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Apple’s upcoming 4-inch iPhone will have a different name than we first thought

iPhone SE

In just about 3 weeks, rumor has it that Apple will hold a special media event where the company will unveil a trio of new products, including a revamped iPad, some minor additions to the Apple Watch, and more importantly, an advanced 4-inch iPhone model.

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As it stands now, the only 4-inch iPhone in Apple’s current product lineup is the iPhone 5s, a device that was released well over two years ago. Consequently, many iPhone users who prefer a smaller form factor have been clamoring for a new 4-inch iPhone with advanced internals that can measure up to Apple’s recent flagship devices. This March, at last, Apple will answer those calls.

For some time, it was believed that Apple’s upcoming 4-inch iPhone was going to be called the iPhone 5se, a seemingly fitting name given that the device was being positioned as a souped up iPhone 5s. But now comes word via 9to5Mac that Apple is planning to drop the ‘5’ from the name and will instead call the device the iPhone SE.

Based on Apple reinvigorating the 4-inch iPhone screen size at a time where the market is mostly moving toward larger smartphone screens, it would make sense for Apple to position this device as simply the “SE.” Sources say that the dropping of the “5” from the name also simplifies the iPhone lineup as bringing back an iPhone “5” variant amid the iPhone “6” lifecycle could potentially confuse customers. The iPhone SE will replace the existing iPhone 5s and will take its price points.

From a branding perspective, this makes a lot of sense. From what we’ve seen so far, the iPhone SE is going to be an extremely compelling device. Not only will it be graced with an NFC chip for Apple Pay, it will likely ship with Apple’s blazing fast A9 processor, an M9 motion coprocessor, support for Live Photos and more advanced Blutetooth, LTE, and Wi-Fi components. That being the case, slapping a ‘5’ onto its name would only serve to make the device seem dated. Indeed, the only features the iPhone SE will lack relative to the iPhone 6s will be 3D Touch and a higher quality camera.

Aesthetically, recently leaked iPhone schematics suggest that the iPhone SE will look remarkably similar to the iPhone 5s.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.