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We were big fans of the original iPhone SE when it launched in 2016, even going so far as to argue that it was the best phone for many people. Sadly that’s not true anymore, with the SE feeling a little sluggish compared with the latest models and Apple no longer manufacturing it anyway.
But the most trusted Apple analyst around, Ming-Chi Kuo, thinks the SE will be back with a splash in the first half of 2020. His latest report gives us some juicy details on what exactly that might entail.
The original iPhone SE was based on the iPhone 5, utilizing the exact same 4-inch chassis to house some updated internals. It appealed to a great deal of iPhone users who weren’t fans of the move to larger displays with the iPhone 6 range. Debuting for just $399, it was by far the cheapest iPhone on the market too. For anyone who wanted a small iPhone or a cheap iPhone, it was a no-brainer.
According to Kuo, Apple is planning to take a similar approach with the iPhone SE 2, cramming an older design with current-generation power. Specifically, we could be looking at a revamp of the iPhone 8 with Apple’s latest and greatest A13 Bionic chip – all for just $399. That’s the same amount of processing power as the iPhone 11 Pro for considerably less than half the price.
Kuo also believes the iPhone SE 2 will come with 3GB RAM, 64GB and 128GB storage configurations, and three colors: space gray, silver, and red.
Of course, the iPhone 8 design isn’t quite as small as the iPhone 5, so those looking for a continuation of the 4-inch display may be disappointed. But in terms of value for money, this could really compete with low to mid-range devices from other manufacturers. And as it would be using an older design, which means anyone who isn’t so keen on certain aspects of the X-series iPhones – like the notched screen or the lack of a Home button – can still pick up a snappy, modern iPhone.
It’s overwhelmingly likely that iPhone SE 2 would continue to use Touch ID instead of Face ID, would drop 3D Touch and perhaps all haptic feedback, would have just the one rear-facing camera, and an LCD screen. All cutbacks that would help keep costs low, and all things that aren’t all overly important for a great many people.
There have been vague rumors about an iPhone SE 2 for a couple years now, so take this report with a pinch of salt. But with Apple increasingly moving into services as a means of income, marketshare is going to be more important than ever to help get those services in as many hands as possible – and a powerful new budget handset would be a great way to go.