It’s coming. Soon. The iPhone 5SE, known to tech fans until recently as the iPhone 6c, appears to be imminent, with reports that Apple has set a date for the device’s launch.
The slimmed-down handset comes at a time when Apple needs to spark interest in its iPhone range, with sales predicted to drop in the first three months of 2016.
Here’s what we know about the launch date and Apple’s plans so far.
When will the launch be?
Inside sources have told the Apple obsessives at 9to5mac that Cupertino will hold a special event on March 15th.
However before you get too excited, the same insiders also said that this date is subject to change and that Apple may move it at the last minute.
Media invites tend to go out a week or two before the event itself, so we should have official word by the end of the month.
Where will the event be held?
Apple will either opt for a major launch showcase in San Francisco, as it did with its iPhone 6s launch, or it could hold a slightly smaller bash at its own Cupertino headquarters.
Although this is a big deal, Apple may not want to go all out as it does with its annual iPhone launch event.
That has become a cornerstone of the tech industry in recent years, while Apple’s March events are usually a touch less frenetic.
What can we expect?
Apple has stayed coy about the iPhone 5SE and has refused to respond to speculation.
But gossip sites suggest that it will feature a very similar design to the iPhone 5s, 2013’s flagship phone which the 5SE will replace in Apple’s roster.
Its curves may be more rounded and the finish less shiny, though.
Inside, Apple is expected to use the same A9 chipset seen in the iPhone 6s, as well as offering Apple-style Live Photos and a much improved camera.
The four–inch screen should also appeal to those tired of larger mobiles. Or who just never acquired a taste for big phones.
How much will it cost?
Again, there’s no official word. However, sources have suggested Apple will sell the iPhone 5SE at the same price as the iPhone 5s.
That means prices will start at £379 SIM–free for a 16GB model. The question is, will it continue to offer a 32GB edition?
If it does, it’ll be very alluring to those who want that storage size but can’t get it with the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.
However, we've also heard it could be priced in line with the 6C at launch. In which case the cheapest model would start at £479 or so.
What else will be on show?
Apple is also set to unveil its new iPad Air 3 at the same event on March 15th.
There is also talk of Apple Watch updates, although these will likely be limited to new wristbands and updates software.
The price may also fall in a bid to boost sales figures.
Update: Deals for the iPhone SE are now available. Find them here.. Or check out our review if you still need convincing.