There’s been a steady stream of rumors coming in with regard to Apple’s alleged first 4-inch iPhone in close to three years, but it’s all turned to a furious avalanche now, as the name changes… again, and multiple sources claim to have seen the 5se, 5e, 6c or 7c in the flesh in pre-release prototype form.
Add the no doubt educated guesses of famous and infamous financial analyst Ming-Chi Kuo to the equation today, as the unnamed “4-inch iPhone” is practically guaranteed to go official during the first half of the year, but with limited box-office hit potential due to not enough innovation in the form factor and hardware specs departments.
Specifically, Kuo predicts, there will be between 10 and 12 million iPhone 5se units shipped in 2016F, considerably down from the previous forecast of 18 to 20M. The main challenge Cupertino shall face in achieving commercial success with this “new” iPhone is a strong family resemblance with the OG 5s, though at least the panel cover glass is tipped to switch to 2.5D technology.
Meanwhile, the handheld roster as a whole is expected to drop a staggering 30 percent or so year-on-year in Q1 sales, to “just” 43 million copies, and then recover in the April – June timeframe, likely gaining a couple of percentage points compared to Q2 2015.
Similarly, the iPad Air 3 reportedly due out by the end of June might not bump up the popularity of the iOS tablet lineup by as much as Apple hopes, with MacBooks instead seen as strong candidates for “becoming a theme given solid growth in the business segment, as well as a potential upgrade to hit the market in 1H16.