Remember smaller phones? They didn’t suck up so much pocket space, they felt great in smaller hands, and they were basically the norm a few years ago. And Apple’s about to bring them back.
That’s right, the Apple rumour cycle is ablaze with new theories for 2016, and all signs are pointing to a smaller, iPhone 5-like product for a March launch.
Here’s everything we know about the handset so far.
For starters, there’s a name. Well, we think there is.
Initial rumours for the four-inch remix pointed out similarities to the iPhone 5c, which was a failed attempt to make a cheap, plastic iPhone. This led to speculation that this new phone would become the 6c.
Since then though, new rumours have surfaced, with speculation of a name that’s far more obscure.
A new report from Mark Gurman, of 9to5Mac, said the new phone might be known as the iPhone 5se, as in special edition, (or I guess even small edition).
While ‘5se’ could create confusion for new phone buyers, a name that references the iPhone 5 could also entice people who have yet to leave that phone behind and understand it means small. Maybe.
Conversely, while the iPhone 5c was a failure, more logically referring to the device as the iPhone 6c, or even 6se, could similarly scare off small-phone fans.
For now, there is no certainty around the phone’s name, and Apple could just as easily change the name before the final announcement. Keep an eye out for more clarity on this.
There are reports the new four-inch phone will essentially be a souped-up version of the iPhone 5s, with an iPhone 6s processor and body, Apple Pay, Live Photos and an improved camera, all in that smaller form. Again, specifics are uncertain, with both A8 and A9 processor varieties floating around.
One certainty is that the four-inch phone will not feature faster components than the latest iPhone 6s. If anything, it’ll only match the phone, if not stoop to iPhone 6 levels. When you picture the release of the iPhone 7 later in the year, Apple would be wise not to leave this new device in the hardware dust.
In terms of storage, it will apparently match the current 16GB default, although you will also be able to buy a 64GB version, which is quite a jump in storage. Annoyingly, there isn’t going to be a 128GB option, although that’s not exactly a surprise given the expected budget price.
Finally, there are no real details on battery life yet, but this could be a major problem for the smaller phone. With smaller space, there’s less battery room. And as we said in our iPhone 6s review, battery life is already a huge issue, even prompting Apple to release their own thick, ugly battery case.
Fingers crossed Apple has figured out a magical solution to the conundrum, and that it isn’t another unsightly case.
Leaked hardware has suggested a similar, if not identical design to the iPhone 6 and 6s, just with a smaller overall body. The phone is also apparently going to be sold in the same four colours as the full-sized version – Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Rose Gold. I’m keen for the latter.
Also one thing to make note of if you’re an Apple diehard, while there are no signs that Apple will remove the headphone jack on the four-inch phone, rumours suggest the iPhone 7 will feature a jack-free design.
Whether or not Apple pulls the trigger early with this phone is anybody’s guess, but it’ll be interesting to see whether the headphone jack makes an appearance in March.
All signs are pointing to a launch event in early March, with 9to5Mac reporting an Apple event is scheduled for the week of March 13.
This event is also apparently going to include the launch of a new iPad Air, as well as minor packaging tweaks to the Apple Watch – a new Watch isn’t expected until the end of the year.
As such it won’t be the most exciting launch of all time, but you’d better believe we’ll still be covering it. Be sure to tune into Techly for the news and Australian details as they break.