There were renewed reports that Apple is planning to add a smaller device to its iPhone family, with claims that the device will be positioned as an iPhone 5s successor.
Apparently, using the name iPhone 5se, the device will be an upgrade to the earlier device rather than a part of the flagship iPhone 6s/iPhone 7 family.
It has been mooted that it will feature some design cues from the iPhone 6/iPhone 6s family, such as the more rounded design.
According to 9to5Mac, on the spec sheet is an NFC chip to support Apple Pay (extending support for the service to the lower tier), A8 and M8 processors as used in iPhone 6, and cameras that are also comparable with iPhone 6.
The Live Photos feature introduced with the iPhone 6s also makes it into the new device, as does the Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
But some of the flagship upgrades to iPhone 6s, such as the pressure-sensing display, will be omitted.
A subsequent 9to5Mac report said that in fact iPhone 5se would feature the A9 and M9 processors as used in iPhone 6s, apparently because the iPhone 7 will shift to A10 and M10, and Apple does not want to introduce a new device powered by two-generation old silicon.
At the end of the exercise, Apple will end up with a portfolio consisting of iPhone 7 (in whatever form this comes), iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 5se.
This also marks the first time Apple has looked to target the entry level with a specific iPhone, rather than shifting an existing unit down the line, since the introduction of the much maligned iPhone 5c.
With the suggestion that iPhone 5se will be announced soon (March 2016 has been mooted), this would also be a shift from its traditional iPhone launch schedule.
This would give it at least some way to counter the new devices from rivals which will be available in the wake of Mobile World Congress 2016 in February.