The iPhone 5se has been leaked for some weeks now, but we finally know that the device will be called the iPhone SE, not the iPhone 5SE has had been originally reported. A new photo by way of social media site Weibo from China confirms the new iPhone and gives us some specs about what consumers can expect when Apple announces the iPhone SE.
The iPhone SE, from the photo leak, shows 16GB of storage, an Apple Lightning to USB Cable (which isn’t surprising, since this started with the iPhone 5), CDMA, GSM, UMTS, TD-SCDMA, and LTE capabilities (cellular networks worldwide), NFC, and GPS. The iPhone SE’s 16GB of storage isn’t surprising, since Apple has included an app thinning feature within iOS 9 for all its iPhones (and Apple isn’t one to upgrade all its devices to 32GB of storage — unlike its staunch rival, Samsung). What is surprising about the device, however, is that the iPhone SE will feature NFC, or Near Field Communication. We’ve said this before with leaks in the past, but some early rumors stated that the device would not feature Apple Pay. We can confirm that the iPhone SE will now feature Apple Pay and allow buyers to make mobile payments. This is an obvious move for a wise company, who wouldn’t toss out a device with its own brand that didn’t run what is proving to be one of the company’s main profit makers and a new mobile trend (alongside of smartwatches).
The iPhone SE will likely feature Apple’s A9 SoC processor chip, its M9 motion coprocessor for gaming and fitness data, as well as a 12MP camera (though we’re still hearing an 8MP may grace the device instead). We don’t have all the details worked out yet, but we do know that Apple is returning to the 4-inch iPhone form factor it had in the iPhone 5. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons behind why the iPhone SE was called the iPhone 5SE for so long: its resemblance to the iPhone 5 is striking in a number of ways. That 8MP camera, if the rumor is true, will match the same 8MP back camera found in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S when the devices were released over 2 years ago.
The iPhone SE doesn’t sound revolutionary in nature, but it’s not designed to be. Many believe this is the low-cost iPhone Apple has been planning in the works, but its rumored price, $450-$500, isn’t cheap in the slightest. The iPhone SE, in this regard, is more akin to Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha, at the time of its release. When the Galaxy Alpha was released, it matched the same price point with some camera, screen resolution, and software compromises. One compromise for the iPhone SE, outside of its display size and perhaps its camera, will be the absence of 3D Touch on the device. Apple may be playing around with a tiered experience for the device, but we’re not sure this is a wise move for a company that really wants this feature to take off in the future.
Apple will announce the iPhone SE at a public event at Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California, the city of its headquarters, on Monday, March 21st at 10AM Pacific Time (1PM EST), though rumors pegged an earlier date, this week to be exact, for the big unveil. We may see an iPad Air Pro there, what could be a thinner and lighter (but larger) form factor for the iPad that was once just called “iPad” before morphing into the iPad Air, as well as a next-generation iPod Touch. Apple isn’t expected to announce iOS 10 or the next-generation Mac OS X update until this summer at its WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC 2016).