Apple may have been producing units of its upcoming 4-inch smartphone for nearly a year.
The rumored iPhone 5se may seem like a product that’s come out of nowhere, but a new report claims Apple finished development and production on it months ago. Cupertino’s just been waiting for the perfect time to reveal the smaller phone.
Apple’s had the iPhone 5se in its pocket for a while now, according to Japanese tech site Nikkei, whose sources say Apple finished building the device last year. The site claims Apple plans to use the new 4-inch iPhone to penetrate deeper into emerging markets like India in order to compensate for slowing iPhone growth in places like the United States.
Apple usually produces many different prototype units, so it could be that the Japanese site is referring to these “units” instead of mass production. Once Apple’s factories start churning out devices, it becomes harder for the company to keep them a secret, and we’ve yet to see any really reliable leaks of the new 4-inch iPhone model.
The iPhone 5se will supposedly be revealed at an Apple event in March alongside a new iPad Air 3 and fresh Apple Watch hardware. It’s still unclear what features the new iPhone will have other than a curved glass display. NFC for Apple Pay, a faster processor and improved cameras are expected to be added as well.