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Leak: Is this the first photo of Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone?

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:11PM EST
iPhone 5se Photo Leak Release Date

In case you missed it, Apple is reportedly going to replace the aging iPhone 5s with something fresher. Dubbed the iPhone 5se, the new 4-inch iPhone has been the star of numerous reports for months and has been referred to as the iPhone 6c, iPhone 7c, and iPhone 5e so far. Apple has apparently settled for iPhone 5se as the official name, which seems like a pretty baffling decision at first glance.

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Dutch website One More Thing obtained the following image, which shows an iPhone 5se right next to the iPhone 5. It’s really easy to tell them apart, assuming you know your iPhone history. The iPhone 5s was the first handset to pack a fingerprint sensor, now a major characteristic of iOS devices, so the handset on the left is the iPhone 5 while the iPhone 5se is placed on the right.

On top of that, there are other details that suggest the handset on the right isn’t an iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5se features the same camera placement, volume rockers, mute button and standby button design. And, yes, the standby button has been moved to the right side of the handset, likely to bring some uniformity when it comes to design. Of course, the image could be fake, just like with any other leak, so nothing is confirmed until Apple launches the handset.

Speaking of release dates, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI said in a note to investors seen by 9to5Mac that the iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 should be released in the first quarter of the year. But the analyst cut shipping estimates for the smaller iPhone.

“We revise down 2016F shipments of new 4-inch iPhone, as little new to offer,” Kuo wrote. “While the new 4-inch iPhone has been enjoying the media spotlight, we don’t regard the product as innovative, either in terms of form factor (similar to iPhone 5s, though distinguished by an upgraded panel cover glass from 2D to 2.5D) or hardware specs (with 6s as a benchmark, though a 12MP camera is higher spec than our expectation of 8MP). Moreover, considering the replacement impact on price cuts for iPhone 5s, we lower 2016F shipments of the new 4-inch model from 18-20mn units to 10-12mn units.”

Thus, Kuo estimated Apple sold 77 million iPhone units in the December 2015 quarter, forecasting a 29.7% year-over-year drop in iPhone units for next quarter (43 million), due to “lackluster” iPhone 6s sales.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.