Apple tipped to launch beefed-up iPhone 5 in March

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Apple tipped to launch beefed-up iPhone 5 in March
iPhone 6 and 6s

Apple is on target to introduce its next iPhone and iPad models on 15 March, and aims to start selling the devices in the same week, technology blog 9to5Mac reported, citing sources.

Apple will introduce a new 4-inch iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 5se", and a new iPad Air at the launch event, though is unlikely to take pre-orders for the new devices, the blog reported.

The new 4-inch iPhone 5se may help spur iPhone hardware upgrades for customers seeking faster devices without upgrading to the larger iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models.

The technology giant has hit a trough in iPhone demand. The 0.4 percent rise in shipments in the fiscal first quarter was the slowest-ever increase in iPhone sales since the phone was launched in 2007.

Apple sold 74.8 million iPhones over the final three months of 2015, compared to 74.46 million in the same period of 2014. That's a very slight increase – essentially a flatline – which is leading some analysts to claim the end of the iPhone growth era. Seeing as the iPhone accounted for 68 percent of Apple's revenue in the quarter, that lack of growth is notable.

The company also said that the revenue for its next quarter is expected to be between US$50 billion and US$53 billion, both of which lie below the US$58 billion figure reported in Q2 2015. If that were to be the case, it would mark Apple's first fall in revenues since the launch of the first iPhone.

Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters.

Reporting by Alan John Koshy in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty


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