Was Apple’s much-hyped iPhone 5C – the company’s first ‘budget smartphone’ – really a flop? While the total sales figures (nearly 25 million units) is pretty impressive, market analysts and iOS app developers unanimously agree that the handset was a poor performer in comparison with the iPhone 5S, which debuted alongside in September 2013. The Cupertino company is now all set to release iPhone 6C this Spring (March/April), and over here we take a look at some cool new facts about the handset:
- There will be no iPhone 6C – That’s because Apple will be, in all likelihood, going with the ‘iPhone 5se’ moniker. According to researchers and experts from the field of mobile app development, the upcoming iPhone model has been built on the lines of the iPhone 5S (obviously, without certain key features; more on that later). It won’t be a natural follow-up of iPhone 5C and is not a flagship model – the phone has been created as a ‘lighter’ version of iPhone 5S.
- Screen size and dimensions – iPhone 5se/iPhone 6C is the closest that Apple is likely to get to its older 3.5” iPhone models. The screen size of the new handset will be 4”, and it will come with an aluminum shell (hopefully, there will be no return of the disappointing plastic of iPhone 5C). The dimensions of the phone (122.9 mm x 57.6 mm) are just a shade lower than that of iPhone 5S (124 mm x 58.6 mm) – and the cases, ports and other accessories of both the models will be the same. In terms of device thickness too, iPhone 5se will closely resemble iPhone 5S.
- Touch ID and Apple Pay support – If the new iPhone model emerges a success, this will have an important role behind it. Unlike the slightly gimmicky iPhone 5C, iPhone 6C will have Touch ID, and hence, would support mobile payments via Apple Pay (via the now-familiar NFC technology in the iOS ecosystem). Users will be able to make payments securely within applications as well as at retail locations with iPhone 6C.
- Camera and Live Photos – While the design of the new iPhone model is a lot like iPhone 5S, its camera features are much more advanced. Just like the iPhone 6, the iPhone 5se model will have 8 MP rear camera and 1.2 MP ‘selfie’ camera. More interestingly, ‘Live Photos’ – a feature that only debuted with last year’s iPhone 6S/6S Plus – will be present in this ‘smaller’ iPhone as well. 3D Touch won’t be available on iPhone 6C though (i.e., the screen won’t be pressure-sensitive), and image playback will have to be initiated with a long press. HD photos (up to 43 MP) and 1080p high-definition video will be supported on the model, along with slow-motion 240 fps video files. Photography and recording are popular activities of average iPhone-users, and the soon-to-release handset won’t disappoint anyone in this regard.
- A9 processor for superior performance – Initial rumours suggested that iPhone 6C will be powered by the Apple A8 processor. However, it is now almost certain that the model will come with the breakthrough A9 processor and M9 motion coprocessor, both of which debuted on iPhone 6S. For CPU/GPU tasks, the new iPhone model will be, on average, 70%-80% faster than iPhone 6 (which has the A8 processor). Clearly, Apple is making every effort to enhance the acceptability of its latest iPhone offering.
- Storage and RAM – The iPhone 5S is available in two models – the 16GB and the 32GB. Reports from mobile app development forums suggest that the iPhone 6C will go a step further, and come in two alternative capacities – the 16GB and the 64GB. It would have been great if Apple would have put in 2GB RAM for iPhone 5se – but all things point to the fact that, the handset will have just the 1GB RAM space, like iPhone 5S/6.
- Display – There will be significant differences between the display of the new 4” iPhone and the iPhone 5S model its design is chiefly based on. For starters, it has been reported that iPhone 5se will have 2.5D curved glass display (like iPhone 6/6 Plus). Both the back and front chamfered edges will be ditched in favour of the curved display. Early adopters can look forward to a bright, detailed and lively display on the iPhone 6C.
- ‘Hey Siri’ on iPhone 6C – The always-on feature of ‘Hey Siri’ on iPhone 6C has already created a buzz among prospective buyers and iPhone app developers alike. Instead of having ‘Hey Siri’ only when the device is plugged to power (which was the way of things in earlier-generation iPhones that had separate motion processor chips), users of iPhone 6C will be able to activate and use the hands-free mobile digital assistant at any time.
- Battery performance – Battery life has never been a high point of Apple iPhones (with small incremental improvements seen in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S). The soon-to-launch iPhone 6C will also be pretty much ho-hum regarding this. It is likely to come with a 1642 mAh battery – ensuring a similar, or slightly better, performance with iPhone 5S (1560 mAh). At a time when Sony Experia Z3 Compact is offering battery juice of 48 hours, it’s just a trifle disappointing that the talktime of iPhone 6C will be limited to 10 hours.
- Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity – iPhone 5se will be at par with the latest Apple smartphones in terms of connectivity features. 802.11ac Wifi will be available for quicker, interruption-free wireless internet access and browsing. Presence of the cutting-edge Bluetooth 4.2 technology will also work in favour of the new handset. What’s more, those who make mobile apps and other software are almost certain that iPhone 6C will come with full VoLTE support. A small and efficient device – that’s what Apple has shaped iPhone 6C to be!
- What’s with the ‘se’? – We have already highlighted that, on release, the iPhone 6C project (codenamed ‘N69’) will be called ‘iPhone 5se’. The ‘se’, in all likelihood, stands for ‘special edition’ – given how the handset is being positioned as a powerful yet smaller special version of iPhone 5S. Since most of the software and hardware specs (as well as other internals) have undergone upgrades, the ‘e’ in the name might stand for ‘enhanced’ too. The new handset will even have a barometer for elevation tracking, making the built-in Health app more informative.
- The price – The market performance of iPhone 5se will depend a lot on how it is priced. iPhone software and app-makers have repeatedly highlighted how iPhone 5C faltered regarding this – with hardly anyone being interested in a watered-down version of iPhone 5S, that was only $100 or so cheaper. As per early reports, the 16GB iPhone 5se is likely to be priced at $560, with the 64GB model being put up at a higher price point. To put matters into perspective, the pocket-pinch of the 16GB iPhone 6 is $549 – which makes the new model almost similarly priced to it.
Like iPhone 5S, the ‘small’ iPhone 5se/iPhone 6C will be available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray colours. A key USP of the handset will be its screen, which is ideal for single-hand optimization (although ‘Reachability’ to the edges might remain an issue). Contrary to initial speculations, Apple won’t be bringing 4K Video support to this handset. However, it does have an impressive lineup of features, and importantly, it won’t have another iPhone model to directly compete with (the iPhone 5C was, to an extent, cannibalised by iPhone 5S). iPhone 5se arrives in a couple of months – and it remains to be seen whether this becomes another successful release from Apple.
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