New 4" iPhone With 12MP Camera Said to Cost $400-$500, iPhone 5s to Receive 50% Price Cut
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a research note to investors, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, in which he claims Apple's next-generation 4-inch iPhone will feature a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, as opposed to an 8-megapixel sensor as previously rumored.
Kuo also reiterated that the new 4-inch iPhone will have other similar hardware specs as the iPhone 6s, including an A9 chip and NFC for Apple Pay. The device's form factor is expected to be similar to the iPhone 5s, although the display is said to have slightly curved 2.5D glass like the iPhone 6 and newer.
Apple's new 4-inch iPhone could also feature 16GB and 64GB storage capacities, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Live Photos support, and a slightly larger 1,642 mAh battery compared to the iPhone 5s. 3D Touch will likely remain exclusive to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as a differentiating feature.
The well-informed analyst continues to believe the smartphone will cost between $400 and $500 in the United States. The lower price point should help Apple target the mid- to low-price segment and drive iPhone sales in emerging markets such as China and India. Comparatively, the larger iPhone 6s starts at $649.
KGI Securities expects total 4-inch iPhone shipments to grow 131% year-over-year to 37 million units in 2016, on the strength of the new 4-inch iPhone launch and a 50% price cut on the iPhone 5s. Apple currently sells the iPhone 5s for $450 at full retail price, so the smartphone may soon be discounted to $225.
The research firm has lowered its new 4-inch iPhone shipments forecast to 12 million units from 18-20 million units because it believes customers that favor a small-size iPhone may purchase the cheaper iPhone 5s instead. KGI expects iPhone 5s shipments to "surge" following the half-off discount.
Kuo said Apple's upcoming 4-inch iPhone is "generally dubbed iPhone 5se," but a recent report said the smartphone may actually be called the "iPhone SE." The purported iPhone 5s successor has been given many other names in recent months, including "iPhone 6c," "iPhone 5e," and "iPhone 5s Mark II" internally.
Apple is expected to announce the new 4-inch iPhone, alongside a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro and minor Apple Watch updates, at its rumored March 15 media event. Barring any last minute changes, the smartphone could reportedly go on sale as early as March 18. Apple is unlikely to offer pre-orders for the device.
The research note also clarified that Apple will offer both single and dual camera versions of the iPhone 7 Plus.