Big news for lovers of the iPhone SE, a franken-gadget made of old Apple parts and billed as a more affordable iOS device: It appears that the budget iPhone lineup is finally going to get its first refresh two years after the original model hit the market. The announcement could come as early as WWDC in June. In fact, Apple might be announcing several new iPhones.
The news of the new iPhones comes out of a Russian-language regulatory filing with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). As first reported by the French website Consomac, Apple has registered 11 new iPhones that will run iOS 11: A1920, A1921, A1984, A2097, A2098, A2099, A2101, A2103, A2104, A2105 and A2106. It's unclear if these model numbers correspond to unique models or simply different sizes and carriers for the same model. One could easily assume that the difference in the A19** models and the A20** models is the difference between some sort of new iPhone SE and a completely new iPhone SE Plus. However, it's also quite possible that Apple will reveal the rumoured full-screen iPhone lineup based on the iPhone X form factor. Analysts expect Apple to sell a 18cm "iPhone X Plus" and a cheaper 15cm iPhone X (SE?) alongside the current 15cm OLED iPhone X. But again, this is just conjecture at this point.
What does seem clear, however, is the likelihood of Apple announcing new iPhones in the near future. A similar story about two new iPad model numbers registered with the EEC occurred in February, and then last month, Apple rolled out two new cheap 25cm iPads (one with cellular connectivity and one with only wifi) at its big education event in Chicago. Another EEC filing last year predicted new MacBook models before Apple announced them at WWDC 2017.
So it seems like Apple is about to have an iPhone surprise party. This could mean an update to the iPhone SE or it could mean the arrival of a whole new class of notch-sporting devices that you might be able to buy for less than $US1,000 ($1,287). If it happens at WWDC, this would be the first time Apple has made an iPhone announcement in June since the iPhone 4 in 2010, although that announcement was spoiled pretty hard. We'll have to wait and see, but if a cheaper iPhone really is imminent, that's great news. We love it when Apple makes affordable products.
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