Bad news for Apple fans looking for a new 4-inch iPhone. The rumored "iPhone 5se," which will offer a smaller screen size than the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, will also skimp on storage space.
Consumers will be forced to pay up more to avoid a poor experience, as 9to5Mac reports Apple will offer a measly 16GB of storage on the base model. The base iPhone 5se will be priced the same as the iPhone 5s, meaning the company will ask $450 for a SIM-free iPhone with barely enough storage to play games and take photos.
Apple isn't keeping all of its storage tiers stagnant, however. Where the more expensive 5s currently offers 32GB, the iPhone 5se that sells for the same price will offer 64GB. The higher storage tier is priced at $499 SIM-free, the lowest price a buyer will be able to pay while avoiding an exercise in frustration for many apps.
The new device will offer a wealth of new features to users looking for a smaller iPhone than the flagship models. The iPhone 5se will include the Apple Pay mobile payment system, a new camera and a curved glass display that more closely resembles the iPhone 6s, according to various reports.
Apple's insistence on offering a small base amount of storage will not sit well with consumers, though. Customers have complained about a lack of storage on the base model iPhone for years, leading to Apple marketing SVP Phil Schiller to publicly explain in June 2015 why the company doesn't offer more.
"The belief is more and more as we use iCloud services for documents and our photos and videos and music, that perhaps the most price-conscious customers are able to live in an environment where they don't need gobs of local storage because these services are lightening the load," he said.
9to5Mac also said that, contrary to previous reports, the iPhone 5se would include always-on "Hey Siri" and feature a powerful A9 and M9 chip. That would be the same as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with the iPhone 5se replacing the two phones in the current lineup. That would leave the new 4-inch device alongside the 6s, 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.