According to reports, Apple is currently working on an ‘entry level’ iPhone model called the iPhone 5e that’s set to feature a small screen and Apple Pay.
In 2014, Apple made headlines when it announced the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Significantly larger than their predecessors, they were immensely popular as fans enjoyed the increased screen size, which were better for watching movies and, of course, for playing the thousands of games on the App Store. The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus (released in 2015) kept those big screens and introduced 2GB of RAM, making more demanding games and apps run a lot smoother. But now, Apple is apparently considering a downsize.
That information comes from MacRumors (by way of Chinese publication cnBeta) which reports that Apple may soon debut a downsized iPhone called the iPhone 5e, which is likely to have a 4 inch screen. The 5e (the e stands for ‘enhanced’) is being positioned as an ‘entry level’ device, akin to the iPhone 5S and it’s ‘budget’ model the 5C. The device may resemble a sixth-generation iPod Touch and will come with support for Apple Pay, Apple’s wireless payment service, as well.
As for the technical specs of the device, the 5e may offer a standard 16GB of storage, along with a 64GB sotrage option. Power-wise, there are conflicting reports as although cnBeta states that the iPhone 5e will use Apple’s 64-bit A8 chip and will have 1GB of RAM, another Chinese website, MyDrivers, says it will have the A9 processor and 2GB of RAM, while the well-respected (and often accurate) KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo supports the A9 theory (though this is merely a theory from Kuo and currently lacks evidence from the iPhone supply chain).
With the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus both running 2GB of RAM and setting sales records, it’s hard to see Apple going back to 1GB of RAM now, and gamers especially won’t want a specs downgrade. With Nintendo planning to roll out a series of mobile games of its own, gamers will want to ensure that their devices can make the most of the upcoming free to play titles.
That said, casual gamers may not find themselves flocking to buy the iPhone 5e, regardless of its hi-tech innards. It may be an ‘entry level’ handset but the report also suggests that when the iPhone launches in February/March this year (to go along with the Chinese New Year), it will have a hefty $500 price tag attached to it. While there are certainly some who’ll be happy to pay that much, it seems more likely that gamers will consider buying the new, cheaper and gaming-focused Apple TV instead.
Would you consider buying the iPhone 5e? Or do you plan on waiting for the iPhone 7 instead? Leave a comment and let us know.