Amid all the excitement over the new iPhones, almost no one is talking about the iPhone Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hasn’t launched yet. Rumors about the iPhone SE2 started flooding the Internet earlier this year, but we have yet to hear anything official about it.
Is the iPhone SE2 dead?
In September, Apple launched three new iPhones, the iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR, and last month, the company released new iPad Pro models, the new MacBook Air, the new Mac mini and other accessories. However, a device many expected Apple to also announce at the time was the iPhone SE2.
The missing iPhone SE2 came as a surprise to many as there has been much evidence suggesting the existence of a new 4-inch handset, including leaked CAD renderings via the supply chain, marketing leaks, case maker sources and more. It’s quite rare to see so much seemingly faulty evidence about an Apple product, but as it stands, there is no new 4-inch iPhone. This raises a big question. Has Apple scrapped the iPhone SE2? Maybe not.
In June, there were reports that Apple had scrapped the refreshed 4-inch device. Earlier this year, trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple might not debut a new iPhone SE this year as the company has already used up its “development resources.” It must be noted that Kuo’s comments point to a launch window for 2018, hinting that Apple may launch the handset next year. Kuo, who has an impeccable track record when it comes to predicting Apple products, could be correct. Apple has not launched the new iPhone SE this year, and it’s unlikely to announce it now as the year is almost over.
Moreover, a new iPhone SE would not have made sense with the new iPhone line-up, especially with the iPhone XR already present as an affordable option. A new SE version would have cannibalized sales of the XR, which is expected to be best-selling iPhone this year. Thus, there is a chance Apple has delayed the new SE model to 2019. However, in October, Kuo claimed Apple will only launch successors to the iPhone XS and XR in 2019. Still, fans of the 4-inch form factor should not give up yet.
Apple needs the iPhone SE2
There is a chance Apple will release the iPhone SE 2 next year. In fact, the China-based Economic Daily claimed Apple is working on a low-end iPhone code-named “Hangzhou.” The report suggested the device would be exclusively for India and China.
An iPhone SE-like device could play a crucial role in Apple’s attempt to boost its market share in those markets. The U.S. firm is currently not doing very well in those regions, and even an iPhone XR-like device could be out of reach for many in those critical markets. Thus, an iPhone SE 2, with an even lower price tag and perhaps produced locally, could help Apple increase its sales in those markets.
A report out of China in February suggested there might not be many differences in the design of the iPhone SE and SE2. The report supported its claim about the specs with concept illustrations and leaked photos. Further, it hinted that the handset could have a 4.2-inch display, which would make it slightly bigger than the original model. The bigger screen could be due to reduced bezels, which would enable Apple to maintain the same form factor as the original SE.
It could also be slimmer with a thickness of just 7.3 mm, similar to the iPhone 8. However, it may not feature an all-screen display like the iPhone X. The report claimed the SE 2 would be more like a traditional phone with a home button in the usual place. However, another report from Macotakara claimed the phone would ditch the headphone port.
Apple would probably use the A10 Fusion chip, which is similar to the one used in the iPhone 7. The handset could get the same 2 GB of RAM as the original variant. The storage options could be 32 GB or 128 GB, and it is believed that Apple will offer the same colors for the SE2 as the iPhone 8: Silver, Space Grey and Gold.
In terms of the camera, Apple could give the handset a 5-megapixel or 7-megapixel FaceTime camera with Retina Flash, compared to the 1.2 MP FaceTime camera in the SE. The rear camera could be 12 megapixel with an f/2.2 aperture. These updated features would need a stronger battery, so the new handset could get a 1,700 mAh battery, compared to the 1,642 mAh battery in the SE.