doesn’t just go for the iPhone SE, but every future iPhone as well. Apple needs to drop the 16GB entry level storage option. No one—I mean NO ONE—should ever buy a 16GB smartphone. You’ll use up all the storage as soon as you start recording HD video or taking lots of pictures. At the least the entry level iPhone SE should offer 32GB of storage. If it doesn’t, Apple should just call it a day and not even release the iPhone 6c. We’re really hoping the iPhone 6c comes in at least two storage sizes: 32GB and 64GB.
This handset could also be a testing ground for previously black-listed technology. Things like microSD-support, wireless charging and water and dust proofing could all be included to differentiate the iPhone SE from its current and upcoming iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 cousins. Obviously, we’re aware how insane this sounds. And no way is this sort of thing even a rumour at present. We’re just very keen to see how Apple differentiates this handset from its current flagship, as well as the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Another reason the iPhone 5c was such a let down is because Apple stuck an older generation chip in it at the time. It had a A6 chipset at the time other iPhones had the much faster A7. Currently the flagship iPhone 6s features the A9 chipset. We really believe that considering the iPhone 6c is coming out almost six months AFTER the iPhone 6s it should sport the A9 chip as well. Why? Because in just 8 more months the next iPhone (the iPhone 7) will be coming out with the A10 chipset, so by that time the A9 chip in iPhone SE will already be one generation old—and it probably won’t receive another spec bump until well into 2017. If Apple opts to only put an A8 in the iPhone SE it will quickly become outdated.
Another thing the iPhone 5c lacked was the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. If you’ve ever used an iPhone with Touch ID you’ll know how much easier it makes your life. Unlocking your phone happens in microseconds—no passcode required. At the time of the iPhone SE’s release the Touch ID was cutting edge tech on the then-new iPhone 5s. But now it’s tech that is to be expected, so Apple better include it on the iPhone SE.
NFC and Apple Pay
Finally, there’s Apple Pay. If you’ve used Apple Pay, you’ll know how awesome it is. I can’t remember the last time I bought something using my chip and pin. I just wave my iPhone over the contactless terminal with my finger on the Touch ID and my payment is processed in seconds. Since Apple Pay has been around for two years now, I’m hoping that the iPhone SE will support it. In order for it to do so it will need two things: the aforementioned Touch ID and also an NFC chip. Enabling Apple Pay on the iPhone SE could go a long way to greatly expanding Apple’s mobile payment efforts.