One rumor that absolutely refuses to die is the pending launch of a successor to the original iPhone SE (Special Edition), which came out in 2016 and was discontinued a year later. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons it will finally see the light of day in early 2020, and he has some interesting predictions about the hardware makeup of the unannounced handset.
His time frame for the iPhone SE 2 matches a report from Nikkei earlier this month—as the story went, Apple hopes a lower cost iPhone model will scoop up some market share in China, where Huawei and other companies are doing well. The report said Apple had not settled on a name, but was viewing it internally as a successor to the iPhone SE.
Kuo seems to agree, noting the iPhone SE 2 will be the most affordable iPhone model when it launches next year. He also says the physical design will pretty much be exactly like the iPhone 8, but with newer internals—the iPhone SE 2 could arrive with an A13 Bionic processor underneath the hood, same as the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
It would have less RAM, though, at 3GB instead of 4GB. And since it is being molded the same as an iPhone 8 (according to Kuo's prediction), it would debut with a smaller display as well, at 4.7 inches. Presumably this would be an LCD screen and not a higher-end OLED panel, given the desire to make this a more affordable handset.
iPhone SE 2 Could Stick With A Touch ID Button
The iPhone SE 8 could also arrive with a Touch ID button. This has become a throwback to the past, of sorts, with Apple having gone in the direction of a button-less design with its iPhone X/Xr and iPhone 11 series.
One interesting angle noted by Kuo is that an iPhone SE 2 molded after the iPhone 8 could appeal to iPhone 6 owners. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are not supported by iOS 13, and people who are still rocking one of those handsets would not necessarily be put off by sticking with a Touch ID button.
iPhone SE 2 Pricing
Depending on the hardware and features, an iPhone SE 2 model could be a compelling upgrade for users who prefer a smaller handset. Pricing will play a big role, though, and it is not clear exactly what price point(s) Apple is targeting.
The iPhone 8 is the least expensive iPhone model at the moment, with a starting price of $449 (MSRP). Here's how the current lineup looks...
- iPhone 11 Pro: $999+
- iPhone 11: $699+
- iPhone Xr: $599+
- iPhone 8 Plus: $549+
- iPhone 8: $449+
- iPhone SE 2: ??
We've left the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, and iPhone X off the list because Apple no longer sells those models directly (you can still find them at places like Amazon and Best Buy).
In any event, the iPhone SE 2 could potentially end up being priced from $349 to $399. For reference, the iPhone SE with 32GB of storage sold for $349 when it was available.