Everything we think we know about Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE – Mashable

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Video: Kayvan Ghavim, Loris Ravera, Christina Warren

At Apple’s next big product event — taking place March 21— the company is expected to announce a new 4-inch iPhone.

The new phone, with the rumored name iPhone SE will be Apple’s first 4-inch device since the release of the larger iPhone 6 in 2014.

Even though we won’t know the official details of the new device for another ten days, a lot of leaks (many courtesy of 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman) are out in the wild now.

This is everything we think we know about the next 4-inch iPhone.

The name

There’s been a lot of back and forth over the name. When rumors first began about a 4-inch iPhone, some suggested it would be called the iPhone 6C — a play off the “lower end” iPhone 5C that debuted alongside the iPhone 5S in 2013. Early this year 9to5Mac reported it would actually be called the iPhone 5SE, but now it says the new, smaller iPhone will be known as the iPhone SE.

Honestly, this makes sense. The rumors that Apple would call its smaller iPhone the iPhone 5SE always struck us as odd because the “5” moniker implies that this is an older device. And that’s not strictly true.

Sure, the smaller screen of the iPhone SE seems to be a throwback to earlier models, but that doesn’t mean you want to call your phone something that suggests it was made in 2013.

The design is like the iPhone 6, just smaller

Although the iPhone SE has a smaller 4-inch display — similar to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, the design language around the phone is rumored to be much more akin to the iPhone 6 series of devices.

In other words, don’t expect chamfered edges and sharp sides — expect smoother corners and curved glass.

From where we sit, this makes a lot of sense. If Apple is going to release a smaller iPhone, having that phone look as much like the bigger iPhone devices will make the whole line feel cohesive.

Plus, we think it would be hard to get people excited about a new phone if it still looks like something that is a few years old.

It’ll come in pink

Rose Gold iPhone 6S

Apple’s iPhone 6S in rose gold.

Image: Jhila Farzaneh/Mashable

It’s a rose gold world.

Apple made a huge splash with the rose gold (although let’s be real, it’s pink) last fall and we can expect it to continue the trend with its new devices.

Although early rumors suggested the iPhone SE could come in hot pink and not rose gold, we’re now expecting that the new, smaller iPhone will be available in rose gold, gold, space gray and silver.

This was made even more clear with the invite to Apple’s event, which prominently features the rose gold hue.

Smaller screen, decent specs

The iPhone SE may have a smaller display, but its internal specs are rumored to be quite solid.

The precise specs of the device have gone through some changes. Initially, it was thought that the iPhone SE would have an A8 chip, the same as the iPhone 6.

More recent rumors, however, suggest that the phone will have the A9 processor, the same chip in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. We’re not sure of the clock speed but we wouldn’t be surprised if the iPhone SE was clocked a bit slower to help further differentiate between the two devices.

An analyst note from Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities (an analyst with a history of being on the money) pegs the iPhone SE has having an A9 processor, M9 motion coprocessor and a 12-megapixel camera.

The camera rumor is fairly new — earlier reports had the iPhone SE has having the same 8-megapixel sensor used on the iPhone 6.

Having the new camera sensor also means the iPhone SE is now reported to support taking Live Photos, a feature introduced with the iPhone 6S.

The iPhone SE is expected to come in 16GB and 64GB capacities. We’d really hoped Apple would just get rid of 16GB altogether, but in this case, we’re really not surprised.

Other expected features include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor (naturally), 802.11ac support, and NFC support for Apple Pay.

Kuo also pegs the battery on the iPhone SE as being slightly larger than that of the iPhone 5S.

No 3D Touch

One big flagship feature from the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus not expected to make it to the iPhone SE is 3D Touch.

3D Touch is awesome and its a new user-interface paradigm, offering users to access more features in an app or game simply based on how hard they press on the screen.

And because it’s so great, it’s not a surprise that we probably won’t see it on the iPhone SE. Even though the specs on the device look good, it looks like Apple is going after a slightly different market than it is with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Not including 3D Touch lets Apple better differentiate the iPhone SE from its flagship phones.

Cheaper price

One of the reasons users may forgive Apple for forgoing 3D Touch on the iPhone SE is because of price.

KGI Securities is pegging the price at between $400-$500. That’s notable because the iPhone 6S starts at $649.

The lower price will open the iPhone up to new market segments. Now, to be clear, even in the predicted range, the iPhone SE will be much more expensive than the range of inexpensive Android phones coming out of China.

Still, a price difference of $150 dollars or more shouldn’t be ignored. It might make the most difference in markets where Apple is trying to grow its business — such as India and Latin America — but it would be appealing to many customers in the U.S., too.

As carriers continue to drop phone subsidies and move to monthly plans, more consumers are considering buying their phone outright — or at least, considering what a phone costs. Spending a few hundred dollars less for a phone that still feels pretty new could be compelling, especially to users with older devices.

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Everything we think we know about Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE – Mashable