Why Apple’s rumored 4-inch iPhone 5se may well be worth seriously considering

“The rumored 4-inch iPhone would absolutely need to take Live Photos for me to even consider giving it a serious test run,” Zac Hall writes for 9to5Mac. “I’ve taken enough really good Live Photos — full resolution still images with brief motion and sound captured as well — on my iPhone 6s Plus that it’s one feature I wouldn’t trade.”

“Then on Friday we had Mark Gurman’s reporting that Apple was planning Live Photos, an iPhone 6s feature, for the expected 4-inch iPhone 5se (which likely won’t be called 6c),” Hall writes. “Today that reporting was followed up with the possibility that the iPhone 5se could have the same processor and co-processor as the iPhone 6s, albeit with fewer pixels to push with a smaller display.”

“Suddenly the iPhone 5se is sounding less like last year’s hardware recycled and more like a serious 4-inch phone to consider,” Hall writes. “But who is the iPhone 5se for and is it really worth considering if you’re like me and run to the latest and greatest hardware? …The easiest answer to the question over who the iPhone 5se is for is people who prefer smaller displays.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nope. There’s not enough meh in the universe to express how we feel about this one. The iPhone 5se is simply not for us.

As we wrote back in July:

If they’re going to make a 4-inch iPhone, it should be on par (as much as possible) with the flagship iPhones – same processor, same amount of RAM, same storage options, very similar camera capabilities, etc. In other words, a high-margin premium device designed specifically for premium customers who are looking for a world-class 4-inch smartphone. Still:

“In general, the only people who still think they want a 4-inch iPhone are those who do not yet own a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.” — MacDailyNews Take, December 5, 2014

‘iPhone 5se’ likely to have faster A9/M9 chips and always-on Siri – January 25, 2016
Apple ‘iPhone 5se’ compared to an iPhone 5 in leaked image – January 25, 2016


  1. There are tons of people who prefer the smaller form factor….
    And it completes the lineup imho…

    Many did not or do not acknowledge the ipad mini… But yet it seems to be a very strong seller for apple, specially last holiday….

    1. IPad Mini is a great handy compact workhorse , remote controler, occupational tool and if you need to reference manuals on the go it’s a godsend for PDF keyword searches. Great dashboard and unobtrusive work companion.

    2. MDN clearly loves their large screen iPhones but not everybody is the same as them. I might have a different preference when it comes to the ideal screen size, just as I am likely to prefer different foods, music, cars and partners.

      I have a cellular iPad, which obviously isn’t in my pocket, but it usually nearby. If I need to view something on a large screen, I use the iPad. I can’t remember a situation where I’ve urgently needed a large screen so urgently that I couldn’t get my iPad.

      As a result, I use my iPhone mainly for texts and phone calls. I prefer to keep my iPhone in my shirt pocket and the iPhone 5 series is about as big as will fit sensibly in my shirt pockets. A smaller iPhone would be very welcome indeed, but I don’t want a cheap cut-down iPhone, I want core-feature parity with the larger iPhones, including 3D Touch as that’s part of the user interface. I wouldn’t be worried if a smaller iPhone had a few less bells and whistles on peripheral items like the camera. With it’s smaller pixel count, it should be possible to use a slightly slower CPU and still enjoy blazing speed due to having less demanding graphics requirements.

  2. iPhone 5s has been popular with the small form factor, easy to keep in front pocket crowd. The Apple Watch makes taking phone out for notifications and messages unnecessary most of the time. Siri on the Watch makes complex message responses a breeze…..no typing needed!!

    Mark Gurman is very accurate in his predictions so his info should be given consideration.

  3. Live photos seems like something Microsoft or Samsung would do to prove they’re innovative. Probably the 3D TV of phone features.

    But a compact iPhone with ApplePay is lustworthy.

  4. I will forefit my 6s in favor of the smaller footprint, which fits one hand like a glove and is ideal for one hand operation. Hope the rounded form is as likable for me as the 5s square edges.

  5. The #1 reason people want a 4″ iPhone is that it is a 4″ iPhone, live photos or any other gimmick that most iPhone owners have never seen or experienced is not going to be a major draw, all that matters is that it’s reasonably upgraded over the 5S. Lets not forget that millions of 5s units are still selling every quarter, two and a half years after its release. With all due respect to the MDN poll, most iPhone buyers don’t read Apple websites or care about every detail as long as they know it’s a new iPhone, it’s the color and storage they want and they can afford it.

    Given that Apple does differentiate between the 6s/6s+ (namely the camera) we can expect a 4″ iPhone to be distinct from the other two. I think 3D touch will be absent (along with the optical focus camera). It’ll save on manufacturing costs, allow for a larger battery and be explained as not offering as good of an experience on a smaller screen (if any explanation is given).

    1. One more thing, I really hope Apple doesn’t call this the iPhone 5se or anything 5-related. People will perceive it as being cheap and third-class even if it isn’t, based on the name. The previous comparison to the terrible Mercedes naming convention is apt. They should drop the numbered naming convention, at least for this release, and call it the iPhone Air.

  6. I love reading from my 6+, but don’t enjoy it’s mass in my front pocket. I miss the way I could carry my 4 in my shirt pocket for quick access, especially while sitting. So I’ll try the 4.7 inch iPhone, and consider the 4 incher when I upgrade.

  7. Don’t make the new 4″ iPhone too thin, Jony. Add a mm or two, if necessary, to provide long battery life. A 4″ iPhone is not nearly as compact if you have to carry a supplemental battery or wrap a battery case around it.

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