Apple to Release Small iPhone in March

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9to5Mac, one of the most carefully followed websites covering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), says the consumer electronics company will launch a new four-inch screen iPhone that it will call the “iPhone 5se.” Apple is also expected to release a new iPad when it meets the press on March 15. No other media outlet has confirmed the report.

The devices will go on sale March 18, according to the report.

Apple also may completely change the way it releases products and then actually puts them on sale to consumers. Accord to 9to5Mac:

Launching the new iPhone and iPad models so soon after introduction and not offering pre-orders would be a new strategy for Apple. Apple typically releases new iPhone models one or two weeks following the introduction events and an online pre-order period. A similar strategy has been followed for many new iPad releases, but the iPad Pro hardware actually went on sale over two months following the device’s initial introduction. Manufacturing of the new 4-inch iPhone began ramping up in January, sources say.

Apple desperately needs new product lines to rekindle its multiyear success, during which its stock soared to new highs and it became the most valuable publicly traded company in the world. Recently, its shares have fallen and are down 18% in the past three months to $99.

Apple’s most recent earnings were a particularly hard blow. Revenue rose to $75.9 billion, barely up from the same quarter the year before. Its forecast disappointed Wall Street:

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2016 second quarter:

  • revenue between $50 billion and $53 billion
  • gross margin between 39 percent and 39.5 percent
  • operating expenses between $6 billion and $6.1 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $325 million
  • tax rate of 25.5 percent

Investors hoping for an iPhone 7 launch to jump-start the company’s fortunes will need to wait a lot longer.