Apple’s next iPhone rumoured to be the 4-inch ‘iPhone 5se’

Patrick O'Rourke

January 22, 2016 3:55pm

9to5 Mac’s Mark Gurman, an almost always-reliable Apple leaker, is reporting the company is preparing to release a new 4-inch smartphone called the iPhone 5se.

The rumoured iPhone 5se (se is likely short for special edition), will reportedly feature the same curved glass as the iPhone 6/6s, as well as NFC Apple Pay functionality. Like the iPhone 6, it’s expected to have an A8 chip, M8 co-processor, and an 8 megapixel camera with Live Photo capabilities. While the phone is rumoured to be called the iPhone 5se, it’s leaked internal components make the smartphone sound more like a budget version of the iPhone 6.

According to Gurman’s sources, since the iPhone 5se is reportedly an upgrade over Fall 2013’s iPhone 5s, it’s likely the existing iPhone 5s will be discontinued.

Also, contrary to recent speculation, Gurman says the iPhone 5se won’t represent a soft launch of the iPhone 7’s often rumoured controversial removal of the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, it’s reportedly designed to be a smaller alternative to the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.

The iPhone 5se is expected to launch this March.

Related reading: Apple Watch rumoured to get new bands in mid-March and a full redesign in the Fall

Source9to5 Mac
  • J.S.Bach

    Apple market cap down by $218 Billion… the titanic is listing and I’m pretty sure a 4″ phone isn’t going to help. Sell those shares minions, the institutional investors don’t see apple as a growth company any more.

    • pvanb

      Because if you say they’re doomed often enough, eventually it makes it true.

    • J.S.Bach

      Sure, just like people keep predicting Niagara Falls will collapse… everyone knows that eventually it will happen, just nobody knows when.

    • Frederick The Great

      Or when the sun will burn out finally? In about what? Another 2-3 billion years? LOL
      You’re reaching buddy. As usual with your ‘stupid’ posts.

    • Marc Palumbo

      Not so sure about the titanic sinking, but one thing investors are scared of is the fact that Apple is cutting supplies due to demand and that their revenue is based on 63% of iPhone sales (up from ~56% last year). This is the fear among investors, but they are posting record profits.

    • J.S.Bach

      All true, but investors don’t get dividends from Apple so if they don’t see a high probability of growth in stock value they’re out and Apple hasn’t shown any signs that they can pull off another iPhone or iPad. Many analysts have said that those were once in a generation type of events.

    • Andrew_notPorC

      Apple does pay dividends, and it is trading at very low multiples to current profits. The big risk is not that they don’t make a new blockbuster product like iPhone. The risk is that iPhone profitability falls due to lower unit sales or lower margins, which I don’t think is much of a risk in the near term. I’m no Apple fanboy, but I have to say the stock is very attractively priced.

    • neo905

      Lower sales YOY is approaching. Lower margins are inevitable after that.

    • cartfan88

      I keep saying the strong US$ and them not eating part of the rate increases for their non US sales will eventually cause some to defer upgrading or seek alternatives. It’s just getting too expensive outside of the US. Plus the extra $100 Apple trick to get 64gb instead of 16gb base when other competitors are tending to offer a 32gb base for their models. If Apple had a 32gb base for what is already an expensive phone, many would settle for that instead of having to dish out for the 64gb.

      Overall sales and margins will remain strong. It’s the growth thats set to weaken.

    • Frederick The Great

      The fact you don’t know that Apple pays dividends is proof enough you aren’t to be taken seriously and really have no idea what you’re talking about. Yet you tout Blackberry, a company that never paid jackshît to shareholders even during its glory days but were willing to back date options so the insiders and their friends could line their pockets. Typical Canadian doofus you are defending it

    • Frederick The Great

      Blah blah blah. More Apple bashing from you. You’re a f.n îdiot

  • MoYeung

    Not 6se but 5se?

  • Gonzogre

    Good move by apple, dealing in the Telecommunications industry, there are no phones under 5″ screen size these days that are of a high end quality and have many people getting sick of being forced into 5″+ screens, looking forward to selling this and hope there are some Android smaller devices that come out as well ala the Samsung Alpha

    • neo905

      Sony Compact Xperia is still the best sub 5″ and will still be after this phone.

    • Vito R.

      I loved my Z3 Compact, but it wasn’t “better” than an iPhone 6.

    • neo905

      I never said it was better than an iPhone 6. I said it would be better than whatever gimped 4″ phone Apple comes out with. I doubt the 4″ phone they release with up to date tech in whatever other iPhone available at the time. Sony is the only brand that doesn’t make those compromises on their smaller screened device.

    • Vito R.

      You said it was the ‘best sub 5″ ‘ and the iPhone 6 is only 4.7″ (vs. 4.6″ on the Z3 Compact).

    • neo905

      You just love playing this gotcha game don’t you? Congratulations, you got me on a technically. The article was about 4″ iPhone so I was referencing that.

    • Vito R.

      First of all, if you post accurate info I wouldn’t have to correct you. Second of all, you said “Sony Compact Xperia is *still the best* sub 5″ and will still be after this phone” which *anyone* would reasonably concluded means it’s better than any phone under 5″ – because that’s what you emphatically said.

      I think the technicality was that you probably didn’t realize the iPhone 6 was less than 5″. I would agree that the Xperia Z3/5 Compact is the best phone 4.6″ or less.

    • Vito R.

      Does *anybody* make a good 4″ phones anymore?

      I think you’re misinformed. Yes, Sony is the only Android OEM that makes a somewhat comparable “small” (4.6″) device, but Apple’s iPhone 6 (4.7″) and iPhone 6 Plus (5.5″) are identical expect for the camera lens and battery size. Sony actually skimps a bit on their Compact line as they are slightly lower spec’d.

    • neo905

      That’s the thing NOBOBY other than Sony makes a sub 5 incher. I don’t even think there is a market for a 4 inches anymore. If there is it is pretty small. No pun intended.

    • Vito R.

      You mean nobody other than Apple 🙂

      I think there is probably a market for an iPhone 5 size of a device considering how many I still see around.

      Android vendors (aside from Sony) have given up on sub-5″ and to be fair, I never saw anyone else using a Z3 Compact in the wild for the 6 months I had mine. Seems most people really do think bigger is better.

    • neo905

      I also find it funny you call a sony z compact lower spec’d yet the iPhone 6 has a 720 screen, 16GB storage not expandable ,1 GB of RAM, a 1,715 mAh battery…how is that not skimping? Sony has better specs than that.

    • Vito R.

      Not sure why you keep changing the subject… We were talking about the Sony phones. The Z3C is lower spec’d vs. the “regular” Z3. It’s plastic vs. metal, has less RAM, less sharp screen. Apple is the only one that treats their two flagships equal.

      And without delving too much into well treaded territory, yes, the Z3C has better “specs” than the iPhone 6 – but all Android devices need better specs just to keep up with iOS and the Sony wasn’t faster or otherwise better aside from battery life and water resistance.

    • FlamesFan89

      For the record, your insistence on sticking to the decimal point to call the iPhone 6 a “sub 5″ phone” is eye-roll inducing at best.

      Two things, only the tech-minded, which is the extreme minority in the general public, would compare the screen on the iPhone 6 and some other phone that has a screen that is say… exactly 5.000000″ and would describe them as different. And two, the size of the body of the iPhone 6 easily pushes it, regardless of screen size, into a bigger category.

      4.7″ rounds to 5″. If you are talking about a general category of “5” phones” then phones with 4.7 – say 5.2″ screens would all go in that group. Then you’d have 5 and a half, and then 6 inch screens.

      tl;dr Moral of the story, round numbers matter, and use common sense. Don’t be Ted Mosby.

    • Vito R.

      Talk about eye-rolling…

      First of all, You’re suggesting that a 4.6″ phone is considered sub-5″ but a 4.7″ phone isn’t? By your logic a 4.5″ and a 5.4″ phone are the same size…

      Second of all, the iPhone 6 is and feels smaller in hand than the current crop of 5″ flagship Android devices. So yes, I absolutely consider it a sub-5″ phone.

    • FlamesFan89

      You might, but I don’t think most would.

    • Vito R.

      Most people don’t know phone sizes, they just know the iPhone feels smaller than the current crop of 5″ Android phones.

      Is the 4.6″ Xperia Z3 Compact we were talking about also a 5″ phone?

    • FlamesFan89

      nope, it would get lumped into the 4 and a half inch group. See how rounding works?

      As for the iPhone feeling smaller than 5″ Androids, I disagree. Those big bezels make it feel like a much bigger phone than the actual screen size, hence my comment on that above.

    • Vito R.

      It seems you don’t know how rounding works…

    • FlamesFan89

      Fine pedantic man, replace “rounding” with “data binning”.

      Feel free to continue being a complete pedantic bore. I’m sure you are a real hoot at parties.

    • Vito R.

      Not sure why you’re being so ignorant today. Screen size has always been screen size, 4.7″ has always been less than 5″. It’s unfortunate that you feel you need to create a new phone sizing paradigm so as to the narrative as to what you feel defines a 5″ phone.

      You made a silly comment and I called you out on it. Get over it because it’s not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last time 🙂

    • FlamesFan89

      No, I made a reasonable comment, and you are having a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.

    • Vito R.

      You made a comment required altering the definition of a 5″ phone in order to fit your narrative. Your comment didn’t add any value or insight to the conversation and it wasn’t even something that was being debated until your forced this silly discussion.

    • FlamesFan89

      Actually the qualification of the iPhone as a 5″ or sub-5″ phone was the exact topic of debate. And I did add value by stating that phones should be binned into groups as opposed to specific dimensions to the tenth of an inch.

      You just don’t like my stance and are trying to minimize it’s value.

    • Vito R.

      You’re stance has no value because you’re trying to change accepted definition of phone size and you’re making things up as you go. Nobody else questioned the 4.7″ iPhone 6 as belonging to the sub-5″ category – because you know, it’s screen is LESS than 5″.

      Also, you said decimals don’t matter and that 4.7″ rounds up to 5″. Then suddenly decimals matter and you said 4.6″ rounds down to 4.5″ but for some reason 4.7″ doesn’t. Hahaha.

    • FlamesFan89

      Bzzzzzzz, wrong. I’m saying phones should be grouped into data bins. It’s OK if you don’t understand it, it’s a tough concept. It can be a struggle for some.

    • Vito R.

      You can say whatever you want and you’re welcome to continue you quest to try and change the accepted standard to suit your needs.

      However, you will continue to be wrong and sound silly and childish until such time as the rest of the world decides to accept your methodology. If that times ever comes I will adjust my perceptions to meet the accepted norms – something you’re failing to do right now.

      Good luck with that.

    • FlamesFan89

      You’re cute when you don’t understand things.

    • Vito R.

      I like how you double down when you’re wrong.

      Tells us again how 4.7=5 and 4.6=4.5.

    • FlamesFan89

      Do I need to post the wikipedia entry for “data binning” for you?

      Have you ever heard of the study of statistics?

      Do you know what a representative group is?

    • Vito R.

      It doesn’t explain why you think 4.6 and 4.7 should be in different lots.

      You’re wrong about this. Give it up, or keep going. Whatever floats your boat.

    • FlamesFan89

      4.6 is far closer to 4.5 than it is to 5. I’m sure you can agree on that, or maybe you can’t, yikes.

      4.7, well that falls in the middle, doesn’t it, could be 4.5, could be 5. The kicker, as I have mentioned, is that the iPhone has a bigger body that other phones of the same size screen, so in terms of feel in the hand, it feels a lot more like a 5 than a 4.5. So it gets bumped into the 5 data bucket.

      This is all extremely rudimentary stuff here. It’s sort of astounding that an otherwise intelligent person can’t seem to grip this concept.

      But hey, if you want to say that there are 4″ phones, and 4.1″ phones, and 4.2″ phones, and 4.3″ phones, and 4.4″ phones, and 4.5″ phones, and 4.6″ phones, and 4.7″ phones, and 4.8″ phones, and 4.9″ phones, and 5.0″ phones, and 5.1″ phones… and only compare within those data buckets, well, whatever floats your boat, but it is in stark contrast to general human tendencies. It’s the same reason that when you ask someone the time, and it is 9:46, they would likely tell you it is a quarter to ten, but if it was 9:47, they might say a quarter to 10, or they might say ten to ten, but an extreme few people would tell you it is 9:47.

    • Vito R.

      So sad you’re still talking about this. The iPhone 6 is 4.7″. The comment was regarding phones under 5″. It’s a pretty simple concept for most people…

      In terms of feel in hand, the iPhone is 2mm wider but also 2mm thinner than an Xperia Z3 Compact. While it is a little taller, it feels a lot smaller in hand than the current crop of 5″ phones. Apple specifically made it a sub-5″ phone.

    • FlamesFan89

      whatever you have to tell yourself.

      Oh, and you are still talking about this too. So sad? 😉

    • Vito R.

      I just find it fascinating that you felt so compelled to try to prove me wrong (for reasons I still don’t understand), that you invented a brand new phone sizing convention.

      I’m honored 🙂

    • FlamesFan89

      I think it’s funny that you think I’m trying to prove you wrong. No, I’m simply explaining it to you, and you seem incapable of actually comprehending the concept of data binning, which is something humans do naturally ALL the time, yet somehow, for you, it is some foreign concept that can’t possibly be real. Telling.

    • Vito R.

      It’s sad that you feel the need to try and insult me. I understand the concept – as we’ve been speaking about sub-5″, 5″ and 5.5″ phones – I’m simply disagreeing with your incorrect assertion that the 4.7″ iPhone belongs in the 5″ category when it is in fact, less than 5″ and is much closer in size and weight to the 4.6″ Xperia Z3 Compact.

      The fact you attempt to ridicule me because I don’t accept your unique interpretation of phone sizing is disappointing but not surprising.

    • FlamesFan89

      The fact that you think that since you don’t share my opinion somehow makes you right and me wrong is also not surprising, though not disappointing, more humourous. The only reason that you feel insulted is that I have observed, and noted your difficulty in understanding the basic concepts I have presented to you.

    • Vito R.

      Do you think that if you keep repeating that it will eventually be true? I guess when you don’t have the facts on your side you do what you can to sound relevant. Stop making a fool of yourself.

      Meanwhile, you *actually* think the 4.7″ iPhone is similar in size to the current crop of 5″ Android phones (which are themselves all bigger than 5″ and more of a reason not to include the iPhone 5 in that category) yet I’m the one with difficulty understanding basic concepts hahaha. Good luck with that.

    • FlamesFan89

      You realize that you keep repeating the same thing over and over too right?

    • Vito R.

      Yeah, I’m going to stop now.

    • FlamesFan89

      I get the sense that if you overheard someone say that a pen is for writing, you would try to correct them and say that a pen is a marking implement which expels ink onto a surface using capillary action. Then when the person said, yeah, but basically, you use it to write stuff, you’d reply that you understand how writing works, but that is not what a pen is, or something like that.

      That’s basically what’s happening here. I’m saying, generally speaking, people group things, I’m guessing by half inch sizes. You seem to think that is absolutely ludicrous.

      You are Ted Mosby.

    • Vito R.

      I’m saying the 4.6″ Z3 Compact and 4.7″ iPhone 6 are in the same size category – less than 5″. This is a widely accepted category.

      You’re arguing that the Z3C belongs I the 4.5″ category and the iPhone 6 belongs in the 5″category. You’re the only one trying to reclassify phone sizes in such a way…

    • FlamesFan89

      Thanks for that Ted.

    • FlamesFan89

      Out of curiosity, how big would you say the screen is on the Nexus 6?

    • Mo Dabbas

      If the processor was the same as the 6S I would’ve agreed with you. But of course that won’t be the case and you’ll probably get a more than a year old hardware and who know how old screen and other parts. So quality….. ehhh, not sure.

    • Vito R.

      It will probably be based on the iPhone 6 – which should still make it “good enough” as their 3rd best phone. The key for them is to get it as close to $0 on contract as possible and to refresh the hardware as the iPhone 5 design is getting kind of stale at this point.

  • Omar

    You used budget and iPhone in the same sentence. Lol. Good one.

    This 4″ phone is rumoured to be $400-$500 USD. Apple is revolutionizing the term budget in such a revolutionary, wow. You just can’t stop their innovation.

    • Jeff Brassard

      Yeah this “budget” iPhone will probably retail for at least $599 US… not sure whose budget that is… but it is not mine.

    • Omar

      Rumour is between $400-500. Knowing Apple, $500+.

    • neo905

      It will be previous years tech even at $500 USD.

    • Omar

      And with a 4″ screen at that.

    • neo905

      Yup. Apple trying to fleece the herd with this. Herd is thinning more than Donald Trumps hair though.

    • Vito R.

      Sad thing is, it would still probably still be fast/better than most Android phones costing more.

    • neo905

      Sadder thing is for the price they are going to charge for it, especially in Canada, I doubt that…

    • Vito R.

      Yeah, it won’t be pretty *if* they charge 40% over US pricing.

    • John Stamos

      Nice Troll.

      Talk to me when any Iphone product comes near the value of the OneplusX

    • Vito R.

      Your comment is the definition of trolling – it adds no value or insight to this thread and simply tries to disparage one product in favour of another.

      That said, I don’t want to talk to you or buy a OnePlus X as the brand has been nothing but a disappointment since the One Plus. While it does sell good hardware for the price, overall it’s been a disappointment. I was thinking about the OnePlus X, but it was panned in pretty much every review I read – so I passed on it.

    • This is true, similar to the 5C, if this phone actually exists, I expect it will be expensive.

    • Mo Dabbas

      the USD to CAD conversion rate isn’t gonna help the pricing here either.
      Every time I remember that CAD to USD thing I go 🙁

    • cartfan88

      Cos it costs more to make it small, it costs more to make it big. Win win.

    • Mo Dabbas

      It’s iPhone 5C 2.0. Last year hardware, this year pricing. nobody cared about.

  • Jason

    so its a more powerful 4?

  • Andrew English

    Funny to see Apple going backwards. Going from the iPhone 6 back to the iPhone5.

    • Thorsten Garbe

      Yup. And next one ip4 sse 3.5 inch.
      Lol

    • Mo Dabbas

      then dropping LTE for 3G

  • Elton Bello

    Keep raising prices apple, you’ll get there

    • Vito R.

      I’m pretty sure Apple has kept their US pricing the same for the last 4 iPhone iterations.

    • Columbo

      For the 16GB model maybe, and going back to a day when that was acceptable for a phone. Their trick is to keep making that their base model, and saying “hey look our prices are exactly the same!” while their flagship best-they-have-to-offer model goes up and up every year.

    • Vito R.

      Does it? I always but the “middle” one and it’s always $100 more. Isn’t the top end always $200 more?

      As opposed to Samsung which actually raises their prices and is proud to do it because they consider their phones “premium” – of course they don’t stay high for very long when sales are predictably down.

      More offensive in my mind is the pricing of the low to mid their that they try to sneak past consumers that don’t know any better. Sub-HD screens, low memory, old processor, no OS updates – yet they still charge a lot of money because they are “zero dollars” on contract.

      I think Motorola is the only company with rational pricing.

  • JBR

    Seems like an odd move. Why brand this with the 5 series phones if it contains most of the IPhone components? Why not the 6 mini? Also, does anyone still want a 4 ” phone?

    • Mo Dabbas

      coz to be honest, the size of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are actually bigger than the average 4.7 and 5.5 inch phones (except in thickness). The 6 has the dimensions of a 5 inch phone and the 5.5 Plus is at the size of the nexus 6 (again except in thickness). When it comes to stretching to reach a place thickness doesn’t play that big of a role compared to height and width. As a matter of fact,the iPhone 6 Plus is the most thumb stretcher I’ve ever used since the first note and Dell Streak 5. and I’m a person who’s been using large phones ever since the first note. What really bugs me on the 6 plus is how high is the power button. It makes it a thumb stretching exercise just to press the power button.
      So for iPhone users, yes, I bet there are some who’d rather have a smaller iPhone than have a thumb stretching workout.

    • Vito R.

      I think it might have more to do with timing – this is coming out as a mid-cycle refresh a full 6mos before the iPhone 7.

      But who knows, I’ll never understood their naming schemes.

    • JBR

      They could just do a better job of ergonomic design rather than shrink the phone. I have the LG G4 which is a 5.5 inch screen and have no problems using one hand to operate it. That said, I do not have freakishly big hands either, fairly average I think.

  • GPman

    If people want to use that size more power to them. But I can’t imagine trying to use that size.

    Maybe it’s a starter phone for iToddlers.

    • You’d be surprised how many people prefer a smaller form factor. I think 4-inch devices still very much have a place in the smartphone market.

    • Tech Guru

      There are a million of them already, open your eyes. Oh right that’s mean looking beyond the iPhone.

    • Again, like I’ve said before, I’m primarily an Android user. That doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge that a significant amount of people prefer iOS and the iPhone, and that of those people, many of them are fond of older, smaller iPhones.

    • Vito R.

      Actually, that’s exactly what it means Patrick. It’s as if you’ve never read any of the comments here…

    • Vito R.

      Really? Please enlighten us then Mr. Guru.

      Can you point me to a decently spec’d 4″ phone from Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG or Motorola?

    • GPman

      I’d be curious to see opinions by those who want that size. Curious why they find 4.7 too big and what they want to do on it. Here in HK there are many with very tiny hands yet they are digging the note size phones.

      So what market is the 4″ market that finds the 4.7 too big.

      I could see it being low specced version that has a case that would be the size that an old 4″ would be in but with min bevels etc the screen is still 4.7ish. Dunno if that is even possible.

    • brent

      I guess these people like squinting to read text on their phone, the same people that like watching videos on a tiny screen.. 4inch phones are useless and should go the way of the dodo bird.

  • h2oflyer

    I guess calling it a 6 compact wouldn’t work. Apple would never copy Sony.

  • cartfan88

    Sounds like a slight update to add Apple Pay/NFC and to keep some press going. I do think the 4″ format should be supported and not as an after thought the way the mini is. But it’s all about protecting the high margins of the flagship iPhones. Either way this is a marginal release if true.

  • Vito R.

    Some US carriers have been blowing out the iPhone 5S for $150 on prepaid plans without a contract – looks like they’re clearing inventory adding credence to a March release.

  • Bill Patrick

    I would be interested in the 4″, but I’m curious about the storage. I have a feeling it will be 32GB max.

    I wouldn’t settle for anything less than 64GB…