Could X mark the spot for the next iPhone SE? An iPhone case maker suggets that it will, producing renders of a compact iPhone that draws on the iPhone X for inspiration, right down to its notched display.
The renders, appearing on the site of UK accessories retailer Mobile Fun, come from Olixar, a company that seems to produce as many iPhone rumors as it does cases. Olixar's FlexiShield Gel case is an iPhone SE-sized accessory that fits a phone with the iPhone X's edge-to-edge screen and the SE's blockier body. Mobile Fun and Olixar are already taking pre-orders on the case — ambitious considering that Apple hasn't even confirmed that it's updating the iPhone SE at this point.
A report on Forbes digs a little deeper into the rumor, claiming that CAD designs indicate this rumored phone would be just a little bit smaller than the current iPhone SE at 4.8 x 2.2 inches. Since the lack of bezels would allow Apple to squeeze more screen space into that design, the report speculates we're looking at a 5 inches of screen real estates. The current SE offers a mere 4 inches of display.
There's more: the report claims this X-inspired iPhone SE would have a glass back to allow for wireless charging and would drop the headphone jack. (That last tidbit is at least consistent with previous iPhone SE rumors.)
But the rumored redesign seems shaky at best and not just because it's sourced to an accessories maker that has plenty of incentive to grab the attention of iPhone fans. The iPhone SE exists primarily as a way to attract phone buyers who want a phone that's both compact and inexpensive (or at least inexpensive relative to other iPhones). It's unclear how an overhauled phone that mimics the look of Apple's most expensive model would meet that latter goal.
Then there's the whole notch, which exists on the iPhone X to house the cameras and sensors to power that phone's Face ID features. Could Apple have figured out a way to slim down those components to fit comfortably on an iPhone SE-sized device? Possibly, but that's an awful lot of shrinkage to occur just a few months after the iPhone X's debut.
Rumors about a successor to the iPhone SE have been all over the yard as of late. First, Apple was going to continue to overlook a phone it hasn't updated since 2016 so that it could concentrate on other phones for its fall updates. Then, regulatory filings suggested an iPhone SE release was imminent, possibly as soon as this month. A more recent rumor claimed Apple hadn't even settled on a design for the SE yet, though that same rumor suggested Apple was working on a 6-inch version of the phone. (When is an iPhone SE no longer an SE? When it's biggeer than 5 inches.)
Considering that reports of three iPhones arriving this fall in a variety of sizes seem to be popping up consistently, it's probably safer to put stock in those reports than a single source claiming a radical new look for the iPhone SE. At any rate, hold off on buying that new SE case just yet until reports of Apple's future compact phone start to get a little more nailed down.