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Apple iPhone 5se to feature “evolutionary” specs, no hardware innovation

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a mixed record with iPhone news and information, having predicted some things right but gotten some things wrong here and there. The analyst is back with some news regarding the 4-inch iPhone we’ve all been hearing about.

It’s been called the iPhone 6c, iPhone 7c, iPhone 5e, and, at the latest, iPhone 5se, but the 4-inch iPhone is on the way. Kuo says that the new iPhone 5se will feature a 12MP camera (found on the current iPhone 6s), the 2.5D glass that matches the current iPhone, but will feature an A8 processor chip instead of the latest A9 chip. With this said, the 4-inch screen size hails back to 2012, when Apple introduced the 4-inch display in the iPhone 5 (which was a break from the 3.5-inch screen of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s, in particular).

The iPhone 5se will introduce “no hardware innovation,” Kuo says, which means that you get the screen size you want (if you desire a smaller screen size) but the 4-inch iPhone won’t see the same top specs that Apple places into the iPhone 6s. If you crave the best display, you won’t see a 1080p screen here like you’ll get in the iPhone 6s Plus or the 750p display of the iPhone 6s. And, apart from the iPhone 6s, the specs will hardly square with what Apple’s got planned for the iPhone 7, so you won’t get the best of the Apple experience in this device.

I’m not sure this is a good tradeoff. I mean, some individuals crave smaller sizes, but it’s not necessarily a fair trade to give up cutting-edge specs or the high-end Apple experience for a device that features last year’s processor and performance because it has the right screen size. Apple is demanding that users get an iPhone 5se for the screen size alone, but tying it with the “iPhone 5” label is even more troubling. Why would most consumers want an iPhone 5se when they can purchase an iPhone 7?

Ming-Chi Kuo said that the iPhone 5c, before its arrival, would sit in the price point of $350-$450. Unfortunately, however, when the iPhone 5c arrived, it was priced at around $549 — the same price as the previous year’s iPhone 5, which was a year old at the time. The iPhone 5c was made of polycarbonate plastic as opposed to its metal smartphones, but Apple priced it at the same as that of a year-old premium smartphone so as to capitalize profit while reducing the experience. As can be seen, the iPhone 5se won’t be cheap, and Apple will likely not price it below $500 — which makes it seem somewhat unjustified when there are 2015 mid-range phones that could very well outperform the iPhone 5se in other areas.

We’re waiting to see what the iPhone 5se brings to the table, but, if Kuo’s right (and he’s been more right than wrong in the past), the iPhone 5se won’t be the perfect-size, perfect-specs smartphone some are waiting for. Last but not least, Apple could always improve its battery life and charging times, but the lack of hardware innovation in the iPhone 5se makes these long-held wishes nothing short of dreaming.

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