Maybe bigger isn’t always better. While the trend for smartphones over the past couple of years has been larger screens and wider bodies, Apple may go in the opposite direction later this March when it is expected to unveil a new 4-inch smartphone — the iPhone SE.
Officially, Apple hasn’t said that it even has the smartphone in the works. But several leaks from its supply chain have alluded to what will make it to the stage later this March. Here are the features to keep an eye out for when Apple unveils its 4-inch smartphone later this month.
To keep the 4-inch iPhone running smoothly, Apple may equip it with its latest A9 chip, the same processor found in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. The difference is the new phone may only sport 1GB of memory, half of what’s found in the 6S. The iPhone SE is also expected to come with the M9 co-processor, which tracks motion data while using a fraction of power the A9 uses. The chip may also make it possible for the smartphone to have always-on Siri support, which means users could activate the voice assistant by saying “Hey Siri” out loud, without the need to plug in the iPhone.
No 3D Touch
The iPhone SE is expected to get a number of upgrades, but one feature it won’t have is the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display found on its larger siblings. Leaked display parts obtained by french blog Nowwhereelse.fr, also point to the lack of a 3D Touch display as a major possibility for the 4-inch smartphone. In lieu of a major upgrade, the display cover glass is expected to get a minor change — curved edges similar to cover glass found in the iPhone 6 and 6S.
— Steve Hemmerstoffer (@stagueve) February 27, 2016
A beefed-up 12-megapixel image sensor could be one of the major upgrades to iPhone SE. It’s a big step up from the 8MP sensor found on the iPhone 5S. The smartphone is also expected to come with Live Photos support, which saves a short video clip right before and after the a photo is taken.
In addition to the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the iPhone SE could also sport the Apple Pay mobile payment system through a built-in near-field communication (NFC) wireless sensor. The services allows iPhone owners to add their credit cards to the device and use it to make in-store purchases wirelessly.
While the iPhone SE is expected to take on a similar design to the iPhone 5S, there isn’t a consensus on what exactly it will look like. Some renders point to a design nearly identical to the iPhone 5S, save for relocated power switch, according to 9to5Mac. And case designs from distributors point to a phone that looks more like a shrunken down iPhone 6.
— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) March 2, 2016
The rumor mill will just have to wait until Apple unveils the iPhone SE to find out if it was right.
Color And Storage Options
The iPhone SE may also be available in the same color options as the 6S — gold, rose gold, silver and space gray. But while there may be more variety in the color department, storage is only expected to come in 16GB and 64GB options.
The iPhone SE is the latest name on the list of rumored titles for the 4-inch smartphone. Before that was the iPhone 5se. As early as 2014, iPhone 6C was also floated as a name, because the phone was originally expected to be an upgrade to the plastic iPhone 5C.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone SE during a media event on the week of Mar. 21. In addition to the 4-inch smartphone, the company may also unveil an upgraded iPad Air as well as new bands for the Apple Watch.