There’s been a deluge of rumours regarding Apple’s upcoming 4-inch handset, and its purpose in the current market place. Theoretically, the “iPhone SE” is designed to be a replacement for the iPhone 5s launched in 2013. It’s not a major change, but a basic revamp to offer more options to consumers who prefer a smaller model. Sources indicate that the new device will sport an almost identical aesthetic design to the iPhone 5s with slightly curved edges. However, the internals have been enhanced and should include an A9 processor, Apple Pay and Live Photos functionality.
According to KGI Securities, the iPhone SE incorporates an impressive 12-megapixel camera, and targets the $400-$500 price point. This is a surprisingly affordable price and suggests Apple is trying to forge a position in the mid-range sector. This would greatly broaden the device’s appeal and allow consumers with a smaller budget to own a brand new iPhone. Apple also intends to drop the iPhone 5s price by a whopping 50 percent to help shift units. KGI estimates 131 percent growth in 4-inch iPhone shipments to around 37 million units in 2016. Although, they predict most of these sales stem from the iPhone 5S after large discounts. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone SE at an event on March 16th as well as a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
Apple devices always have a price premium and their previous attempt to offer a budget-orientated model with the iPhone 5c was flawed. This is because the 5c’s price wasn’t significantly cheaper and evoked a poor feel. To be successful, Apple needed to create a large pricing gap between the two handsets. On the other hand, the iPhone SE looks very interesting and suggests a change in attitude from Apple. Despite this, there’s a huge amount of competition from Samsung, HTC, LG and other Chinese manufacturers. Although, Apple has this knack of enticing large numbers of people to purchase their products.
Back in 2012, Apple purchased biometrics company AuthenTec with the intention of including their fingerprint scanning technology in future iPhones and iPads. That technology became Apple’s Touch ID, first included with the iPhone 5s in 2013 and all iOS devices since. What we didn’t know, was that Motorola intended to incorporate this into their Nexus 6, but Apple’s acquisition left all but a tiny remnant of the company’s plans.
That remnant, according to former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, is the indentation that now holds the Motorola logo on the rear of the Nexus 6. Yes, that small dimple you see in the picture above.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Woodside says that Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec meant no biometrics for the Nexus 6.
“Indeed, the 6-inch Nexus 6, he can now admit, was stymied by just one of those big players. A dimple on the back that helps users hold the device should, in fact, have been rather more sophisticated. “The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet,” says Woodside.”
The Electronic Times of Taiwan reports that Apple will be reintroducing an iPhone with a 4-inch display next year. 4-inches is the same size display as with the 5, 5s and 5c, and the new phone would be seen as a replacement for the ‘low-cost’ 5c.
It may seem odd initially that the company would want to continue producing new phones with such smaller displays, but it comes as no surprise when you consider the fact that some people just do not like massive phones. The report suggests that the new phone would be “for the convenience of single-handed operation of female users”, but in reality there are many people, male and female, who simply prefer the smaller display.
Apple was initially against the use of bigger displays, even making fun of them. But in traditional Apple fashion, the company decided to wait it out to see when a larger phone would be more appropriate. It seems that they pulled that off too, as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with their significantly larger displays, both received rave reviews.
This news suggests that Apple sees larger displays as a preference rather than a killer feature, and it appears that they plan to cater to all tastes in smartphone display sizes.
A couple of months ago we caught wind the Samsung had a mini version of their flagship S5 in the pipelines after their Finnish division slipped up, publicising a support page for the upcoming handset. These support pages, however, did not give any indication on the specs of the mini handset and we were left to sift through a stream of rumours and filter out the common components to bring our angle on the handset.
Fast forwarding to today we are now able to see the final draft of the S5 Mini’s specifications and it is apparent that it will have all of the major features, both hard and soft that its full-sized bigger brother will have – offering users a stepping stone towards their flagship Android phone, but without such a strong price tag.
Built around a 4.5″ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280×720, the Mini will pack in a quad-core CPU running at 1.4GHz (not the 1.6GHz core that we predicted) with 1.5GB of RAM sat beside 16GB of internal storage. There will be the capacity to increase the storage through a microSD slot and like the S5, the Mini will offer water and dust resistance as well as a fingerprint scanner and a heart-rate monitor that is boasted on the flagship handset.
Like the other Galaxy handsets the Mini will come in a range of colours with ‘Shimmery White’, ‘Electric Blue’, ‘Charcoal Black’ and ‘Copper Gold’ on offer (I wonder where the idea for different colours came from – I won’t start any arguments just yet over who was first, but we all know who I’m referring to here).
Whilst the Finnish team were the first to indicate the presence of the Mini, it turns out that the Russians will be the first to get their hands on the bite-sized handset, with a release happening during the middle stages of this month with the rest of the world getting their chance towards the end of the month. Strangely though there is no concrete word on the price point as of yet, but speculation has it that we could see prices falling around the $500 mark.
The iPhone 5s and iOS7 has not been out for long but users are already getting a bit disgruntled with its stability when using certain apps. Over on the Apple Forums, a number of people are reporting that their phones are showing a blue screen followed by the Apple logo indicating that the phone has crashed and is rebooting.
One user commented on the forums saying “If I open a document in Numbers, then press the power button, the phone seems to power itself off almost instantly instead of just going to sleep” This is not the only app to be affected however, with more and more user reporting the same problems, it appears that Numbers, Pages, Keynotes, Facetime, Safari, Camera plus more are affected.
Another 5s user followed the complaints on the Apple forums saying: “I am having the same problem myself when using the pages app to open my saved resume and then trying to email it to someone. If I do that then go to open the notes app that I have a typed message I want to copy and paste in the same email, as soon as I paste it in the email the screen goes blue and restarts.”
One user has even posted a video on YouTube of the blue screen situation as they work in the Numbers app as seen below.
iOS7 and its update that was released only days after the official launch has not really done Apple a many favours with their users love of Apple products. With issues related to poor battery live, iMessages not sending, security glitches and now this, it’s no wonder that people are slowly starting to look at alternative smartphone options.
Have you got a 5s with these problems or have you been experiencing any other difficulties since upgrading? Let us know in the comments below.