The report by Reuters, originally reported by 9 to 5 Mac (a reliable Apple industry blog) is the first time a firm date has been set on the release of the as-of-yet unconfirmed iPhone. (Apple has traditionally not confirmed any product releases until its official launch events in California.)
While the date was uncertain in The Inquisitr‘s first reporting of the new phone, some details were known.
“The current 5s will likely be discontinued, per sources, and the ‘5se’ will take its price point. The new device is currently in production overseas and is planned for a March introduction ahead of a late March or early April release,” the site reported.
“According to The Verge, the iPhone 5S began being offered at the $99 price point in late 2014, with the iPhone 5C at 8GB starting at the free price point for many cell phone service providers.”
The reporting stays the same, though additional details are starting to come to light.
“The iPhone 5se is said to have a 4-inch display — the same size as the iPhone 5s — which still proves to be a popular screen size among iPhone owners. According to a report from research firm Mixpanel, more than 30% of iPhone users are still on iPhones with 4-inch screens. That includes the iPhone 5 and 5s.”
By offering a model at a lower price point, Apple could shift some of the users still using the old iPhone models to the newer iPhone 5 model.
Tech Insider notes that the price points it has seen jump the phone to around $500, though some phone companies are still offering subsidized plans which could account for the $99 price point that has been floated by industry insiders.
For individuals curious about the four inch screen size, they are right to note that it is a diversion from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes in the five inch range. While it is not certain that it is a concession that size is not everything, it begs the question of whether Apple is trying to appeal to more traditional users who balked at the increased screen size on the iPhone 6 models.
As for internals on the iPhone 5SE, the units will not boast the computer power you see on the latest model iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but it is a definite improvement from the previous models it replaces.
“The iPhone 5se is rumored to be the name of Apple’s upcoming 4-inch iPhone. It is said to look similar to an iPhone 5s, but with curved cover glass and some upgraded internal specs, including an A9 processor and support for Apple Pay,” MacRumors reported.
Why would Apple go back to the iPhone 5 by releasing the “SE” model? Forbes said it has to do with boosting sales during a traditionally slow period, which could help Apple’s stock price which has been sagging in recent weeks (as has the entire S&P 500).
“Apple has already noted that it expects iPhone sales to drop in this period after a plateau of iPhone sales in the holiday period that saw year-on-year growth of under a million devices,” Forbes reported.
The key here is downplaying expectations, right? Forecast lower year-over-year growth and hope the strategy of introducing a new product pays off with strong reportable numbers for the quarter. It’s not the dumbest idea out there.