iPhone 6c or iPhone 5se: Improving The iPhone 5c

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If you’ve been keeping an eye on iPhone gossip for a while you’ll recall that there’ve been rumours of Apple re-visiting a smaller-display model, a revamp of the iPhone 5c, pretty much since the iPhone 5c rocked up (and then left!) back with the launch of the iPhone 5. Recently those rumours have resurfaced with some renewed vigour and a lot more plausibility (being backed up by some of the most prominent and reliable analysts and tipsters). Now the consensus seems to be that Apple will launch a new iPhone in Spring 2016, and because we know the firm will introduce its main flagship revamp in September, that leaves the so-called iPhone 6c, aka iPhone 7c, aka iPhone 5se, depening on which rumour you believe!

The handset is important because it is said to be a 4in iPhone; Apple knows a lot of its users miss the 4in display format so it is developing a handset to tap into it. 

The iPhone 5c, while reviled by tech reviewers in general, was actually a very successful release for Apple. It sold in excess of 20 million units and, if you pay attention, can be seen in the hands of people everywhere. Hell, everybody knows somebody that has an iPhone 5c.

For this reason, a refined and updated version of the iPhone 5c, complete with a new CPU, TouchID and some additional new features, perhaps 3D Touch, does make quite a bit of sense.

And word on the street suggest the handset is fast approaching its launch date.

“The new device is internally codenamed ‘N69,’” reports 9to5Mac, “but the launch name will likely be the “iPhone 5se.” The “se” suffix has been described in two ways by Apple employees: as a “special edition” variation of the vintage 4-inch iPhone screen size and as an “enhanced” version of the iPhone 5s. Indeed, the upcoming “5se” features a design similar to 2013’s flagship but upgraded internals, software, and hardware features that blend the old design with modern technologies from the past two iPhone upgrades.”

Sources have provided the following list of “iPhone 5se” upgrades over the 5s:

  • The chamfered, shiny edges have been replaced with curved glass like on the iPhone 6 and 6s lines

  • The same 8 megapixel rear camera and 1.2 megapixel front camera systems from the iPhone 6

  • Support for larger panoramas and autofocus for video recording

  • Barometer for tracking elevation in the Health app

  • An NFC chip for Apple Pay

  • The A8 and M8 chips from the iPhone 6

  • Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE, and 802.11ac WiFi chips from the iPhone 6s

  • Live Photos from the iPhone 6s

  • Same Silver, Space Gray, Gold, & Rose Gold color options as the 6s line

Here are six features the iPhone 6c needs to have that will make it worthy of the iPhone brand.

Aluminum body

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 6c 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 6c 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.

Cool color 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 6c, 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 6c 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.

A9 processor

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 6c 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 6c it will quickly become outdated.

Touch ID

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 5c’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 6c.

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 6c 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 6c could go a long way to greatly expanding Apple’s mobile payment efforts.

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