On Friday Mark Gurman reported that a 4-inch iPhone called the iPhone 5se, not 6c, is in the cards with an expected Apple event coming up around March, and over the weekend an interesting photo (above) has surfaced online that claims to show the forthcoming 4-inch iPhone. The image appears to show what could be the updated smaller iPhone with rounded edges and Touch ID as we reported next to an iPhone 5 for scale. The source where the image was first shared, One More Thing, has credibility with leaked hardware after showing the thinner iPad Air 2 display two years ago as well as the iPad Air design (on what appears to be the same table under the same lamp as the iPhone leak) the year before.
If the leaked image turns out to both be the real deal and what Apple ships later this year, that means the updated 4-inch iPhone will feature rounded volume toggles and a relocated sleep switch like on iPhone 6 hardware versus a top sleep switch and iPhone 4-like volume buttons from the iPhone 5 series hardware. Fake iPhone claims have surfaced before, though, but the iPhone 5 for scale here suggests something more sophisticated at least.
Mark’s reporting on Friday described what we now believe will be called the iPhone 5se as having a look and features that “blend the old design with modern technologies” while highlighting that the boxy casing has been replaced with rounded edges. Other features we’re expecting include the iPhone 6 class 8MP and 1.2MP back and front cameras, an NFC chip for Apple Pay not found on current 4-inch iPhones, the A8 and M8 processor and co-processor found on the iPhone 6, Live Photo shooting which was introduced on the iPhone 6s, and the same metallic colors including rose gold that come with the iPhone 6s line.
Aside from the camera and hardware gains between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s lines, the rumored iPhone 5se would also lack 3D Touch pressure sensitive display features. The smaller iPhone would have fewer pixels to push so the chip comparison with the iPhone 6 isn’t exactly apples to apples. Personally, though, including Live Photos would be enough to tempt me to give the 4-inch iPhone 5se a test drive after using the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus since its launch. Have you been holding out for a modern iPhone smaller than the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones introduced over the last couple of years?