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.