Apple already has a 4-inch iPhone. At the high end of the line is the new 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus, followed by baby brother iPhone 6s, weighing in at 4.7-inches. Then there’s last year’s models, still available, but a bit less expensive, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, and 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Guess what?
New Paint, New Name, Same Old?
Amazingly, you can still buy a brand new iPhone 5s with that diminutive 4-inch Retina display, and based upon what I see around me in San Francisco, arguably the home of Asian girls with monstrous smartphones, there’s plenty of room for a 4-inch iPhone which actually fits into a jeans pocket without a shoehorn or half of it hanging out.
Word on the streets says Apple plans to update the 4-inch iPhone 5s with a newer model– new CPU, new camera, new case design to match the iPhone 6 line– called the iPhone 5se.
Alright, there are all kinds of things wrong with that rumor but lets roll with it because the basic premise– a smaller, less expensive iPhone with diminished innards– makes sense. Not every iPhone owner wants their faces bathed in a gazillion pixels night and day, and not everyone wears African safari jeans which have a dozen backpack-like pockets to hold today’s crop of humongoloid smartphone screens.
Small is beautiful. Less is more.
The only real problem with the iPhone 5s from 2013 is that, well, it’s technology from 2013, and relative to the iPhone 6 and 6s line, looks very, very dated. So, I can see Apple upgrading the iPhone 5s to an iPhone 6-like look, and along the way drop in a year old CPU (instead of three years old), and an updated camera.
All that makes sense because there are some budget-minded people on planet earth who just need a good, small, compact, useful smartphone with bells and whistles but not a screen that competes with IMAX, you know. Something that actually fits inside a pocket or small purse; you know, like most smartphones from three years ago did.
But what’s with the name iPhone 5se? Wasn’t the SE a Mac from like nearly 30 years ago? What is SE, anyway? Special Edition? And if it looks like the iPhone 6-line case, why not call it an iPhone 6se? Because SE, or Special Edition, makes that particular iPhone model, well, special. Maybe even more special than iPhone 6s Plus. So, the easy way to diminish expectations to match a slightly lower price (and it will be slightly lower; Apple doesn’t make cheap) is to muck up the name. Most folks are simply interested in the name iPhone, the physical size, and the price. Everything else inside gets ignored.
Here’s what we don’t know about the 4-inch iPhone models. How well are they selling? And where? And to whom? Apple knows, so if we see an iPhone 6se or iPhone 5se or iPhone 6c, or whatever 4-inch monicker the company comes up with, we’ll know for certain that a smaller iPhone makes sense for enough people for Apple to keep it around.