Have Plans For The iPhone SE 2 Been Scrapped?

Why the Apple iPhone SE may not be replaced in the near future; rumours and counter rumours including possibility of new version with same design as iPhone X.

Apple’s ‘budget’ smartphone may not get a refresh unlike the rest of the range

It was widely expected that Apple would give its compact iPhone SE a significant refresh this year – possibly ahead of the launch of the next generation ‘main’ iPhone range slated for September 2018. More recent reports contradict this, however, and hint that Apple may leave the two-plus year old phone as it is for the foreseeable future.

What to believe?

The iPhone SE rumours

Since the SE has been on the market since March 2016 and is based on a body design dating back to the iPhone 4, a refresh or even full redesign seemed very much on the cards sooner rather than later.

Two predictions surfaced:

  • An all-new body design based on the current iPhone X to align with the likelihood that all iPhones will feature the X body style when the range is fully revised later in 2018
  • A similar body design to the present handset but with updated tech along the lines of existing models such as the 7 or 8 (the present SE features basically the internals of the 6S from 2016)

Possible ‘fade out’ of the SE altogether

Another theory was the possible natural ‘fade out’ of the SE as a phone model by leaving it unchanged before deleting it from the range at some stage. This is less likely as the SE is popular for one or both of the following reasons:

  • Its 4 inch screen makes for a compact body so appealing to those who prefer a smaller phone and don’t require a larger screen
  • The price point makes it more affordable compared to models further up the iPhone range – it starts at £349.00 so making it £200 cheaper than a 7 and half the price of an 8

On the question of price, while the SE gives users a ‘cheaper’ way into iPhone ownership, those who would like larger screens but find the buying new costs of Apple’s smartphone – especially the ‘Plus’ versions – prohibitive could take the refurbished iPhone 6 Plus route and save significantly.

Why might Apple not replace the SE?

It seems odd if Apple aren’t planning a refresh of the SE in view of how long it’s been on the market – bearing in mind the screen tech and body dates back even further.

The source of the rumour that there may not be a new SE is an accessory manufacturer, Olixar, who make cases for smartphones; they say they’ve had no word of a new SE model.

It makes sense that accessory makers would be in a good position to make predictions based on sound intelligence regarding forthcoming smartphone releases. They’re likely to get accurate industry information so equipment such as cases, chargers and the like can be designed and brought to the market in time for a new phone’s launch.

There again, the same company not so long ago thought a new SE was in the pipeline.

Other reliable sources such as industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks it more likely that Apple may not launch a new SE just yet simply because the company has enough on its plate with a fully redesigned iPhone range in the offing.

…But then again

Another theory is that, if the new SE (or whatever Apple may decide to rename it) does follow the slim bezel design of the iPhone X and the next generation of handsets, the company wouldn’t be keen to release it ahead of the rest of the range since it could steal their thunder.

It’s possible the entire range of iPhones, including a replacement for the SE, could be launched in one fell swoop in the autumn of 2018.

Replacing the current SE with a design based on the iPhone X body would be a canny move in that, while it could be the same compact size of the present model, it would effectively have a larger screen thanks to the very slim bezel design.