Though Tim Cook once promised to “double down” on product secrecy, details surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5se haven’t left much to the imagination. Recently, schematics and drawings of Apple’s soon to be unveiled 4-inch iPhone hit the web and, not too surprisingly, the device appears to largely resemble the iPhone 5s.
Despite earlier reports which indicated that iPhone 5se might liberally borrow some of the design cues Apple first introduced with the iPhone 6, it now seems that Apple will largely keep the iPhone 5s casing intact while significantly bolstering the internals.
First, Twitter user OnLeaks relayed that Apple has been busy testing two separate iPhone 5se form factors, with the more recently tested device depicted in the illustration below.
Second, 9to5Mac recently received details about Apple’s upcoming iPhone from a case maker with allegedly first-hand knowledge of the device. According to this source, the dimensions on the iPhone 5se “are indistinguishable from the iPhone 5s, meaning that the new device will fit inside of existing iPhone 5s cases.”
Indeed, the only major difference 9to5Mac’s source hinted at was the sleep/power button having been moved to the left side of the device.
“This change would make sense given that Apple made the shift on the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus beginning in 2014,” the report adds. “In line with our sources have been saying since January, the case maker tells us that the edges of the device and the front glass panel are slightly curved around the edges, but not as curved as the sides of the iPhone 6 and 6s.”
For current iPhone owners who prefer the less tapered design of the iPhone 5s, this should all come as welcome news.
Design aesthetics aside, the iPhone 5se is increasingly looking like a compelling upgrade for users who aren’t keen on Apple’s bigger iPhone models. While the camera quality will reportedly stay the same (8 megapixel camera on the back and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera), the iPhone 5se will likely come with an A9 processor, an M9 motion coprocessor with support for “Hey Siri” functionality, an NFC chip for Apple Pay support, more advanced wireless components, and support for Live Photos.
As far as a release date is concerned, rumor has it that the device will hit store shelves on Friday, March 18 following a product unveiling earlier in the week.