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New report shares specs and release timing for Apple’s upcoming smaller iPhone

Updated Jan 22nd, 2016 5:26PM EST
iPhone 5se Release Timing Specs
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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According to a new report from 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, the iPhone 6c leak that was floating around yesterday is a fake, but nevertheless, Apple really is going to release an iPhone this spring. Rather than miniaturize the iPhone 6 or 6s, Gurman says that Apple will upgrade the iPhone 5s and give it a new name: iPhone 5se.

READ MORE: The iPhone generates more revenue in 3 months than Android has in its entire existence

Apple employees have explained that the “se” in the name can either stand for “special edition” or imply that this is the “enhanced” version of the iPhone 5s. Although the device will look virtually identical to its namesake, it will have upgraded internals to compete with other modern smartphones.

Here’s a list of upgrades to the iPhone 5se that sources have provided to Gurman:

  • The chamfered, shiny edges have been replaced with curved glass like on the iPhone 6 and 6s lines
  • The same 8 megapixel rear camera and 1.2 megapixel front camera systems from the iPhone 6
  • Support for larger panoramas and autofocus for video recording
  • Barometer for tracking elevation in the Health app
  • An NFC chip for Apple Pay
  • The A8 and M8 chips from the iPhone 6
  • Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE, and 802.11ac WiFi chips from the iPhone 6s
  • Live Photos from the iPhone 6s (but no 3D Touch)
  • Same Silver, Space Gray, Silver, & Rose Gold color options as the 6s line

Sources claim that the iPhone 5s will likely be discontinued when the 5se launches. That launch is expected to take place in late March or early April, shortly after the phone is unveiled at a long-rumored event taking place in March.

In a second article, posted moments after the first, Gurman backed up reports that Apple will update its Apple Watch line with additional bands in March, but wait until the fall for a full revision and a major OS update. The report claims that there will be new band color options and new materials to choose from as well.

As for hardware updates, Apple Watch fans shouldn’t expect much news on that front in March, but watchOS 2.2 is apparently in the final stages of development before rolling out to consumers in the coming weeks.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.