Apple has released a lot of smartphones over the last few years and added lots of innovative new features – some are great like FaceID and some less popular like the infamous “notch”. But the great unsung hero of the last few years was the humble iPhone SE. Looking like an iPhone 5 but equipped with many of the same internals as the iPhone 6s, it was discontinued last year with no successor. The rumour mill is grinding away and it looks like an iPhone SE2 could be coming. Here’s what we can expect.
Why would Apple release an iPhone SE2?
The case for San iPhone SE2 is quite strong.
Market share: Android dominates global market share stats. And while Apple is very profitable with the iPhone, there are a lot of people who are simply priced out of the market. A sub-$1000 iPhone will appeal to a lot of people, particularly in Asia where Apple lacks significant market penetration.
The market is speaking: There’s a strong market for refurbished and used iPhone SE units. When Apple released a bunch of units through its refurbished goods store, they were snapped up very quickly.
Many pundits believe that snap sale was a canary in the iPhone SE2 coal mine.
The iPhone SE2 fills an obvious gap: With many of its products, Apple has taken a “good, better, best” approach in each range.
With laptops, the MacBook, MackBoor Air and MacBook Pro highlight that. With desktops, it’s the Mac mini, iMac and iMac Pro. With iPad, it’s the iPad, iPad Air/iPad mini and iPad Pro.
With iPhone, there’s the Phone XR and iPhone XS. And while the iPhone 7 and 8 fill the bottom end, they aren’t budget priced. Apple could ditch the old tech, replace them with the iPhone SE2 and have a more streamlined range.
iPhone SE2 specifications
Given Apple hasn’t announced an iPhone SE2, I’m taking a stab at what I think it will look like and what hardware it will pack. Here’s what I think.
|Size and weight||120 x 62 x 8mm, 175g|
|Display||5.1-inch LED, multi-touch display running at 1498-by-686 resolution at 326 ppi with a similar wide colour display (P3) support for True Tone display|
|Processor||A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit ARM-based system on a chip|
|Cameras||Rear: 12MP, Front: 7MP|
|Communications||Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit LTE, dual-SIM support (Nano SIM and eSIM), Lightning connector|
|Colours||Hard to say but perhaps a subset of the iPhone XR range – maybe black, white and blue|
I suspect what we’ll see is something like the iPad – a low cost entry point which looks and works just like the more expensive members of the product range but with tech that’s a generation or so behind the flagship range.
When will Apple release the iPhone SE2?
Apple’s typical release cadence is to announce their next version of iOS in June during the Worldwide Developer Conference. Then, in September the next iPhone is announced with a release later that month that syncs up with the official release of the next version of iOS.
So, the easy bet is for the iPhone SE2 to come out in September 2019.
But Apple will be reticent to cannibalise sales of their new flagship products. So, I suspect we’ll see the iPhone SE released either in the next month or so, or held back to March 2020 so it sits between flagship releases.
What will the iPhone SE2 cost?
For the iPhone SE to have any chance for gaining serious market share, Apple will need to pitch it at at well under $1000 locally. The iPhone SE retailed for $679. If Apple can match that price then it will be a very popular device.