In his latest research note to investors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple’s next-generation 4-inch iPhone will feature a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, as opposed to an 8-megapixel sensor as previously rumored.
The analyst also claims that the 4-inch iPhone, rumored to be called iPhone SE or iPhone 5SE, will sport specs similar to the iPhone 6s, including the powerful A9 chipset and Apple Pay. The handset will feature a form factor similar to the iPhone 5/5s, though it will come with a slightly curved 2.5D glass as seen on the iPhone 6 and later. Other features that will likely be present on the phone include ac Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 4.2, Live Photos, and a 1,642mAh battery.
Kuo believes that the new 4-inch iPhone could also feature 16GB and 64GB storage capacities, 3D Touch will likely remain exclusive to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as a differentiating feature.
The well-informed analyst continues to believe the smartphone will cost between $400 and $500 in the United States. The lower price point should help Apple target the mid- to low-price segment and drive iPhone sales in emerging markets such as China and India. Comparatively, the larger iPhone 6s starts at $649.
The analyst believes that the introduction of a new 4-inch iPhone will help in shipments of 4-inch iPhones to increase by more than 31 percent on a yearly basis, with Apple shipping around 37 million units in 2016. Alongside the launch of a new 4-inch iPhone, a staggering 50 percent price cut on the iPhone 5s will help in increasing shipments as well. However, the price cut on the iPhone 5s will affect the shipments of the new 4-inch iPhone 5SE, which the analyst has now lowered from 18-20 million units to only 12 million units in 2016.
Kuo said Apple’s upcoming 4-inch iPhone is “generally dubbed iPhone 5se,” but the much-rumored smartphone may actually be called the “iPhone SE.” The purported iPhone 5s successor has been given many other names in recent months, including “iPhone 6c,” “iPhone 5e,” and “iPhone 5s Mark II” internally.
Apple is expected to announce the new 4-inch iPhone, alongside a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro and minor Apple Watch updates, at its rumored March 15 media event. Barring any last minute changes, the smartphone could reportedly go on sale as early as March 18. Apple is unlikely to offer pre-orders for the device.
Next 4-inch iPhone To Come With a 12MP iSight Camera