A new iPhone is on the way... and it isn't even September. Word on the rumour street is that Apple is gearing up to launch another iPhone. But don't throw away your iPhone 6S just yet - as this device is rather different. The iPhone 5SE is expected to be a budget iPhone, playing a similar role to the now defunct iPhone 5C (this is why earlier rumours referred to the phone as the iPhone 6C). Here's everything we know.
Why is Apple making a budget iPhone 5SE?
When the iPhone 6 and 6S came out, they followed the trend in the mobile industry for larger and larger screens. And while this was great for many people, it left users who like the form factor of the 5S out in the cold. So the thinking is that Apple is finally catering for this audience it left behind, to a certain extent.
The broader problem that Apple is trying to solve is that the iPhone is a premium device, with a premium price tag. While the 5S has come down in price with the launch of the 6 and 6S, making it more accessible to those on a budget, the phone isn't optimised for what Apple wants people to do: The processor is an older generation, meaning it will eventually struggle with future iOS releases, and there's no NFC meaning no Apple Pay. So the 5SE is an attempt to address these shortcomings, and reach more users in the process.
What will the iPhone 5SE look like?
The phone is expected to have a 4 inch screen, like the 5S - but it is also expected to take its design cues from the iPhone 6/6S. So don't be surprised if we see something with curvier edges. Whether it will look like the image Apple accidentally posted last May remains to be seen.
In fact, here's a video that purports to show the new device in action, as is prodded by a creepily silent man:
It isn't clear what material the new phone will made from, though there is speculation that the 5SE will follow the 5C and use plastic rather than metal. There have even been colourful leaked cases, which suggests that Apple might be trying to make colourful with cases - exactly like the 5C.
What will the iPhone 5SE specs be?
To an evolutionary biologist, the 5SE will look like a "missing link" between two generations of phones.
The phone will get NFC support so that Apple Pay will work - and so that Apple can creme a commission off the top every time you pay for something.
The processor will be getting a bump, but exactly to what is unclear. Most rumours point to Apple's A8 processor (the same as the iPhone 6), though conflicting rumours point to a full A9 chip as used in the 6S. The benefit of an A9 would be that because of the motion coprocessor on the chip it makes always-on Siri a possibility.
The phone will also have its radios modernised: Adding support for new wifi standard 802.11ac, and VoLTE (voice over 4G data - meaning higher quality voice calls once networks implement it.)
On storage, it appears likely the phone will come in 16GB and 64GB configurations. As this is a budget device, don't expect a 128GB version here.
The battery is also rumoured to be increasing to 1,624 mAh battery - beating the original 5S.
Everything else will probably remain similar to the 5S, such as with the type of screen. It doesn't appear the 5SE will be getting 3D Touch support, for instance.
The cameras will be new though. According to 9to5Mac, the cameras will be 8MP on the rear and 1.2MP on the front, like the iPhone 6. It is also expected to support Live Photos, like on the 6S and 6S Plus.
How much will the iPhone 5SE cost and when will it be released?
It is looking like Apple will first reveal the phone at its next keynote event, which is thought to be scheduled for March 15th. The company is expected to reveal the iPad Air 3 and new Apple Watch straps at the same event.
Whether this means that the 5SE will be available to buy immediately after remains to be seen. One rumour is that the phone will go on sale on March 18th - just three days later. What is perhaps more likely is a gap of a few weeks, which would see the phone hitting stores around late March.
In terms of colours, rumours suggest we'll be getting the same space-grey, and silver that we're used to on the 6 and 6S, as well as a different pink which is different to the "rose gold" we've seen previously. We'd also wager there will be a gold edition, to pander to Chinese tastes.
We're yet to hear anything about pricing, but we can look to the past for the precent. When the iPhone 5C launched in 2013 it started at £469 for the 16GB version - compared to £549 for the iPhone 5S.