Zac Hall, writing for 9to5Mac about the rumored 4-inch iPhone 5se:
The trickiest part here is that the 4-inch iPhone still won’t be up to speed with the larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, so it’s hard for me to jump on board knowing that there’s technically a more state-of-the-art iPhone to be had.
My final thought is that the decision would be made all the easier if there was truly a state-of-the-art version of the 4-inch iPhone, not a “special edition” version with a mix of hardware from various generations….
This fall, iPhone buyers will be forced to choose between an ergonomically superior handset hindered by last year’s tech and a device that’s cutting-edge but harder to use one-handed.
My wish? Apple should make the 4-inch model a first-class iPhone, not a sloppy-seconds device. Split the iPhone lineup into three equal size classes: the “vanilla” 4.7-inch model, the 5.5-inch Plus, and the 4-inch Mini. All three phones would boast the same specs, except for their screen sizes (and some size-dependent features, like optical image stabilization and battery life).
A full-featured 4-inch iPhone would simplify the product line. Customers could make their purchasing decision based on a single, simple factor: “Would you like small, medium, or large?” Relatedly, this approach would give Apple a more accurate picture of customer preference; as things stand, sales of the 4-inch form factor will be artificially handicapped by the 5se’s inferior specifications.
So why doesn’t Apple adopt this approach? Maybe its execs worry that a top-tier iPhone 7 mini would undermine the line’s average selling price. If so, here’s an idea: make the 4-inch phone the new $649 retail baseline, and bump up the other models’ prices by $100. Fans of the larger phones may balk at the price jump, but Apple could finally ditch the controversial 16GB models to compensate.