Apple is working on a new budget iPhone and today we want to walk you through some reasons why you should, and shouldn’t, wait for the rumored iPhone SE 2, a device that’s also being called iPhone 8s and iPhone 9.
If you’re in the market for a new iPhone, but don’t want one with a huge display, you’ll want to take a long look at Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE. It’s a few years old now, but the iPhone SE is still one of the best small phones on the market.
The iPhone SE’s hardware is holding up and the device continues to perform at a high level after its recent move to Apple’s iOS 13 update.
The iPhone SE is absolutely worth considering in 2020, but you’ll also want to take note of the iPhone SE 2 rumors that’ve emerged.
iPhone SE 2 Rumors
The first iPhone SE 2 rumor from Focus Taiwan emerged in August, 2017. The site claimed Apple supplier Wistron was preparing to expand its iPhone manufacturing in an effort to get a new iPhone SE model out in 2018.
A second iPhone SE 2 release date rumor from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News emerged in late November, 2017. According to the publication’s sources, Apple was planning to release a new iPhone SE in the first half of 2018 and it would be assembled by Wistron at its factory in Bengaluru, India.
In 2018 UK retailer Mobile Fun’s directed us to possible iPhone SE 2 renders from case maker Olixar. Additional images from Olixar showcased the back of the rumored device. Highlights included an improved design with a glass back like the iPhone X and iPhone 8.
Unfortunately, a research note from well-respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cast doubt on many of these iPhone SE 2 rumors.
Kuo, who accurately predicted many of Apple’s iPhone cycles, claimed Apple didn’t have enough “development resources” to get a new iPhone SE out in 2018. Taiwan’s Economic Daily News agreed with Kuo.
That said, as we’ve pushed deeper into the year, we’ve heard more and more about the rumored iPhone SE 2.
A report from Nikkei claims that Apple will launch a new low-cost iPhone in the spring of 2020. The device is reportedly being “viewed as the latest generation of the iPhone SE.”
The new device will reportedly look like the iPhone 8, but come with updated internals. This is where the name “iPhone 8s” comes from.
Japanese blog Mac Otakara, citing an “informed source,” claims the device will actually be called iPhone 9. The site is hit-or-miss with its information so the actual name of the device is far from certain at this point.
A report from Kuo states that he expects that combined iPhone shipments in the first quarter of 2020 “will grow around 10%” thanks to the demand for the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE 2. In another note, Kuo once again states that an iPhone SE 2 will launch in 1Q 2020. Another note references a broader 1H 2020 launch.
Kuo believes the company will ship at least 20 million (and perhaps as many as 30 million) iPhone SE 2 models after it launches in the first half of 2020.
Korean site The Elec reports that LG is currently in talks to supply the LCD displays for the device. The site claims the device will launch sometime in early 2020 which lines up with all of the other rumors we’ve seen thus far.
These rumors, and Apple’s decision to stop regularly selling the iPhone SE, puts those of you interested in buying a new version of the iPhone SE in a difficult position.
While some of you might want to hang around and wait for a iPhone SE 2, others might not want to wait for a rumored phone, particularly one that won’t look like the original iPhone SE.
If you’re currently on the fence, here are some reasons why you should soldier on wait for the iPhone SE 2 and a few reasons why you might want to start looking at other devices.
Wait for March, If You Can
If you're interested in a smaller, budget iPhone, think about waiting a few more weeks.
Unlike the flagship iPhone models, there's no definitive release cycle for the iPhone SE. The first edition landed in March of 2016, but the company skipped a release in March of 2017 and March of 2018.
The iPhone SE 2 missed Apple's March window, WWDC 2019 in June, and Apple's September iPhone event which means the next potential launch date is in March, 2020. And, again, all signs point to a launch in early 2020.
A report from Chinese-language Economic Daily News states that Apple will release a new version of the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 in the early part of 2020.
The site says the device will launch in the spring which, if true, would probably mean a launch sometime in March.
Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis notes that a few suppliers mention the arrival of an iPhone SE 2 in early 2020, but that others don't have the same information.
In a more recent note Curtis claims production of the iPhone SE 2 will apparently start in February which lines up perfectly with Apple's annual March launch window.
Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple's working on four new flagship iPhone models for 2020 including a 5.4-inch model with an OLED display. He also believes Apple's working on an iPhone SE 2 successor for early 2020.
According to Kuo, Apple plans to release a lower-priced "iPhone SE 2" sometime in the first quarter of 2020.
Kuo claims the device will enter mass production in January ahead of a launch at the end of March. Again, Apple typically uses March to launch new hardware.
A Bloomberg report states that production will actually start in February. The site claims Apple will launch the phone as early as March.
The site claims assembly of the new device will be "split among Hon Hai Precision Industry, Pegatron Corp., and Wistron Corp."
Japanese site Mac Otakara also claims the company will release a 5.4-inch model in the fall with an iPhone 8-esque design.
For reference, the original iPhone SE was announced on March 21st in 2016. Pre-orders started on March 24 ahead of a release on March 31st. Apple re-released the phone nearly a year later on March 24th, 2017 with larger storage options.
We're getting closer, but if you don't think you can wait until March, it might be best to look into iPhone SE 2 alternatives.
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