Apple is expected to unveil a new cheaper version of the iPhone, dubbed the iPhone SE, in a second attempt at gaining share in the smartphone mid-market.
Rumours have been building for several months and Apple is now likely to launch the iPhone SE - thought to stand for Special Edition - at an event on 21 March in San Francisco at 5pm UK time.
The new device is expected to revert to the smaller 4in screen found on older iPhone devices, such as the iPhone 5 and 5S, and be housed in a more premium feel metal case rather than the plastic case of the iPhone 5C.
The iPhone 5C was launched in 2013 as Apple’s first attempt to capture a share of the mid-market. But the device failed to capture the imagination, partly owing to the high price of over £400 despite being a ‘cheaper’ iPhone option.
Despite this, the iPhone SE is expected to cost around $450 for a 16GB model, suggesting that the firm is still hoping to keep a high price on its devices.
In an attempt to justify the cost, Apple will load the SE with the firm's latest A9 processor, as found in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, although it may end up being the A8 instead. Furthermore, the iPhone SE will reportedly feature a 1,715mAh battery, compared with the fairly lacklustre 1,500mAh battery on the iPhone 5C.
Apple is launching the SE in an attempt to boost falling sales of the iPhone after its first-quarter results for 2016 showed that, despite profits of $18bn, sales stagnated compared with the same period last year at 74.8 million units against 74.5 million.
The Apple event is also likely to feature the unveiling of a new iPad, again in an attempt to tackle dwindling sales, as well as the release of the new iOS 9.3 update, which will contain several new features for iPhones and iPads, including Night Shift.
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