Rumor: Apple working on 'iPhone SE' promo that hints at 4K camera

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
Fresh rumors ahead of Apple's special spring event claim the company's next-gen 4-inch iPhone will integrate a high-definition iSight camera system capable of shooting 4K footage, putting the device on par with its bigger iPhone 6s series siblings.




According to a tipster, Apple plans to tout the imaging prowess of the so-called "iPhone SE" in a forthcoming promotional video that features a scene comprised of 4K footage captured completely on-device.

AppleInsider was unable to verify the tipster's claims and therefore offers the following for purposes of discussion.

It is unknown if Apple intends to produce the video in time for next week's special event, but the company had employees filming on location in New York as recently as last week, the person said.

If true, the rumor hints at an "iPhone SE" feature set more in common with iPhone 6s than previously expected. Early rumblings and purported parts leaks led to speculation that the device would be a modest upgrade over the iPhone 5s, with a few key enhancements sufficient to satiate demand for a smaller 4-inch format iPhone, but not enough to threaten cannibalization of Apple's bread-and-butter flagships.

As an expected launch date nears, however, the rumor mill is painting a picture of a device that leans more toward iPhone 6s than iPhone 5s. While the SE is not anticipated to adopt 3D Touch pressure sensing technology, it is expected to incorporate an NFC module for Apple Pay, as well as a 12-megapixel iSight camera and support for Live Photos, a specialized hybrid image format realized by current-generation imaging modules and advanced processing.

Another rumor hinting at 4K video support came in February when it was reported that Apple's latest A9 processor would power the new iPhone. An in-house system-on-chip design, the A9 debuted in iPhone 6s with integrated high-level image processing functions to facilitate 4K video recording at 30 frames per second, 1080p slo-mo at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps, and playback zoom.

Apple is widely expected to announce the iPhone SE, alongside a new 9.7-inch iPad model and potential Apple Watch announcements, at a special event scheduled for March 21. AppleInsider will provide live coverage of Apple's "Let us loop you in" keynote starting at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    Sounds good. I wouldn't make sense to ship this phone with 5s tech, even if it would make the phone cheaper. 
    IMO for all new generations of hardware, Apple should deliver (roughly) the same specs for each device but with a different size.
    This will advance their entire ecosystem (e.g gaming, user content like 4K video, usability, etc).
    It's not just development cost but also an investment to Apple.

    netrox
  • Reply 2 of 22
    rufworkrufwork Posts: 129member
    This is starting to sound like a serious phone, serious enough I wonder if it isn't going to be more than the $450 the 5S is going for now. The question I've got left is if this is going to be an upgrade like the iPod touch, where *BAM*, out of nowhere it's got iPhone 6 internals, and is briefly a great deal, but then sits without an update for a few years, or if the SE is going to keep (pace minus six months) like it might be now.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 3 of 22
    originalgoriginalg Posts: 383member
    The big question in my mind is: How thin can this phone be to house an adequately sized battery to last through a day?
  • Reply 4 of 22
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    We don't need a 4K smartphone camera at this point. We far more need a 1080p camera with far better low-light still and moving images. Focus on that. Less noise, more clarity, rich colours. Not pixels. I find myself using my DSLR more and more these days. Smartphones are by no means good enough at this point and 4K is not the reason.
    edited March 2016 argonautstaticx576Sgoldfish
  • Reply 5 of 22
    19831983 Posts: 1,193member
    So it's basically a 6S with a 5S like body and 4" screen, but no 3D Touch...that's overall a very good spec for an entry level iPhone.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    originalg said:
    The big question in my mind is: How thin can this phone be to house an adequately sized battery to last through a day?
    Thinness was a problem of the 4.7 inch. Since 4 inch is easier to handle it doesn't have to be thin.

    Apple has no thinness obsession. Retina MBPs can still be made thinner but they are not. Making 6 series thin was the only way to manage such an otherwise unmanageable form factor...

    Don't worry that will be a great phone, even without its luxurious chamfers...
    edited March 2016 nolamacguy
  • Reply 7 of 22
    19831983 Posts: 1,193member
    rufwork said:
    This is starting to sound like a serious phone, serious enough I wonder if it isn't going to be more than the $450 the 5S is going for now. The question I've got left is if this is going to be an upgrade like the iPod touch, where *BAM*, out of nowhere it's got iPhone 6 internals, and is briefly a great deal, but then sits without an update for a few years, or if the SE is going to keep (pace minus six months) like it might be now.
    Interesting...that's a good point. I wonder too...now!
  • Reply 8 of 22
    netroxnetrox Posts: 795member
    I can't wait to get that. I have iPhone 6 and I am not liking it due to its size factor. It's just too big.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    originalg said:
    The big question in my mind is: How thin can this phone be to house an adequately sized battery to last through a day?
    Depends on the screen they put in and if they use 3D touch. If they use the 5s screen and no 3d touch, likely quite a long time as the A9 is much more efficient than the the A8. It will be a slightly underclocked A9 compared to the one in the 6s though.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ireland said:
    We don't need a 4K smartphone camera at this point. We far more need a 1080p camera with far better low-light still and moving images. Focus on that. Less noise, more clarity, rich colours. Not pixels. I find myself using my DSLR more and more these days. Smartphones are by no means good enough at this point and 4K is not the reason.
    4K just means it's probably using the same assembly as the 6s; they're not creating a new module, drivers, DSP chips, software for this camera alone.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    rufwork said:
    This is starting to sound like a serious phone, serious enough I wonder if it isn't going to be more than the $450 the 5S is going for now. The question I've got left is if this is going to be an upgrade like the iPod touch, where *BAM*, out of nowhere it's got iPhone 6 internals, and is briefly a great deal, but then sits without an update for a few years, or if the SE is going to keep (pace minus six months) like it might be now.
    If true this is a clear indication that Apple sees a 4 inch iPhone as important as the larger iPhones rather than something to be forgotten about. So with higher specs I  can see the price for the new 4 inch will be at little or no discount from that for the smaller 6S to 6. I don't see this as an entry level phone. If Apple wish to have an entry level iPhone it looks like it could be the 5S. I do wonder how much longer Apple plans to sell both the 6 and 6S models. It would be interesting to know which are more popular now. If it is the 6S by a wide margin could the 6 series be withdrawn before Sept 2016?
  • Reply 12 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,866member
    ireland said:
    We don't need a 4K smartphone camera at this point. We far more need a 1080p camera with far better low-light still and moving images. Focus on that. Less noise, more clarity, rich colours. Not pixels. I find myself using my DSLR more and more these days. Smartphones are by no means good enough at this point and 4K is not the reason.
    When looking at cell phone cameras the video is pretty much free as the native sensor has a much larger size relative to the frame size for common video formats.    You get video capabilities not for optimal results but rather as a by product of having a decent still camera.    If you want good video capabilities buy a camera designed for video, even a DSLR isn't a video camera in the sense that they are optimized for that use.    Though I must admit that DSLR's have come a very long ways in the last few years.

    In  other words don't try to make a cell phone camera into something it isn't.    
  • Reply 13 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,866member
    ireland said:
    We don't need a 4K smartphone camera at this point. We far more need a 1080p camera with far better low-light still and moving images. Focus on that. Less noise, more clarity, rich colours. Not pixels. I find myself using my DSLR more and more these days. Smartphones are by no means good enough at this point and 4K is not the reason.
    When looking at cell phone cameras the video is pretty much free as the native sensor has a much larger size relative to the frame size for common video formats. You get video capabilities not for optimal results but rather as a by product of having a decent still camera. If you want good video capabilities buy a camera designed for video, even a DSLR isn't a video camera in the sense that they are optimized for that use. Though I must admit that DSLR's have come a very long ways in the last few years. In other words don't try to make a cell phone camera into something it isn't.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,866member
    ireland said:
    We don't need a 4K smartphone camera at this point. We far more need a 1080p camera with far better low-light still and moving images. Focus on that. Less noise, more clarity, rich colours. Not pixels. I find myself using my DSLR more and more these days. Smartphones are by no means good enough at this point and 4K is not the reason.
    When looking at cell phone cameras the video is pretty much free as the native sensor has a much larger size relative to the frame size for common video formats. You get video capabilities not for optimal results but rather as a by product of having a decent still camera. If you want good video capabilities buy a camera designed for video, even a DSLR isn't a video camera in the sense that they are optimized for that use. Though I must admit that DSLR's have come a very long ways in the last few years. In other words don't try to make a cell phone camera into something it isn't.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member
    This means it will likely have the Lightning 2 connector with 17 pins, and will do USB 3.0 speeds. Photographers are likely to love this phone as it's small and portable. Definitely should offer 128GB RAM.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 16 of 22
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    sog35 said:
    So will this be the new iPhone schedule?

    Fall - new 4.7 and 5.5 inch phones
    Spring - new 4.0 phones using internals from previous Fall phone

    To me that sounds like a pretty good compromise.  If you MUST have a small phone you just need to wait 6 months but you do get a $100 discount. 

    But why not bring all 3 phones at the same time?  Not enough capacity to do so.  Apple has a hard time producing 2 phones let alone 3.  So bringing out the 3rd phone during the slow season is perfect.  People who love small phones may be a little mad since they have to wait 6 months.  But they need to understand the small phone won't sell in massive volume like the 4.7 phone or at massive profits like the 5.5.  The bright side is at least Apple is making a top end 4 inch phone (Android/Windows does not) and you also get a nice $100 discount.
    I understand that around half the iPhone about are 4 inch or smaller. That is a few 100 million people who don't have the 4.7 and 5.5 phones. I believe Apple are bring out the new 4 inch phone because they know there is a huge number of us don't want the bigger phones. There have been many posts on AI saying we don't want the larger iPhones or we have the 4.7, it is too big and we can't wait to return to a new 4 inch model. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next 6- 12 months. If Apple gets the price and specification right I think the 4 inch will sell well.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,142member
    sog35 said:
    So will this be the new iPhone schedule?

    Fall - new 4.7 and 5.5 inch phones
    Spring - new 4.0 phones using internals from previous Fall phone

    To me that sounds like a pretty good compromise.  If you MUST have a small phone you just need to wait 6 months but you do get a $100 discount. 

    But why not bring all 3 phones at the same time?  Not enough capacity to do so.  Apple has a hard time producing 2 phones let alone 3.  So bringing out the 3rd phone during the slow season is perfect.  People who love small phones may be a little mad since they have to wait 6 months.  But they need to understand the small phone won't sell in massive volume like the 4.7 phone or at massive profits like the 5.5.  The bright side is at least Apple is making a top end 4 inch phone (Android/Windows does not) and you also get a nice $100 discount.
    The larger phones have strong holiday sales so they don't want to go early on those releases.

    A 4inch to me would be aimed at business buyers so it can be early in the year to help shift production demand. The six month shift isn't so relevant, indeed Apple probably know the peak buying season for businesses and have set the timing around that. 

    This is why, to me, it will have cameras as good as 6S or slightly better, So it can be used as a camera for business records.
    Also part of the reason I don't think SE name is anywhere good enough for the product if this is the intention.
    SE says discount phone, it really should have a name that suggests best of breed portable phone.

    I think Apples other problem is they are waiting to long in the year to talk about what they are doing and to set a tone for the year. It gives others to much of a chance to drive the story and make it look like they are playing catch up. Bringing a flagship product earlyish in the year gives them a chance to claim the narrative. Especially if the product allows them to court controversy with ideas like deleting headphone ports due to space.  

    For discount buyers they should do a 6c and 6c+ instead of rolling down the current models.

  • Reply 18 of 22
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,980member
    1983 said:
    So it's basically a 6S with a 5S like body and 4" screen, but no 3D Touch...that's overall a very good spec for an entry level iPhone.
    Entry level phone? Lol. Stop dreaming. This is a mid tier phone which is priced about the same as iPhone 6 at $550 to start. Perhaps, it may have 32GB to begin with. Apple is in no hurry to discontinue 5S at this point but in Fall.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 19 of 22
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,980member
    sog35 said:
    So basically this will be a mini iPhone 6s without a few features (3D touch)

    I think this will retail at $550

    Fall Lineup

    7+ $750
    7  $650
    6s+  $650
    6s  $550
    SE $550
    6  $450

    Finally, you come to common sense with this line up. One more thing: I believe Appl may add more bells and whistles to this iPhone SE like 32GB to start with...yeah, milk people in.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    ireland said:
    We don't need a 4K smartphone camera at this point. We far more need a 1080p camera with far better low-light still and moving images. Focus on that. Less noise, more clarity, rich colours. Not pixels. I find myself using my DSLR more and more these days. Smartphones are by no means good enough at this point and 4K is not the reason.

    The biggest complaint I had with my 6+ was that, the moment I switch from Photo to Video, it just got so dark. Indoor video shooting was very frustrating with the 6+. It got a little better with the 6S+, but it still gets noticeably darker when switching from Photo to Video.
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