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Production starts on Apple iPhone 5se; case manufacturers gamble on its looks

Production starts on Apple iPhone 5se; case manufacturers gamble on its looks
Out of Japan today comes news about the 4-inch Apple iPhone 5se. The word is that the handset is starting to roll off the assembly line as Apple looks to build up inventory prior to its official unveiling expected in March. Apple is reportedly aiming the device at emerging markets. Those are regions where the full-sized iPhone models are too expensive for consumers. The same report states that Apple had finished developing the 4-inch unit early last year, and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to produce and market the handset.

Speaking of the iPhone 5se, a number of case makers are trying to decide if the 4-inch iPhone will look like the Apple iPhone 5s or a smaller version of the Apple iPhone 6. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an outstanding track record making forecasts about the iPhone or iPad, expects the 4-inch device to resemble the iPhone 6. Most of the case makers agree. Rearth USA has released renders of a case for what it is calling the Apple iPhone 6c.

These companies are taking huge risks by speculating on the design of the phone. Huge amounts of money can be made by guessing right and being among the first to market a case for the model. On the other hand, a wrong guess can cripple an accessories maker. It should be pointed out that Apple hasn't officially announced that a 4-inch phone is coming.

The device is expected to be powered by the A9 chipset and carry support for always-on Siri. We could see an 8MP or 12MP rear-facing camera and Live Photos. Despite the inclusion of the latter, the handset will not feature 3D Touch. The iPhone 5se will also sport NFC so that it can support Apple Pay. Apple is hoping to increase the use of its mobile payment system by offering it in emerging markets. The company gets a piece of each credit card transaction that uses Apple Pay, and a flat rate when a debit card is employed

Expected to be offered in 16GB and 64GB versions, the 4-inch iPhone could be priced at $450. The iPhone 5se will most likely replace the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus in Apple's lineup once the Apple iPhone 7 is announced.

source: Nikkei (translated), MobileFun via AppleInsider


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