Apple iPhone SE 2: Everything We Know So Far
In March 2016, Apple launched the iPhone SE along with Apple Watch Series 1 and the 9.7 inch iPad Pro. The iPhone SE was considered as the successor of the iPhone 5s and reverted to a 4 inch screen after Apple had moved on to bigger smartphones with the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Even two years since its launch, the iPhone SE continues to be a strong seller because of its update software, better hardware and a compact form factor. In the world of 6 inch phablets now being called smartphones, a powerful 4 inch smartphone is a great option.
The iPhone SE, at the time of its launch, was priced at Rs. 39000 in India which was much less than the introductory price of the older gen iPhones in India. In a price-sensitive market like India, the availability of an iOS device that did not compromise on hardware and also offered a compact flagship design helped Apple penetrate further into the Indian market. The Indian market had a certain section of society that thrived to buy a new iPhone while the rest of the population resorted to Android devices thanks to its wider availability and cheaper price tag.
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The iPhone SE allowed people to enter the Apple ecosystem. Not just in terms of sale, the iPhone SE was groundbreaking for Apple because it was the first (and so far the only) iPhone that was manufactured in India. This helped Apple keep the price of the iPhone SE much lower than its predecessors. Apple began manufacturing the iPhone SE in India in May of 2017 and since then the price of the iPhone SE has significantly lowered. Currently, the iPhone SE retails for Rs. 18499 for the 32GB storage variant.
Also Read: Apple iPhone SE 2: What To Expect?
The iPhone SE lineup was not refreshed in 2017 and instead, Apple launched three new iPhones later in the year in September. The iPhone X being the most significant of the three. Ever since the launch event in September, there have been rumours that the ‘SE’ lineup will see a new iteration in 2018. So far, we have seen conflicting reports about the design of the iPhone SE 2 while it is quite clear that the specifications will resemble that of the iPhone 7.
Soon after the September launch event hosted by Apple, there were rumours that the iPhone SE 2 would launch in March, just like the iPhone SE. However, the March 27th event focussed primarily on education and Apple launched a refreshed entry-level iPad. The next big Apple event is the World Wide Developer’s Conference that will commence on the 1st of June. Again, WWDC is not known for product launches as it focusses on software and app developers. The HomePod is the only notable unveiling that happened at WWDC 2017. It doesn’t seem likely that Apple would launch the iPhone SE 2 at WWDC 2018.
There have been reports that the iPhone SE 2 will be an India-exclusive device which means that the company could launch it a few months before the September launch event. However, there is no fixed date for the launch of the iPhone SE 2 so far.
This is probably the most straightforward aspect of the iPhone SE 2 we know of. Apple has followed a set naming pattern for its iPhone lineup so far and will, in all probability, continue to do so with the ‘SE’ lineup. The iPhone SE 2 will succeed the iPhone SE, hence, it would make sense for Apple to name its the “iPhone SE 2.”
The design of the iPhone SE 2 is where most of the contradictions appear. Soon after the iPhone X was launched, reports claimed that Apple will unify the design of all the future iPhones including the iPhone SE 2. If so, we could see a major design overhaul with the SE 2 and might be one of the best-looking budget smartphones in India. An iPhone X design would also mean the introduction of Face ID and the departure of the Home Button.
Apple would be able to fit in a larger display in the same compact form factor which would be appreciated by many. However, implementing Face ID will increase the cost of production which would, in turn, increase the final price of the smartphone. An increase in price would take away one of the most exciting factors of the iPhone SE 2, its affordability. Hence, it is fair to assume that Apple could retain the design of the original SE and just upgrade the specifications and cameras.
The size of the display of the iPhone SE 2 will largely depend on what design language Apple decides to follow. Recent reports suggest that the iPhone SE 2 will have a design very similar to the iPhone SE, which means the SE 2 will retain the 4 inch display. In such a case, we expect Apple to bump up the resolution a bit from iPhone SE’s 1136 x 640 px resolution.
With the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple also introduced the True Tone display technology for iPhones. With True Tone, the display adjusts to the environment, in theory, reproducing better colours. Apple is expected to do the same with the iPhone SE 2 to maintain some sort of commonality with its current line of iPhones.
Under The Hood
When the iPhone SE was launched in March 2016, it was powered by the Apple A9 chipset. This was the same chipset that also powered the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus which were launched in September 2015. If Apple follows the same pattern with the iPhone SE 2 could have the Apple A11 Bionic chipset that is also found on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and the iPhone X.
However, it is more likely that the SE 2 will have the Apple A10 Fusion chipset under the hood. This is the same chip that powers the new 9.7 inch iPad and the iPhone 7 lineup. Coupled with the A10 chip will be 2GB of RAM and a minimum of 32GB of storage. The iPhone SE 2 will also retain in other storage variants, possibly 64GB and 128GB.
With the iPhone SE, users got the same primary camera found on the iPhone 6s, which was launched a few months before the iPhone SE. This means that the iPhone SE 2 could have the same camera setup found on the iPhone 8. So far, there are no reports claiming that the iPhone SE 2 will have a dual-camera setup hence, we don’t expect the iPhone 8 Plus camera setup to make its way to the SE 2.
On the front, the iPhone SE 2 will have an improved version of the front-camera found on the iPhone SE. Even though the iPhone SE was launched two years ago, ist front camera still holds up pretty well. This means that the iPhone SE 2 is expected to have a good camera performance if and when it is launched.
The Apple iPhone SE 2 appears to be ready for a launch in 2018. It is yet to be confirmed whether Apple will launch the smartphone at a separate event or at one of it upcoming launch events. Irrespective of the date of launch, the iPhone SE 2 is highly anticipated all over the world. Especially in price-sensitive markets like India, to be able to buy an iOS device at an affordable price is a great prospect for consumers.