Despite being the more ‘midrange’ iPhone at the time and lacking powerful hardware, the SE ranked highest in smartphone customer satisfaction. Two years later, and with no appearance at Apple’s March event in Chicago, the phone is overdue for an update.
An EEC regulatory filing from Apple in April gives hope that an iPhone SE 2 may be coming down the pipeline eventually. The original model debuted in Spring, and Apple announced a refresh in March 2017 with better storage options (from 16 and 64GB to 32 and 128GB). That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising if it popped up sometime between now and Spring of next year. Who knows, we may even hear about the iPhone SE 2 during Apple’s anticipated September iPhone 2018 announcements.
Because the company has kept mum about a possible sequel, the rumor mill is tossing around some speculation. Below are some of the most appealing rumors that are circulating so far. This is an ongoing roundup, so check back often as we update this piece when new stories pop up.
The iPhone SE 2 might be an updated iPhone 7
As first reported by 9to5Mac, a reference to three ‘iPhone xx’ phones may hint at an updated iPhone SE. Three items under Apple’s XCode development app list these unnamed ‘xx’ iPhones, one of which includes an A10 processor, no FaceID feature and (unlike what other rumors below have speculated) no notch. Because the A10 processor was used in 2016’s iPhone 7, these lower-tiered specs could point toward an updated iPhone SE 2.
Apple likely won’t change the iPhone SE 2… much
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a memo that Apple will likely not revamp the iPhone SE too much with a new model, since it’ll be so busy unveiling three different iPhone X-style phones and will probably not have ‘enough spare resources.’
If true, that means the updated phone would simply get a ‘specs upgrade’ — probably adding the better camera (with optical image stabilization and quad-tone flash) and A11 Fusion CPU found on the iPhone 8, in place of the 2015-era A9 chip that debuted on the iPhone 6S.
At the same entry-level price, don’t expect either 3D Touch or wireless charging to be added, though.
…But it might not have a headphone jack either
Following the footsteps of the iPhone 7 and the models after it, the iPhone SE 2 is rumored to ditch the headphone jack. This info comes from the Japanese news site Macotakara, which quoted case makers at a phone show who reportedly saw the phone. According to them, the SE 2 looks similar to the original, except for the fact that it has no headphone jack. Bummer.
It might actually be the iPhone X SE with a notch
Apple is purportedly working on three different iPhone X-style phones, one of which is said to be a fancy, spruced up iPhone X SE, according to Macotakara. In other words, imagine a home-button-lacking phone with an iPhone 8-sized 4.7-inch screen squeezed into the current SE-sized body.
Whether or not this is the same iPhone SE 2 everyone is already speculating about is unclear. Apple could be launching two separate iPhone SE phones, one with a classic iPhone design and another that looks similar to the current iPhone X. Accessory maker, Olixar, reportedly shared schematics from ‘Chinese factory sources’ with 9toMac and said ‘it believes the new iPhone SE will resemble an iPhone X with slim bezels and a notch cutout.’
It’s also possible Apple could be intentionally confusing everyone and the iPhone X SE and SE 2 are the same phone. But we’d call this one a long shot — at least at the entry-level price range.