Apple might be bringing back a smaller and more affordable version of its iPhone line. This would essentially be a successor to the iPhone SE (Special Edition), which came out in 2016 and was discontinued a year later. Since being yanked from the product lineup, there has not been another similarly priced iPhone.
Part of the appeal of the iPhone SE was that it started at $399. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the most expensive iPhone model is the iPhone XS Max, which ranges in price from $999 to $1,449. Even the iPhone XR starts at $749, nearly twice as much as the iPhone SE from yesteryear. As things stand, anyone who wants to spend less is looking at buying an older generation iPhone—Apple continues to sell the iPhone 7, starting at $449.
That is a few generations old at this point, though. According to a report in Asia, Apple is hoping the addition of a low-cost iPhone will attract customers in emerging markets, and scoop up some market share in China, where Huawei and other companies are doing well.
Apple has not yet settled on a name or price for its next lower cost iPhone. However, it is being viewed internally as a successor to the iPhone SE, according to the report, and therefore it seems reasonable to expect it will debut at around $399.
"The cheaper iPhone SE could serve as a sales momentum kicker the first half next year, if the new premium iPhones do not perform well in the coming months," Jeff Pu, a analyst at GF Securities, told the Nikkei Asian Review.
While the iPhone SE successor will be smaller and cheaper, it reportedly will share many of the same components of Apple's current flagship phones. Like the iPhone XR, however, it is expected to debut with a LCD panel rather than a higher end (and pricier) OLED screen.
The cheaper iPhone is said to be scheduled for a launch next spring.