Apple’s iPhone 11 range is phenomenal, but there are still some of us clinging to the dream of a small-screen iPhone. The iPhone SE scratched that itch for Apple fans when it was released back in 2016, but after a 2017 storage boost, Apple seemed to forget about it. Or has it?
Apple is rumored to launch the new low-cost iPhone very soon, although we may see a departure from the original iPhone 5-esque look, with a slightly larger 4.7in display and an iPhone 8-esque design philosophy rumored for the second-gen model. And although many rumors suggested it’d be re branded as the iPhone 9, a leak from Apple’s own site suggests that it’ll stick with the original branding.
It’s also possible that the launch of the iPhone SE 2 could be delayed due to the corona virus outbreak, but we’ve got that all covered right here, along with the latest release date, price and feature rumors.
When will the iPhone SE 2 be released?
Apple tends to keep to a rather rigid release schedule across its iPhone, iPad and Mac ranges, making release windows a little easier to predict, and it looks to be the case with the iPhone SE 2 – if rumors are to be believed, anyway.
The main source behind the rumors of an early 2020 iPhone launch comes from the one and only Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with an impeccable track record when it comes to Apple product rumors. In an October 2019 note to investors, Kuo claimed that Apple will “launch the more affordable iPhone SE2 in Q12020” and has since further narrowed the window to March 2020.
This was backed up by a January 2020 report from Bloomberg, citing sources “familiar with the plan” that claim Apple was due to begin assembly on a new low-cost iPhone in February 2020. There’s also a DigiTimes report citing “industry sources” that claims the phone has entered its “final stage of engineering validation” in China, and a German iPhone news site suggests that it’ll be revealed on 31 March before going on sale a few days later, on 3 April.
So, that’s pretty much confirmed then, right? Wrong.
While it appears a March 2020 release may have been on the cards, there’s one element that Apple hadn’t planned for: the Corona virus outbreak. There has been no official word from Apple regarding the effects of the virus on its 10,000-strong Chinese workforce – and the several million workers at related third-party manufacturers – but a Bloomberg report claims the virus could delay the launch of the new budget-friendly iPhone.
The article features an interview with analyst Patrick Moor head, stating “I can’t imagine a scenario where the supply chain isn’t disrupted. If there’s one major hiccup in the raw materials, fabrication, assembly, test, and shipping, it will be a disruption”.
This ties with a more recent prediction from Ming-Chi Kuo, who now claims that the new iPhone – along with a new iPad Pro, Mac Book and wireless charging mat – are delayed as a result of the outbreak.
The new Mac Book and iPad Pro have been released since Kuo made the above statement, making his claim rather redundant, and rum-ours again suggest it’ll be launched sometime in the near future – possibly on 15 April, if Jon Prosser is to be
So, despite the COVID-19 crisis, it seems the iPhone SE 2 might be with us very soon. If you don’t want to wait, we recommend taking a look at our selection of the best smartphones right now.
How much will the iPhone SE 2 cost?
The original iPhone SE was billed as Apple’s budget-friendly option, available for £379/$399 at launch in 2016, and it’s likely that Apple will continue that trend with the second-gen smartphone.
While there were originally whispers of a $450 price tag when it came to the entry-level iPhone, more recent rumours from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest it’ll be even cheaper. In an October 2019 note, Kuo claimed that the upcoming iPhone is set to launch at $399, which probably converts to £399 in the UK given how Apple prices its products worldwide.
This cheap price point was reiterated in a second note months later, suggesting that the rumoured price is indeed what Apple has settled on. Whatever Apple decides, it’ll almost certainly be much cheaper than the £799/$799 iPhone 11.
What’s new with the iPhone SE 2?
Here’s where things get interesting: current rumours are split, with some detailing a smartphone with a similar design to the iPhone 8 and others claiming it’ll be more like an iPhone X Mini, complete with Face ID support and a dual-camera setup on the rear. But which is more likely?
In our opinion, it’s more likely that we’ll see something that looks like the iPhone 8, and that’s aligned with a recent render leak from @On Leaks, a leaker with a great track record not only with Apple but smartphone releases in general.