Last year’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 many rumors indicating that the upcoming iPhone 8 will be a rather large jump forward in design, 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-toting follow-up sometime this year.
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 September with iPhone 8
- How much will it cost? Likely to arrive in $399 (£379, AU$679) and $499 (£479, AU$779) models
iPhone SE 2 release date and price
With WWDC 2017 now out of the way, and no sign of the new iPhone SE, the iPhone SE 2 release date now looks most likely to happen around September.
Why? The 10-year anniversary iPhone event coming later in the year will likely focus on the future of Apple’s mobile line, but Apple's also known for sliding out smaller products as these types of events as well.
That said, a dubious rumor from a French tech site suggests the iPhone SE 2 may launch in August instead. The report suggests the phone will come earlier than the expected September announced for the iPhone 8/iPhone 7S.
In terms of pricing, the SE 2 is likely to remain Apple’s most affordable iPhone moving forward. The current model is available in the 32GB flavor for $399 and 128GB for $499.
Given that Apple has eliminated the 64GB option from its entire iPhone lineup, the prices and storage spec will probably stay the same.
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 8, 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 is most similar to the Jet Black finish of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
It’s very possible that Apple will opt for a more premium look this time around in an attempt to better align its budget model with its higher-end lineup of core iPhone devices.
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, like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6.
The only way that you’ll beat this phone in the battery department is if you snag an iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 6S Plus. 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.
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 the 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.