While most iPhone announcements tend to come in the fall, Apple this year will be shaking things up a bit. According to a number of varied sources, Apple will reportedly be holding a special media event this March where it will unveil a brand new iPhone, alongside a minor refresh to the Apple Watch.
Now, before you get too excited, Apple won't be announcing an iPhone 7 anytime soon. Rather, the company plans to unveil a souped-up version of the iPhone 5s. The underlying strategy here is for Apple to provide users with a more advanced smartphone in a 4-inch form factor. Ever since the iPhone 6 hit the scene, Apple has all but ignored users who prefer using a smaller iPhone. In an effort to address these users, Apple will soon introduce what 9to5Mac claims will not be an iPhone 6c as much as it will be an iPhone 5se, which is to say an enhanced version of the iPhone 5s.
Adding some more detail to the rumored device, the typically reliable Mark Gurman relays a few interesting tidbits about the upcoming iPhone.
First off, Gurman reported the design of the iPhone 5se will reportedly be closer to the design of the iPhone 6/6s, which is to say that the edges will be slightly more curved than they were on the original 5s.
That aside, users can look forward to a number of bolstered internals, including the inclusion of an NFC chip for Apple Pay, an A8 processor (which was originally introduced on the iPhone 6), an M8 processor, support for Live Photos, and, last but not least, "Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE, and 802.11ac WiFi chips from the iPhone 6s."
Of course, given how fluid Apple's plans tend to be, Gurman's original report was subsequently updated to reflect that the iPhone 5se may very well include an A9 processor and an M9 coprocessor, which would enable always-on "Hey Siri" functionality.
As for features that the iPhone 5se won't include, well, the camera will sadly remain the same as it was on the 5s. What's more, the iPhone 5se won't support 3D Touch, hardly a surprise given that Apple prefers to keep the iPhone's flagship features exclusive to its flagship and higher-margin devices.
Price-wise, Gurman notes that the new iPhone 5se will assume the price point of the 5s, meaning that it may be extremely affordable for users looking to upgrade.
As a final note, it's believed that the device will launch sometime in April.