Remember the iPhone SE? The $399 handset — for the 16GB variant — that Apple released back in March 2016 to fill the “budget” end of the market. Well, according to analyst TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will unveil an updated version in 2020, but some changes to the design may mean that it won’t please everyone.
In a research note obtained by 9To5Mac, Kuo claims that the SE 2 will feature a chassis similar to the iPhone 8, which means a screen size bump up from 4-inch to a 4.7-inch LCD, and the continuation of the Touch ID home button.
So if you were expecting a return of the 4-inch form factor, you’re out of luck.
“We forecast that Apple will launch the more affordable iPhone SE2 in 1Q20,” Kuo wrote in the note. “For the most part, the form factor design and hardware spec are similar to iPhone 8’s. The most significant hardware spec upgrade will be the adoption of the A13 processor and 3GB LPDDR4X. iPhone SE2 will likely increase iPhone’s market share and benefit Apple’s promotions for service and content. We expect that the iPhone SE2 shipment will reach 30–40mn units in 2020.”
The A13 processor is the latest silicon used by Apple in the iPhone 11 line. If this part of the report turns out to be true, it means that the new iPhone SE 2 will be as fast as the iPhone 11.
But is speed what iPhone SE buyers want, or is it a low price? And without cool gizmos like the Face ID camera array, and the rear panel bulging with cameras, will it even need that sort of performance?
Apple continues to sell the iPhone 8, starting at $449, so where to place the iPhone SE 2 is a little hazy. Will it replace the iPhone 8 and have a buoyant price tag, or will it come to market at a more reasonable price?
Maybe, but the idea that this would retail starting at something like $299 is fading in my mind. It’s beginning to feel like a replacement for the iPhone 8 as opposed to a budget iPhone.
Thoughts? Is this the right track for Apple, or does the market need a proper budget iPhone?