Much speculation has been floating around and virtually confirmed that AAPL does indeed plan to release an updated 4" iPhone, named the iPhone 5se. Many of the rumors claim that the new device will use virtually the same chassis as the iPhone 5s, which was released in September-2013 - shocking, I know.  However, what's really important is what the new device will have inside, rather than what it looks like on the outside.

Why would AAPL release a new 4" iPhone

The fact of the matter is....as much as people have embraced the 4.7" and 5.5" phablets that AAPL debuted with the iPhone's 6 and 6+, there is still a large contingent of people who want a smaller device.  However, what they also want is a smaller device that has all of the power and features of the new devices. But don't think this is about price - AAPL has already tried that with the iPhone 5C and I just don't think it ever caught on very well. The iPhone 5se is STILL going to be a premium-priced phone. It will be cheaper than the the newest devices, but don't expect a $350 phone.  AAPL has gone on record time-and-again and said, "we're not going to build a cheap phone for the sake of capturing market share". They want to capture market share, yes, but they are far more concerned with the "quality of that market share" to continue fueling that little $22 billion services business that they have going.

So what will the iPhone 5se have?

  • Chassis: Aluminium - would expect them to be able to use much of the same tooling that they have been using on the iPhone 5S to keep the cost curve down.
  • Processor: A9 - I would fully expect them to use the TSMC A9 processors - TSMC has the scale and has been able to move down the cost curve and is fully capable of supplying AAPL with enough A9 processors for this new device.
  • Screen Size: 4" - AAPL will use the same LED screen that is used on the iPhone 5s - a 1136 x 640 screen that produces a resolution of 326 pixels-per-inch (PPI)
  • Camera: 8mp shooter w/ Sony sensor - live photos
  • 3D Touch: No - cost prohibitive and would require too much internal re-tooling to enable the feature
  • TouchID: Yes - same as iPhone 5S (the first AAPL device ever to support the biometric sensor)
  • Apple Watch Support: Yes
  • Storage Configurations: 16GB / 64GB / 128GB
  • Unsubsidized Prices (US): $549 / $649 / $749
  • Colors: Space Gray / Silver / Yellow Gold / Rose Gold
  • Unveiling Date: Tuesday, March 15th - Yerba Buena Center (YBC) in San Francisco
  • Release Date: Friday, March 18th