Apple launched iPhone SE, the 4-inch iPhone in 2016, as an attempt to appease those holding onto their iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s models. However, the smartphone has turned out to be a runaway hit in an unexpected market: India.
In 2016, Apple called iPhone SE as a Special Edition smartphone and its executives indicated there might not be a successor. However, its success in India has probably forced the company to rethink and there are reports claiming that there will be an ‘iPhone SE2’ after all. Digitimes claims that the iPhone SE successor will arrive in the second quarter of 2018 and will sport a glass back similar to that of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
The prediction comes from Digitimes Research analyst Luke Lin, who cites upstream supply chain as the source for this information. Lin says the iPhone SE2 will have a glass back but will miss out on the new 3D depth sensing Face ID feature introduced with iPhone X last year. The smartphone is said to enter mass production in the second quarter and official launch is slated for May or June.
Lin, however, does not confirm whether the iPhone SE2 will have the same 4-inch display like the original SE. Lin’s prediction is inline with previous speculation which the SE will also have glass back and would ship in the first quarter.
Apple iPhone SE has been rumored since March of last year and an Indian tech website claimed in August that the 4-inch iPhone will switch to a more powered A10 Fusion chipset, have 2GB RAM and start with 32GB standard storage. It is also said to pack a larger 1,700mAh battery.
China’s Economic Daily News claimed in November that the phone will be assembled at Wistron’s manufacturing unit in Bengaluru. The iPhone SE is the only iPhone being assembled in the country, which has helped lower its cost a bit. Apple’s plan to launch a second-generation iPhone SE has also been predicted by TrendForce, which said the device will continue to target the mid-range segment dominated by Chinese smartphone makers.
Apple switching to glass back for iPhone SE could mean that the smartphone might support wireless charging but it is not clear whether the Cupertino-based plans to support the feature. The iPhone SE has not been refreshed for nearly two years and it got a minor bump in storage capacities to 32GB and 128GB last year.
There is still a market for the 4-inch iPhone especially those who don’t like carrying giant smartphones. However, its biggest success will be among those who want an iPhone but can’t afford the latest iPhone which cost north of Rs 50,000.