When the iPhone SE disappeared from the sales floor last fall to make room for the iPhone XR, it looked like Apple’s popular compact phone would probably not be having any more successors. But now, we’ve been seeing new photos of a possible iPhone SE 2 that show the potential of a redesigned version of the low-budget iPhone. The main difference from its predecessor? The new model will probably have a glass back. The recent sell-out of the “classic” iPhone SE in the US is moreover fueling speculation that the SE 2 is about to launch.
What we thought was dead lives on
When Apple quietly removed the iPhone SE from the Apple Store after the last iPhone keynote in September 2018, a lot of tech fans were worried that a successor to the popular compact cell phone would forever be out of the picture.
But now, it looks like the tide could turn. In recent weeks, the iPhone SE surprised us with two brief revivals in the US Apple Store, where it was going for far below its original list price. At the moment, it’s listed as being sold out. Could it be that Apple’s goal behind the sell-out of the SE is to make room for the next model? The demand for a compact iPhone is definitely there.
The new photos show the proportions of the potential iPhone SE 2 as corresponding to those of its precursor. But since the design of the SE is based on the 2012 iPhone 5, a screen-to-body ratio of 60.8% would look outdated in this era of full-screen devices. Because of that, the SE 2’s updated display – presumably a Liquid Retina – extends to the corners of the device, increasing the display diagonal from 4 to 4.7 inches.
With the iPhone X, Apple took the leap from “Touch ID” to “Face ID” and backed up its claim once more with last year’s iPhone XR and iPad Pro. It follows, then, that the iPhone SE 2’s design should omit the home button.
It would be a shame, though, if Apple were in fact to no longer use aluminum for the back of the iPhone SE 2. As a material, it felt great in your hand, and as already apparent from an unofficial video released in 2018, the current images show the SE 2 with a glass back, which means that you’d be able to charge the device wirelessly. Apple had already taken the step of replacing the aluminum back with glass when it made the leap from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 8, and at that time, too, the device’s dimensions remained virtually unchanged.
“Little Brother” of the iPhone XS
With the iPhone XR being cheaper than the XS for now, it boasts strong sales figures at the moment, which means that shoppers clearly appreciate an inexpensive iPhone and that a new iPhone SE could develop into the “little brother” of the iPhone XS. It would also help if the two models were visually similar. We can assume that the similarity would result from the use of the notch design for the SE 2. The notch – i.e., the small recess for the front camera at the top edge of the display – is familiar from the XS, among other models.
Apart from that, we can be pretty sure that, in terms of price as well, the SE 2 will be positioned in the entry-level category, with a main camera featuring only one lens (like the iPhone XR), no 3D touch function, and no True Tone display.
By contrast, the SE 2 has the following positive points:
– it fits into your pants pocket
– it’s light and compact
– the low price allows you an affordable means of entry into Apple’s iOS ecosystem.
The iPhone SE 2: Best cell phone for Pokémon Go?
And who’s the target group? The current iPhone SE may be almost three years old, but it still has a strong fan base that includes minimalists. The smartphone’s design is simple in both form and function, and compared with today’s gigantic cell phones, a device like the iPhone SE fits beautifully in your hand, making it especially easy to use.
There’s a good reason why the previous iPhone SE was extremely popular with the “Pokémon Go” scene: Pokémon trainers could operate two phones at once, allowing them to function more efficiently when farming pocket monsters.
When will the iPhone SE 2 arrive?
Spring of 2019 would be a perfect time to launch a redesigned iPhone SE, since a lot of Pokémon Go trainers will undoubtedly emerge from their holes at that time of year. That would also be a good time for Apple to introduce its AirPower charging mat to enable wireless charging for the glass iPhone SE 2.