Report: iPhone SE 2 to Arrive in Q1 2020 with $400 Starting Price

Posted on October 14, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile, iOS with 29 Comments


A reliable Apple leaker claims that the firm will release the long-awaited iPhone SE 2 in early 2020 with a $400 starting price. That’s the same price as the original iPhone SE, from 2016, though Apple later lowered its starting price to $350. 

News of the pending launch comes via TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose latest report was leaked to Apple-friendly publications like 9to5MacMacRumors, and others.  

According to these publications, the iPhone SE 2, as Kuo calls it, will visually resemble the iPhone 8, but will include more modern innards. It will be powered by the same Apple A13 series chip used in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro series, but with 3 GB of RAM, 1 GB less than the iPhone 11s. It will be offered in both 64 GB and 128 GB variants, and in Space Gray, Silver, and Red colors. Not sure why this even needs to be mentioned, but like the iPhone 11 series, the iPhone SE 2 will not support 3D Touch. 

Apparently, the pricing is designed to entice iPhone 6 holdouts, since those users cannot upgrade to the recently released—and endlessly patched—iOS 13, which will presumably be stable by that time. It will offer an interesting counter to, or perhaps even replace, the iPhone 8, which now starts at $450. 

Apple released the original iPhone SE, which reused the classic iPhone 4-5S-era iPhone design, in the wake of the release of the blander and bigger iPhone 6 series. At the time, many potential iPhone upgraders were looking for a smaller device that matched the iPhone 5S form factor. It doing similarly now with the iPhone 6 design thus makes some sense, since we’ve had three years of iPhone X-style designs, and not all iPhone users are fans. 

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Report: iPhone SE 2 to Arrive in Q1 2020 with $400 Starting Price”

  1. proesterchen

    At that price, the SE2 seems like an absolute no-brainer based on performance and software support alone.

    • qlstudent

      In reply to proesterchen:

      Which makes me wonder: why can't an iPod Touch exist with the same processor as an iPhone 11 but without the cameras for $199?

      • SvenJ

        In reply to qlstudent: You think there is a big enough market for a small 'media player' to make it worth producing? I imagine Apple doesn't think so.

        • RobertJasiek

          In reply to SvenJ:

          I occasionally see this "big enough market" reasoning but it can't be correct. Apple products sell in millions. Even if some product would only sell one million, it would generate income. However, this is not how Apple thinks. Rather Apple artificially restricts its product variety to emphasise its actually offered products as "to be most desirable". So far this strategy has worked well financially and Apple has only limited understanding for those endconsumers thrown to the (Android) street because they are not offered suitable Apple products any longer.

          For iPads, Apple has changed its strategy a few years ago and now offers some variety of iPads. For iPhones, Apple still emphasises its strategy. Endconsumers wishing flagships without notch and with audio jack? Thrown to the street! Endconsumers wishing a 4" smartphone with audio jack? Probably being thrown to the street!

    • truerock2

      In reply to proesterchen:

      Perhaps there is a market for iPads smaller and cheaper than an iPad Mini - perhaps a 4-inch iPad

  2. Pbike908

    Wow, throw Ina headphone jack and I may go back to IOS.

    • Thomas Parkison

      In reply to Pbike908:

      Get over it man, the headphone jack isn't going to come back especially since many of the Android OEMs are also cutting out the headphone jack.

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to trparky:

        Uh, I do not discard my (lowly priced but) excellent headphone just because smartphone manufacturers discard the audio jack! I rather use tablet or PC even if the last smartphone should discard it!

        I also do not replace my excellent full-sized headphone with tiny (and typically hopelessly overpriced) ear accessories. Headphones work the best and are convenient if they surround the ears.

        Bluetooth still needs to prove its audio reliability and then there would have to be the same full-sized headphones with bluetooth as with cable. Not to mention the impact of bluetooth on battery life of the smartphone.

        I do not let dictate my life by wrong decisions of smartphone manufacturers!

  3. techsecrets

    The last small smartphone vanishes. Apple should be ashamed.

  4. docpaul

    Lately I've been tempted to move from Android to iPhone except for one major sticking point. Why on earth is there still no app drawer? How is it, that a company that prides itself on clean design requires that your 100+ apps must all be cluttered onto endless homescreens or shoved into arbitrary homescreen folders?

    This design was fine 12 years ago when, even before folders, a typical iPhone had 3 - 5 screens worth of apps. It doesn't work anymore.

    My wife loves her iPhone and I am jealous of some of what it offers. But my OCD has me constantly trying to keep it tidy looking for her. And it's an impossible task!

    I think to be comfortable with iOS you must be comfortable in chaos, and that's just not me.

    If I could have Microsoft Launcher on iPhone, I would be in the Apple store tomorrow.

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to DocPaul:

      I used Windows Phones and Android phones for several years and had the same complaint when I moved to an iPhone. Honestly it took a few weeks and I no longer cared about it. My most used apps are on the front page of my home screen. For everything else I just pull down on the home screen, where I often find the app I want already shown in Siri Suggestions; and if it is not there I type in one or two letters in the search bar to bring it up.

      I really liked the Windows Phone all apps screen and alphabetical jump list. When I moved to Android I hated the app drawer underneath the home screen. I also missed live tiles terribly. Guess what? Within a few months it didn't matter anymore. Ditto for some of the specific WP apps that I loved. After a while whatever you are using becomes the new normal.

      If you're interested in iPhone this is a great time to make the jump. Try it for a few months and if you don't like it you can always sell your device on Swappa or some other marketplace (iPhones tend to hold their value) and go back to Android.

      p.s. My wife seems to have her apps arranged at random on her phone. She doesn't even have a full first page, or have her most used apps in the dock. I have no idea how she does it!

  5. SvenJ

    "the recently released—and endlessly patched—iOS 13". Oh like that isn't the norm for all OSs these days, mobile or desktop.

  6. basic sandbox

    I appreciate this. Privacy and security can now be available to more folks.

    • miamimauler

      In reply to basic sandbox:

      Privacy and Security?

      It's all over the net that Safari on iOS sends your data and ip address to China. I don't know if it's true but I imagine the shit will hit the fan if it is.

      • Chris Payne

        In reply to miamimauler:

        Apple uses Tencent in China for Safari's malicious website check, because Tencent maintains a list of chinese sites and Google - which Safari uses everywhere else in the world for this purpose - is blocked in China.

        So much ado about nothing.

  7. glenn8878

    If SE2 is the same size as iPhone 8 and not smaller, then it might be a good buy. I wish they'll offer the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus.

  8. amosclan

    Still rocking my SE. iOS 13 works fine on it. A salesman asked me if I was ready to upgrade to the 11 and I showed him my SE and he started laughing and called over his co-workers to see it. =) But I don't live off my phone, I love the size, it's a durable little brick, and it doesn't have a notch. A bit disappointed that the new one is going to be bigger, not sure it will deserve the SE moniker.

  9. RobertJasiek

    If indeed it visually resembles iPhone 8, then it is NOT a successor of iPhone SE so should not be called SE 2. Instead, there ought to be TWO new phones: a successor of iPhone SE and a successor of iPhone 8. Hardwarewise I would be interested in the former (presuming enough LTE bands) but not the latter. Softwarewise, to start with, Apple needs to first create and then establish trust to release iOS updates that do not harm battery life, something Apple has failed to do for the SE, which therefore is not even worth buying used.

    The last small smartphone vanishes. Apple should be ashamed.

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      You are free to be upset with Apple for joining every other smartphone maker in moving exclusively to >4.5" phones, but you should not presume to define what is-- or is not-- an SE 2. The concept of the SE is to offer updated internals in the prior design/form factor, at a reduced cost. That is exactly what Apple is doing again. In theory we'll see an SE 3 in a few years that utilizes the XR body with an updated chip.

    • Daishi

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      Except that the point of the SE wasn’t and, in the case of the new one, won’t be about being a small phone. It’s about being a technically up to date, premium quality phone that they can make at $400. Doing that requires them to use what they already have in terms of design, parts and manufacturing processes.

      A new design with all the incumbent RnD, supply chains and manufacturing retooling kills that. Resurrecting the 5’s design that has been out of production for over a year and would require the reestablishment manufacturing processes and reordering parts that suppliers have long since stopped making (and in fairly small batches in the greater scheme of things) also kills it.

      The only way it can be achieved is by using the existing infrastructure and processes for iPhone 8.

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to Daishi:

        I do not buy this argument because iPad mini 5 came later than expected after iPad mini 4. Now, an iPhone SE 2 in the design of an iPhone SE can also still come later than previously expected. The production and supply paths are not dead yet and income can be good.

        It might be different in two years if only an 8 successor should appear next year. Then an SE update might require new investments and reduce income if the price remained the same.

        Besides, we should not defend Apple's excessive income. Countless other manufacturers prove that countless models with new designs can be published at low or relatively low prices. Only greed demands high prices.

        • Greg Green

          In reply to RobertJasiek:

          It’s $400 (rumored), that makes it the SE successor.

        • Daishi

          In reply to RobertJasiek:

          But the iPad mini 4 was still in production and the 5 was just a straight update. It’s much more in the mould of the proposed 8-SE2 update. Meanwhile, the 5/5S/SE designs have been out of production for more than a year and would need to be completely resurrected. It’s over.

          There is no comparison.

          • RobertJasiek

            In reply to Daishi:

            Some year out of production does not necessarily mean that the machines have been thrown away. If they are gone and Apple would have to invest like for a new model, then Apple's great mistake would have been made some year ago.

            The iPhones 5 to SE were sold from autumn 2012 to 2018 so for some 5 1/2 years. Every year, we were told "amazing" and "the best ever". So of course there are a lot of fans of this form factor. It is nothing but a stupid mistake if this is discontinued! As if Apple were saying to all customers during that period: "Sorry we were wrong. Now we know it better and you all must get larger smartphones. We tempted you into believing that you could use small smartphones forever but wake up - we won't let you."

    • Chris Payne

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      Um, the iPhone X was a successor to the iPhone 8 and it looks nothing alike. Just because the SE2 won't be the exact same look or size as the original SE doesn't mean it's not a successor.

  10. charlesverrier

    I know it's prime 'first world problems' territory, but the SE was a great choice for kids as well - physically smaller, and cheap enough to not be a major problem if/when they drop it.

  11. lightbody

    The people I know who have iPhone SEs, don't have them because they're cheap, they have them because they're small and (were) powerful.