iPhone SE 2 − Price, release date and all the biggest leaks
Apple has been rumoured to be working on a successor to the three-year-old iPhone SE for some time now. We’ve seen multiple reports to suggest that a smaller, more affordable handset, perhaps called the iPhone SE 2, is in development, including leaked case designs, internal names, and even a short video.
However, after the device failed to materialise at successive Apple events when so many seemed so sure it would, we’ve been left wondering if we’ll ever see it.
There’s a lot to take in, so here’s everything we’ve heard about the rumoured iPhone SE 2 so far, including its release date, specs, features and price.
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iPhone SE 2 release date – When is the iPhone SE 2 out?
The iPhone SE launched in March 2016. Given that this is the only phone in the range to date, as well as the fact that it launched more than three years ago, makes predicting a possible iPhone SE 2 launch date tricky to say the least.
Indeed, one rumour from last year, as reported by MacRumors, seemed to suggest that Apple had decided against releasing an iPhone SE 2 altogether. Another claimed that Apple was looking into releasing a much cheaper phone in markets like China and India in a bid to establish a proper foothold.
And of course, even reliable sources suggested that the iPhone SE 2 would launch in 2018.
Obviously that didn’t happen, but it does seem to suggest that Apple has at least been considering a replacement for the original SE for some time.
The most recent report we’ve seen − which demands a liberal dose of seasoning − comes from DigiTimes. Still, the website’s supply chain sources reckon that Apple will launch a new smaller iPhone in 2020. That gives the impression we won’t see it at WWDC 2019.
The launch of the cheaper iPhone XR alongside the full fat iPhone XS in September 2018 appeared to put a dent in our hopes for an iPhone SE 2. However, it’s worth pointing out that the iPhone XR is actually bigger than the regular iPhone XS, so there’s still a gap in the market for a truly small alternative.
Another point of hope is Apple’s recent hardware activities. First there’s the fact that it put the iPhone SE back on sale in January, mere months after after it had pulled the petite device. Was this a tester to see what demand would be like for a smaller iPhone? If so, the fact that it sold out in super-quick time is encouraging.
Then there’s the recent resurrection of Apple’s long-dormant mini-tablet range with the iPad Mini 5. Basically, if there’s any kind of demand for one of its products, Apple is not above giving the people what they want.
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iPhone SE 2 price – How much will the iPhone SE 2 cost?
The original iPhone SE cost just £379 at launch, which looks like a bit of a bargain these days. Of course, that was way back in 2016, when the price of a full fat iPhone (the iPhone 6S) was just £539. These days, an iPhone XS will cost you at least £999.
An iPhone SE 2 would certainly cost well short of that, but it would presumably also cost a lot more than the £379 original.
Apple already has a phone that undercuts its mainstream iPhone, of course, in the £749 iPhone XR. But that’s still an expensive phone, whichever you look at it.
It’s particularly interesting to see that Apple pushes the iPhone XR on its site as being available from £499. The small print clarifies that this is only as part of a trade-in scheme, but the company clearly realises there’s a lot of pull at that sub-£500 price point. As the smartphone market starts to stagnate, we wouldn’t bet against Apple creating a phone to properly fill that niche.
iPhone SE 2 – Performance
Early in 2018, rumours were flying around that the iPhone SE 2 would feature an A11 Bionic CPU, like the iPhone 8 and X. Obviously that chip is no longer the punchiest in the range, so that would now seem to be out of the question.
Especially when you consider that the original iPhone SE launched with the then-current A9 CPU onboard. If an SE 2 were to launch later this year or early next, we might expect it to pack the same A13 CPU as the rumoured iPhone 11.
If Apple really is shooting for budget status, though, there’s always the chance that it would look to the A12 chip. After all, the A12 still bosses most of its more recently rivals in performance terms, and it also powers Apple’s recently refreshed iPad range.
iPhone SE 2 – Design and display
We’ve seen rumours (via a CAD render from a case manufacturer) that the iPhone SE 2 could follow the design cues of the iPhone XS with an edge-to-edge display and a display notch, allowing it to pack a much larger display into a handset of the same size.
In June last year, meanwhile, Twitter tipster OnLeaks posted pictures of third party screen protectors that had allegedly been made for an iPhone SE 2. These also seemed to point to an iPhone X-like notch.
Since then, all we’ve really had are concept renders that amount to, well, wishful thinking. Still, this one from ConceptsiPhone sure does look appealing: an iPhone SE for 2019 that packs in all the innovations Apple has made in the intervening years.
That means a notch, no headphone jack, an edge-to-edge display and a glass back plate for Qi charging.
As for the type of screen we can expect, the aforementioned DigitTimes report reckons that the iPhone SE 2 will launch with a 5.42-inch display. That’s a heck of a lot larger than the 4-inch iPhone SE, but considerably smaller than the 5.8-inch iPhone XS.
Also interesting is the claim that this screen will be OLED rather than LCD, and will utilise Samsung’s Y-Octa or LG’s TOE touch technology, which are more space-efficient than current standards.
iPhone SE 2 – Additional features
One report from early 2018 claimed that the iPhone SE 2 will see the return of the headphone jack to Apple’s handsets. Considering the budget nature of the range, not having to use expensive wireless headphones or an adaptor would be very welcome.
However, other reports have claimed the exact opposite about the 3.5mm jack, so it’s still all to play for.
Speaking of high-end features, the phone might make use of Apple’s excellent Face ID tech that made its debut in the iPhone X, if a report in Macotakara is to be believed.
Again, the fact that these rumours are so sketchy and so old leaves us highly doubtful, but also convinced that Apple has been working on SOMETHING iPhone SE-shaped − even if it might have ultimately ditched or paused its plans.
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