All you iPhone SE fans could soon be facing a critical question about your favorite Apple phone. Was it the compact 4-inch screen size that drew you to the iPhone SE? Or was it the phone's $400 price tag?
That issue could come to a head as soon as early next year, when Apple will reportedly release a successor to the much loved iPhone SE. But according to a new rumor, this version would feature a slightly larger screen while potentially coming in at the same price that Apple introduced the iPhone SE at in 2016.
The latest word on Apple's iPhone SE plans comes from analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, who's built a reputation for figuring out what Apple has coming down its product pipeline. In his new report, found at 9to5Mac, Kuo says to expect the iPhone SE 2 at some point during the first three months of 2020.
This would not be your classic iPhone SE, though. According to Kuo's report, Apple would instead adopt the design of the iPhone 8. That means a 4.7-inch screen surrounded by bezels on the top and bottom of the display. iPhone SE fans are familiar with that latter design approach, but the larger screen size may take some getting used to.
What's reportedly inside the larger iPhone SE may ease concerns about a slightly bigger phone. Kuo says that the iPhone SE 2 would run on Apple's A13 Bionic processor — the same chipset you'll inside the new iPhone 11 lineup.
That would be consistent with how Apple approached the original iPhone SE. That device appropriated the iPhone 5's design, while turning to then-current A9 chip as its processor. Apple cut corners in other areas with the original SE, going with older cameras. Kuo doesn't say if that will be the case this time, but it seems like a safe bet.
Kuo's report doesn't say how much Apple would charge for a midrange iPhone, but there's plenty of speculation that the price would be around the same $399 mark where the original iPhone SE debuted. (Apple eventually cut the starting price to $349.) For what it's worth, the cheapest iPhone currently available at Apple is the aforementioned iPhone 8, which you can get for $449.
Rumors of an iPhone SE 2 have been percolating for years, as the compact smartphone still has a devoted following among users who haven't really gotten behind the iPhone's move toward larger displays. Kuo's report mirrors a lot of what Nikkei claimed in a report last month, including the device's 4.7-inch screen size and the presence of an A13 processor. In fact, rumors of a larger iPhone SE date date back to last spring, with that report promising a March 2020 ship date for the new model. But a report backed by someone with Kuo's reputation makes an iPhone SE 2 seem all the more likely.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.