If you’re in the market for a new iPhone but want a device that’s a bit more wallet-friendly than Apple’s trio of iPhone 11 models, there’s good news on the horizon. According to a new investor note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), Apple is planning to launch a next-gen version of the iPhone SE sometime during the first quarter of 2020. This particular rumor seems especially plausible given Kuo’s stellar track record with respect to Apple rumors, not to mention the fact that the original iPhone SE launched during the first quarter of 2016.
Specs-wise, Kuo relays that the highly-anticipated iPhone SE 2 will boast 3GB of RAM, the same A13 Bionic processor as the Phone 11 models, and will be available in 64GB and 128GB capacities. What’s more, previous rumors have pointed to the iPhone SE 2 sporting a 4.7-inch display along with Touch ID. Kuo adds that the iPhone SE will be available in the following colors: Space Gray, Silver, and Red. Notably, the device will not include support for 3D Touch, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that Apple has now abandoned the technology altogether.
As far as the price, the iPhone SE 2 will be rather affordable, with Kuo claiming that Apple plans to slap a $399 price tag on the device. As a point of contrast, the cheapest iPhone model available today is the iPhone 8 which retails for $449.
Devoted iPhone SE users have been vocally clamoring for a next-gen iPhone SE for years now. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that Apple may abandon the one aspect of the iPhone SE that made it so beloved — its compact form factor. If you paid close attention to the specs above, you’ll note that the iPhone SE 2 may come with a 4.7-inch display as opposed to the 4-inch display of the original. In turn, Kuo has said on numerous occasions that the iPhone SE 2 will share similar dimensions with the current iPhone 8.
Hopefully, this proves to be a rare instance where one of Kuo’s predictions prove to be off-base. Indeed, if Apple — as Kuo suggests — actually releases a new A13-powered device with a 4.7-inch display, it’s essentially just releasing an upgraded version of the iPhone 8. This would be an odd strategic choice given that the current iPhone 8 is already available as an appealing and budget-friendly upgrade option for existing iPhone 6 and 6s users.
The entire appeal of the iPhone SE, not to mention the driving force behind its very existence, is that it offered users the option to enjoy Apple’s latest hardware advancements in a compact form factor. While gargantuan displays are engrossing and appealing to most, the reality is that many iPhone users vastly prefer a device that can be used easily with just one hand. Consequently, if Apple releases a new device with a 4.7-inch display, I can’t imagine it generating all that much traction in the market place.
As a final point, Apple abandoning the current iPhone SE factor would tend to support the notion — often espoused by tech pundits — that Apple under Tim Cook tends to focus too much on the bottom line at the expense of the user experience.
So what do iPhone SE fans really want from a successor? Well, that’s easy. They either want the exact same form factor as the original or something a bit more updated, a la the concept render below.