Skip iPhone 12? The cheap iPhone SE 2 may get Face ID and pretty big screen

The iPhone 8. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We’re expecting big things from Apple and the iPhone this year, thanks to many exciting rumors that have already leaked. However, a new piece of news related to a possible iPhone SE 2 has us puzzled, as it points to an iPhone with a very strange combination of components that doesn’t fit well with any existing rumors.

The information comes from Japanese site Mac Otakara, (via MacRumors), which says, according to conversations its reporters had with exhibitors at CES 2020, that Apple is working on an updated version of the iPhone 8 that uses Face ID, rather than Touch ID, and the A13 Bionic CPU. You can also expect a larger screen than the iPhone 8.

iPhone SE 2 screen size

This theorized handset will be the same size as the iPhone 8, but since the Face ID True Depth camera is smaller than the Touch ID sensor, the display will be 5.4 inches in size. The current iPhone 8 has a 4.7-inch screen.

The new iPhone SE 2 (or iPhone 9) also allegedly has a receiver of the same size as the one inside the iPhone 11 and iPhone XS, and a larger rear camera than the iPhone 8, accompanied by a LED True Tone flash module.

Since other rumors have said that the iPhone SE 2 will be based on the iPhone 8, although with modernized components such as the A13 Bionic chip, it’s a reasonable assumption to make that this set of specs could belong to a variation of the SE 2.

There’s already been a rumor about a second version of the iPhone SE 2, although that was about how there would be a small and large version of the SE 2, rather than internal differences. 

A low-end iPhone 12?

We also have rumors saying that the smallest version of the iPhone 12 will be a 5.4 inch model, sold alongside one (or possibly two) 6.1-inch models and a 6.7-inch model. This could mean this latest rumor is actually telling us how stripped down the basic version of the iPhone 12 will be, but it seems odd that Apple would sell something with an iPhone 12 badge that had a CPU from the previous year inside.

Whichever combination of rumors you choose to believe, it looks like we’ll be seeing more iPhone models launched in 2020 than ever before. You can keep up with this incoming deluge of Apple phones in our iPhone SE 2 rumors or iPhone 12 rumors pages, which we keep updated with the latest news, leaks and rumors.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.