It’s Monday, and that means more rumors about Apple’s next entry-level handset. This time, the speculation comes to us from Chinese website cnBeta (via MacRumors), and is a bit strange to say the least. The blog cites sources at Foxconn, and suggests that the iOS device will be called the “iPhone 5e.” Some of the information mirrors other rumors we’ve heard, and some is a bit different.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo might have predicted that the new entry-level handset will have an A9 chip, but cnBeta says the processor will be Apple’s 64-bit A8 CPU with 1 GB of RAM. This isn’t outside the realm of realism, since the A8 chip currently powers the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, fourth-generation Apple TV, and the latest iPod touch.
Form factor and color options
As other rumors have claimed, cnBeta says the iPhone 5e will be lighter, which implies it will also be thinner. The report also corroborates previous reports that the device will be available in rose gold and other existing iPhone colors.
According to cnBeta’s sources, the new entry-level iOS handset will be available with either 16 GB or 64 GB of storage.
What about the camera?
We haven’t heard much about the rear-facing iSight camera yet. According to cnBeta, the iPhone 5e will feature the same 8-megapixel iSight camera as the current iPhone 5s.
Reportedly, Apple will incorporate near-field communication and Touch ID into the iPhone 5e, allowing the device to support Apple Pay. Kuo has also claimed the new device will sport Apple Pay compatibility, allowing the entry-level device a new feature over previous budget handsets. The report from cnBeta also indicates that the new handset will support voice over LTE calling.
When will it be available?
Falling in line with other rumors, cnBeta suggests the iPhone 5e will launch sometime between February and March, possibly coinciding with the Chinese New Year.
While cnBeta has had some hits, it’s also had some misses. The blog correctly reported on the smaller battery and packaging for the iPhone 6s Plus, but it incorrectly claimed that the A8 chip would exceed 2 GHz. It seems highly unlikely that Apple would name the new device iPhone 5e, since that would be a step backward in the current naming convention. Until we learn otherwise from Apple, I’m just going to keep calling it the iPhone 6c.
Image credit: MyDrivers