Update: The latest report from trusted industry analysts suggests Apple won't have the capacity to release the iPhone SE 2 in 2018, so the long wait may continue. Read on for everything else we think we know about the latest budget phone.
2016’s introduction of the iPhone SE showed us a side of Apple that hadn’t been seen before: one that revives old, unchanged designs.
By keeping the look of the popular iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S intact, then stuffing it with specs seen in the iPhone 6S, the SE, which we learned stands for “Special Edition”, was obviously a hit among many, including us.
Looking forward, will Apple continue with the SE line? Given the rumors indicating that iPhone 9 range will all sport the bezel-free design of the iPhone X, an Apple iPhone SE 2 might seem out of place by comparison. Unless, of course, Apple modernizes its look.
The legion of people who demand smaller phones will never quiet down, and if Apple was wise enough to listen with the first SE iteration, chances are high that there will be an iOS 11 or iOS 12-toting follow-up sometime in 2018.
Question is, what will it be like? Will it look the same, perform the same, and sell for the same price? These are the questions that we seek to answer below. Find the latest rumors below and stay for our list of exactly what we want to see in an iPhone SE successor.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple's new and improved take on an "old" design
- When will it be out? Maybe mid-2018, maybe later
- How much will it cost? Possibly around $450 (roughly £340/AU$590)
iPhone SE 2 release date and price
That said, trusted industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said he doesn't believe Apple will have the capacity to make an iPhone SE 2 this year. He said, "With three new models in the pipeline for the second half of 2018, we believe Apple may have used up its development resources."
That's all just speculation right now, but considering the company is hard at work on an iPhone X 2, iPhone 9 and more phones it may be the iPhone SE 2 won't be a priority for the company. We won't know for sure until we hear more from Apple.
In terms of pricing, the SE 2 is likely to remain Apple’s most affordable iPhone moving forward. The only pricing rumor so far points to a roughly $450 (around £340/AU$590) price, which seems believable.
The original model started at $399, £379, AU$679 for a 16GB handset, and now starts at $349, £349, AU$549 for a 32GB one, as the 16GB model has been discontinued.
We'd expect the iPhone SE 2 to cost at least as much, and a price rise is likely, but it should still be cheap relative to the rest of Apple's range.
iPhone SE 2 rumors, news and features
While the next iteration of the iPhone SE may not garner as much of a boil in the rumor mill as the iPhone 9, we’ve still been hearing some interesting murmurs.
Recently, there’s been a report (as pointed out by BGR) that the iPhone SE 2 will look drastically different than its predecessor.
While the current model harkens back to the aesthetics of the iPhone 5S, a leaked photo claims to show off the all-glass back of the new model, which would make sense, since Apple has now stuck a glass back on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Elsewhere, we've heard that the iPhone SE 2 could have a quad-core A10 chipset, 2GB of RAM, a 12MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing one, a 4.0-inch screen and that it could come in 32GB and 128GB sizes.
That would be an upgrade in some areas from the iPhone SE, but not much of one, putting it roughly in line with the iPhone 7, albeit with a smaller screen.
iPhone SE 2: what we want to see
We’ve come up with a wish list of sorts, filled with features that we want to see in the next iPhone SE. Some of them are pleads to Apple to not remove key specs, while others dare the company to try something new.
A headphone jack
First things first: the iPhone SE has a headphone jack and we’d very much like it if Apple kept things in place for the iPhone SE 2.
If Apple doesn’t mess with the design of the next iteration, there’s little reason to see it removed. However, early rumors point to a new look, so fingers are crossed that the 3.5mm headphone jack doesn’t get left on the cutting room floor.
A better battery
From a value perspective, the iPhone SE is high on the charts if you’re looking for a phone that will last you through the day. As we discovered in our in-depth battery test, the SE swept the floor of the other popular iPhone models of the time, like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6.
Its prowess at saving power makes sense. The screen is smaller and its boxy design doesn’t force Apple to slim down on the battery in the way that it might for a slimmer, sleeker chassis used with its core iPhone products.
While we're short on complaints about the SE's battery performance, it can only get better, right? We'd like to see Apple pushing some boundaries with its next phone with numbers that take it even higher.
One of the more impressive things about the SE was that it fit in a similar set of specs found in the iPhone 6S. A punchy palm-sized smartphone that could handle everything that its fancier iPhone brethren could for a more digestible price.
Given that Apple is comfortable fitting modern chipsets in its older chassis design, we have our fingers crossed that the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion chip will end up in the new version of the SE. And according to recent rumors, this could be the likely move.
A refreshed design
There’s no arguing that reviving the iPhone 5 design for use with the iPhone SE was a good idea. After all, it’s a winning design, first debuted on the iPhone 4, that set Apple far ahead of its competition in terms of build quality.
However, there comes a time when even the best design ideas need to be left to the side. And when looking toward the release of the iPhone SE 2, that time is now. We’d love to see something drastically different, all while sticking to the ergonomic four-inch size that SE fans are accustomed to.