Dainty iPhone SE purportedly spotted in the wild

If Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 6S got together and had a baby, it might look like the supposed iPhone SE caught on video at a market in China.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
Supposed iPhone SE
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Supposed iPhone SE

The purportedly leaked iPhone SE is shown sitting on a 5S and 6S.

Nick Beeep

Apple's newest iPhone is believed to be coming at an event March 21. That means the usual flurry of rumors surrounding the updated smartphone is turning into a full-blown blizzard of speculation, hints and leaks.

A video published Monday purports to show the new iPhone SE in the wild in China. The iPhone SE, if that's what it ends up being called, is rumored to be a smaller phone with a 4-inch screen designed to replace the iPhone 5S for people who don't want a plus-sized model.

The video comes from a YouTube user by the name of Nick Beeep. Beeep.co is an under-construction crowdtesting site for products. Nick Xu is the founder. Xu visited a vendor at a market in Huaqiangbei Shenzhen in China, an area known as the "Silicon Valley of Hardware."

Xu told CNET he heard about the iPhone's presence at the market and asked to shoot a video of it. The sellers didn't agree at first, but later changed their minds and allowed the filming. As with any leak, we have to temper the excitement with some caution. It's possible the phone is a knock-off rather than the real deal.

In the video, Xu films a woman hosting the look at the supposedly leaked iPhone SE. She says, "It's more like the mixed blood of iPhone 5S and 6S." She describes it as having rounded edges for a smoother touch while still weighing about the same as a 5S.

The alleged SE phone seems to have a slightly pinker hue than its predecessors and the rear camera bezel is slightly raised. A purported leak of an iPhone 7 case last week hinted at the disappearance of a standard 3.5mm audio jack for the next-gen smartphone. The video leak very clearly shows a jack on the bottom of the professed SE. Apple watchers expect the full-on iPhone 7 to be announced in the fall.

Xu also supplied a series of photos of the phone hanging out with the 6S and 5S. Size-wise, it's noticeably smaller than the 6S and about the same as the 5S. If the leak turns out to be true, then 5S fans will be thrilled about having an updated replacement option that's just as dainty. We will know for sure how accurate the video is on March 21 if the Apple announcement goes as expected.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.