The much rumored 4-inch iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5se, is expected to come with powerful internals and a more affordable price point of $400 - $500.
Apple should introduce the device at an event on March 15, followed by a commercial release on March 18.
Well-known KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a great track record when it comes to anticipating Apple's next moves, now offers more information on the matter.
According to a research note Kuo released to investors, obtained by MacRumors, the upcoming 12-inch iPhone will come with a price tag between $400 and $500, which should help Apple infiltrate the affordable segment of the smartphone market and boost iPhone sales in emerging markets such as India and China. The iPhone 6s, for instance, starts at $649, which is quite steep for many.
The analyst further claims that the 4-inch iPhone 5se will have a 12-megapixel rear camera, not the 8-megapixel sensor that was previously rumored. Kuo also confirms the Apple A9 chip for the iPhone 5se, as well as NFC support for Apple Pay.
When it comes to design, opinions and expectations are divided. Some leaked renders seem to confirm an iPhone 5s design language, while recently surfaced schematics seem to place it closer to the iPhone 6.
Kuo believes the 4-inch iPhone will resemble the iPhone 5s, but with a slightly curved 2.5D glass like the one found on the iPhone 6 and newer models.
The iPhone 5se could also have 16 GB and 64 GB storage options, Live Photos support, Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but it will most likely do without the popular 3D Touch feature.
Apple reportedly wants to reserve 3D Touch for its top line, having a clear distinction between the iPhone models it offers. With this in mind, the iPhone 5se is expected to pack powerful specs and features, but not as powerful as the flagship iPhones.
KGI Securities forecasts that shipments of all 4-inch iPhones will surge 131 percent year-over-year to 37 million, bolstered by the addition of the iPhone 5se. At the same time, the older iPhone 5s is also expected to get a 50 percent discount, which will also fuel the increase in total 4-inch iPhone sales. The iPhone 5s currently costs $450, but a new $225 price tag could lure in more customers.