October 14, 2019
Apple will resurrect the cut-price iPhone SE early next year, according to a noted analyst.
That's right, Apple will apparently launch a genuinely budget iPhone in the first half of next year. This will be the first time since the original SE — which proved to be one of Apple's most popular iPhones — that there will be a new iPhone available for less than $500.
So, what do we know about this new budget iPhone, and when will we likely see it in 2020?
More on this: iPhone 12 Rumors Round-up
iPhone SE 2 – What You Need to Know
All the information about the SE comes from reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, via AppleInsider, so we're fairly sure it's trustworthy.
For context, the original SE proved to be a genuine sales hit. Apple gave customers the option to buy a new iPhone with a smaller form factor, but filled with the latest processor. This made it faster than its $399 would normally have warranted. The original SE also retained the smaller 4-inch screen from the iPhone 5, after Apple introduced the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Ah, 2016 was such a simpler time…
Essentially, the new SE 2 would be, according to Kuo, a rehash of this successful formula. The SE 2 will likely get the A13 processor from the latest iPhone 11 lineup, while retaining the design from the iPhone 8.
The SE 2 will apparently have two storage options: 64GB or 128GB. It will come with a fairly modest 3GB of RAM. Prospective buyers would also have three finishes to choose from – Space Gray, Silver, and Red.
Sadly, it's pretty unlikely that there'll be room for a headphone jack, given that the SE 2 will reuse the iPhone 8's design.
iPhone SE 2 Rivals
With pricing rumored to start at around $399, the SE 2 would be a distinctly mid-range device from Apple — a niche that the company really hasn't called its own.
It's a competitive end of the market for plenty of other brands, however. So, what will the iPhone SE 2 be up against?
Google Pixel 3a
For one, it'll go head-to-head with the best mid-range phone on the market — Google's cut-price Pixel.
Also costing $399, the Pixel 3a takes everything great about Google's phones and slashes the price in half. You get one of the best phone cameras on the market (at any price) and a delightfully simple and intuitive version of Android. You also get a 1080p display — something you almost certainly won't get on the iPhone SE 2.
However, the iPhone would undoubtedly be the faster phone of the two. If it uses the processor from this year's iPhone 11 lineup, it will have some serious power under the hood, even with the relatively small 3GB of RAM that Kuo has predicted.
Motorola One Vision
This phone may seem like a slightly left-field alternative to an iPhone, but it's one that we're quite fond of here at Tech.co. Prices on the Motorola One Vision start from $350. For that, you get a tall phone with a 21:9 aspect ratio, and a screen display with a crisp 1080p resolution.
The cameras are great, too. Photos are well lit and have great contrast between colors.
However, we think the iPhone SE 2 will likely beat the One Vision when it comes to build quality and performance.
Check out our full Motorola One Vision review for more on this great budget phone
Perhaps then, the smart money would be to buy a great phone that's a little older? If we were a prospective SE 2 buyer, we'd definitely take a look at the OnePlus 7.
It's a bit more expensive with prices around $430, but that price will continue to drop as we head into 2020.
The OnePlus 7 is known for its flagship-esque performance and features — similar to the rumored SE 2. However, we reckon the OnePlus phone will likely be just as fast as the SE 2 as well as having great front and rear cameras. Probably the biggest advantage the OnePlus has over the rumored iPhone, though, would be the bigger and sharper screen.
For more, see our expert review of the OnePlus 7 phone
Whatever happens, this will be decidedly uncharted territory for Apple. We'll definitely be keeping a keen eye on any SE 2 developments.
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