If you prefer your iPhone to be on the smaller and cheaper side, then you may be pleased to hear that rumours are pointing to a new iPhone SE (or at least a new, cheaper version of the iPhone) launching in 2018.
Want to know more? Well this is our iPhone SE 2 release date rumours article, in which we collect and analyse the clues, hints and evidence pointing to the date when Apple will launch a follow-up to 2016’s iPhone SE, as well as the iPhone SE 2’s tech specs, design, new features and UK pricing – so you’ve come to the right place!
This page will be updated whenever new information emerges relating to the launch of an updated iPhone SE, so check back regularly for the latest iPhone SE 2 rumours. For buying advice related to the current range, take a look at our roundup of the best iPhone SE deals as well as our iPhone buying guide.
iPhone SE 2 release date
The original iPhone SE was announced in March 2016, but it didn’t get a significant update in 2017. (It just got a bump in storage to 32- and 128GB.) Instead, it’s looking like the iPhone SE will get an update in spring 2018, with March looking like the most likely date.
A FocusTaiwan report in August suggested that the new iPhone SE will launch in the first quarter of 2018. Sources claim this new iPhone will be manufactured in India by Wistron, the company that puts together the current iPhone SE.
The prediction was backed up by a report by the Taiwanese market research company TrendForce, which also believes the iPhone SE 2 is coming in 2018 (although the firm is less confident, specifying only the first half), and being assembled by Wistron in India.
Will the iPhone SE be discontinued?
However, this is all assuming the iPhone SE will get an update at all! China’s Huaquang Research analyst Pan Juitang has suggested that there won’t be a new iPhone SE at all.
He wrote in July that Apple won’t ever update the 4in handset. Juitang claimed that there isn’t enough demand for smaller devices as many consumers opt for larger displays for watching movies, playing games and browsing the web, and that the vast majority are accustomed to 5in (or bigger!) displays.
Even if the SE is updated, it may not launch where you live. Some reports suggest that the new SE handset might not be available everywhere.
According to the Economic Daily, a Chinese-language site, Apple is working on a low-end iPhone codenamed Hangzhou. This low-end, lower-priced model will apparently be launched in an attempt to “seize the low-end market” in China and India.
That report suggests that this low-end model could launch in the second half of 2018.
Another report claims that the SE2 will launch in India prior to launching in other territories. This sounds dubious to us, although it might fit with Apple’s plans to offer a cheaper handset to certain territories (normally Apple does this by offering an older version of the iPhone to certain countries).
iPhone SE 2 price
The iPhone SE is currently available in 32GB and 128GB versions. In the UK the 32GB model costs £379; the 128GB model costs £479. (For comparison, in the US the iPhone SE the phone costs $399 for the 32GB model and it’s $449 for 129GB.)
We expect that the iPhone SE 2 will be similarly priced when it launches.
iPhone SE 2 design
While the iPhone SE looks similar to the iPhone 5S, there is an expectation that the iPhone SE 2 will look more like the iPhone 8, although it is expected to have smaller dimensions.
One thing that is likely to change is the colour options. The iPhone SE is currently available in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold options. The iPhone SE 2 is likely to be available in Silver, Gold, and Space Grey – like the iPhone 8. The Rose Gold and Gold version have kind of merged in the iPhone 8 and it is likely that the new iPhone SE will also offer this new more brassy Gold colour option rather than two gold options.
It may also feature a glass back – allowing for wireless charging, a feature introduced with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
There are also theories that the iPhone SE 2 could have an all screen design, like the iPhone X. However, while this is something that could appear in the future, we think it will be some time before the home-button-free design makes its way down to the entry-level iPhone.
That hasn’t stopped one illustrator imagining what it could look like. In the YouTube video below you can see what the iPhone SE2 might look like if Apple was to give it an iPhone X-like redesign.
Here’s a idea of what we could expect from Concept Creator.
iPhone SE 2 dimensions
Currently the iPhone SE has a 4in screen (that’s 4 inches measured diagonally). The handset itself measures 123.8mm by 58.6mm and it’s 7.6mm thick. It weighs 113 grams.
The new iPhone SE dimensions may slim down further. For example, the phone might be as thin as the iPhone 8 at 7.3mm. If Apple was to ditch the iPhone 5S-esk design for the iPhone SE, in favour of mimicking the iPhone 8 design, this could be feasible.
The new iPhone SE could even mimic the iPhone X design, as the YouTube video above suggests. If it was to include a bezel-free display like the iPhone X, the handset itself could be a lot smaller.
We could eventually see an iPhone SE that has similar dimensions to the iPhone 3G, which was 115.5mm tall. However, we don’t expect to see a model like that until the autumn of 2018, or even later.
It’s also possible that the new iPhone SE – or entry-level iPhone – won’t be a smaller handset at all. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on a low-cost version of the iPhone that will feature an LCD-TFT screen, fewer pixels, and will cost between $649 and $749. This iPhone screen will measure 6.1in diagonally so the new handset could be even larger than the iPhone 8 is.
iPhone SE 2 screen
As per KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s theory, Apple could introduce a 6.1in LCD-TFT screen on its new low-cost iPhone, while the other iPhones will feature OLED screens like the iPhone X does now. Shown below.
There has also been a suggestion that the iPhone SE could have a 4.2in screen rather than the current 4in. The extra .2in being made possible by reducing the size of the bezels. Although unlike the iPhone X, which has a screen that stretches to the base of the phone – and thus no Home Button (read about the iPhone X here) – the Home Button is expected to remain on the iPhone SE 2.
iPhone SE 2 specs
According to a Tekz24 report (on which the FocusTiawan report mentioned above was based), the new iPhone SE 2 will offer an A10 Fusion chip (as seen in the iPhone 7). It currently offers an A9 chip, as used in the iPhone 6S.
In addition we could see a 7MP FaceTime camera with Retina Flash replace the 5MP FaceTime camera in the current model.
Other than that, it is likely to keep many of the features of the current iPhone SE, such as:
- 12MP camera: The current SE offers 12-megapixels with an ƒ/2.2 aperture.The iPhone 8 has an ƒ/1.8 aperture.
- No bump: One key difference between the iPhone SE and 8 is the lack of camera bump on the bigger model. Hopefully the new iPhone SE camera on the back of the iPhone will also be flat.
- 2GB RAM: The iPhone SE already offers 2GB RAM and it’s unlikely that we’d see any more than that.
- 32GB or 128GB storage options.
The battery will also have a slightly raised rating from 1640mAh to 1700mAh.