Apple iPhone SE rumors are here, tiny hands

Apple shows new iPhone SE in ten days. Cook is loopy for the new small shiny.

Apple iPhone SE is coming, and the rumors say it has high-end components, but a smaller, 4-in screen. The presser launch date is confirmed as March 21, with the new Apple iPhone release date being later this month, it's believed.

Tiny-handed Apple fans will be relieved to see a near-flagship option in 2016. The iPhone SE could make Cupertino great again (despite it being made in China). [You're fired -Ed.]

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers drop to their knees -- to give thanks to Tim's crew. Not to mention: Does Big Bird eat popcorn?

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. [Developing story: Updated 11:07 am, 2:42 pm, and 5:22 am PT with more comment]

Let's get close to the news. Zac Hall effects an entrance—Apple’s March 21st ‘Let us loop you in’ event is official:

Apple has officially announced its [event] scheduled for March Apple’s 1 Infinite Loop campus at 10 am PT. ... Apple has historically saved new iPhone launches for the fall [since] 2011, but we’re expecting that to change.

The iPhone SE is expected to be a 4-inch model. [It] won’t exactly be flagship status [but] will likely feature a mix of specs from the iPhone 6 and 6s [and] iPhone 5-sized.

[It has] a nearly identical design to iPhone for slightly curved edges. [It] will likely be available within a matter of days...after the event.

What else do we know? Andrew Cunningham sits on it—Apple wants to “loop you in”:

Apple has just sent out invitations for a press expected. [The] new 4-inch iPhone...called the "iPhone 5SE" or simply "iPhone SE" [is] expected to include specs similar to the iPhone 6S (minus...3D Touch screen) and to replace the iPhone 5S.

Any more detail? Carly Page turns to sarcasm, in Apple announces 21 March event:

What a surprise. ... Apple has announced that it will hold an event.

Months of speculation suggests it'll be Apple's first 4in iPhone since the...5C, but that it will ditch the tacky plastic design. ... We can also expect...the same A8 and M8 processors seen inside the iPhone 6...Apple Pay, Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE, 802.11ac WiFi, and 8MP and 1.2MP cameras [with] support for larger panoramic images and...Live Photos.

Why "loop you in"? John Gruber suggests why—Apple event officially scheduled:

As expected, it’s a small event on Apple’s Infinite Loop campus. ... Could be the last-ever public event [there].

And why March 21? Russell Brandom explains Why Apple is announcing the next iPhone on...:

Apple just pulled off a major scheduling coup. ... March 21st [is] just one day before the company defends itself against government efforts to break security on a phone.

It's hard to believe that timing is a coincidence. ... It's even harder to believe Cook will let the event go by without commenting on the company's legal fight. ... It's a very big stage, and Tim Cook is primed to make use of it.

The government has been playing hardball from the beginning. ... It's only natural that Apple should use every option it has in fighting back.

Of course, where rumors are concerned, standard disclaimers apply. Jim Dalrymple loops us in—Apple announces March 21 event:

Only the executives at Apple know for sure what will make the cut. ... It’s going to be an interesting event.

Update 1: BTW, how did the rumor-mill do in predicting the date? John Paczkowski told ya so-Apple Confirms March iPhone/iPad Event:

It will indeed be held on March 21 as [I] first reported. ... Not much for Apple kremlinologists to work with [in] the spartan invitation.

Among the devices Apple plans to unveil at this event [is] a new smaller iPhone, sources [say]. ... This smaller iPhone “SE” will feature a 4-inch display...a faster chip [and] support for Apple Pay.

Still confused by this "SE" nonsense? Mof Gimmers has your back-There’s a new iPhone due:

The next phone Apple release is not going to be an iPhone 7. ... It’ll be (in Apple terms) one of their budget handsets, and not a huge beast...for those of you who think size matters.

Now, it is time for the speculation. ... The iPhone SE is likely to have an 8-megapixel camera, and be powered by the Apple A9. ... It’ll have similar features to the newest iPhones, but they’ll just appear on a smaller screen, for those of you [with] smaller hands.

Update 2: But how do we know it's a small iPhone that'll be announced? What about some sort of triangulation? Arjit Singh obliges us-Low Stock Ahead of Apple Event:

It turns out that...the iPhone 5s [has] quite a low stock at retailers and carriers worldwide. ... If you...check Verizon or Best Buy for an iPhone 5s you’ll notice that their stock is dramatically low.

Some places don’t even have certain models...for example Verizon’s website only sells the gold version of the 32 GB. ... The same case can be found on various retailers and carriers throughout the US...suggesting a very close release date.

Anyway, what's all this about making Cupertino great again? Angela Campbell calls it-Cupertino’s next iPhone just might cut aggressively into the mid-range:

Apple...has not had the best start to 2016, with analysts and investors...claiming that the iPhone is not grappling with a saturated market. ... Rumors are therefore abuzz...about Apple’s upcoming March 21 event.

This might be a recipe for success for Apple given that such an iPhone will [be a] mid range...alternative for more budget conscious markets. [But] a retail price of $450...could very well cannibalize the iPhone 6 at $550, but that is something that has never worried Apple.

[Apple] will have some gains to make in the price-elastic market even with its generally price-inelastic approach. ... The mid-range Android currently going from strength to strength.

Update 3: But why continue to support the old screen size? Neil Cybart seeks The Changing iPhone User Base:

Apple is now selling iPhones to an installed base of more than 550 million users. ... Apple is making a bet that...20% of the user base...prefer single-handed iPhone usage.

By targeting the premium segment of the market, Apple spent years developing a loyal iPhone base...willing to spend an above average amount of money. ... Each year, a significant portion...showed a willingness to upgrade to the latest device.

[But] in early 2015, the iPhone user base showed signs of change. ... The base was no longer acting monolithic. ... iPhone users were beginning to show a broader range of opinions and preferences.

[So] a new 4-inch iPhone is needed. ... Not everyone is interested in fitting a 4.7-inch [or] 5.5-inch screen...into their lives.

The iPhone user base has not fully embraced larger screens. ... According to Cook, approximately 60% of...the iPhone installed base in early September 2014 have still not upgraded.

And Finally…

What's the connection between Orville Redenbacher and Sesame Street?

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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