Report: Apple to Launch New iPhone SE This Month

Posted on April 3, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 23 Comments

The new iPhone SE will provide the same form factor as the iPhone 7 and 8 but will feature modern innards and launch sometime in mid-April, according to a new report.

“Apple will simply call the new entry-level model ‘iPhone SE,’ while referencing the new hardware as the 2020 version,” 9to5Mac’s Zac Hall writes. Previous reports suggested that Apple would launch this new entry-level offering as the iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9. (Technically, this would be the SE 3, I guess.)

The new iPhone SE will use the same A13 chip as the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Plus, and it will ship in 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB variants, with prices starting at $399. (See that Google? Storage options in an entry-level handset.) By comparison, the generations-old iPhone 8 is currently priced at $449 and up.

As an iPhone 8-style handset, the new SE will provide a Touch ID fingerprint reader and not Face ID. It will be available in white, black, and Product(Red) variants. (Since Apple doesn’t sell white or black products, I assume they mean Silver and Space Gray.) And Apple will offer five case choices (which yes, also work with iPhone 7 and 8) at launch: Black silicone, white silicone, red leather, black leather, and midnight blue leather.

The iPhone SE is expected to ship to buyers as soon as late April.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Report: Apple to Launch New iPhone SE This Month”

  1. djross95

    They'll sell millions of these. Not sure why it took them so long, but $399 for a hands-friendly device as powerful as this one is compelling.

  2. rejohnson

    I've been so waiting for a new small iPhone that doesn't cost $1000. The 11 Pro is perfect but so is a Tesla, neither of which is economically feasible for me. All the others are way too big. I don't need a mini laptop, I need a mobile device that runs modern apps and will fit in my pocket!

  3. RobertJasiek

    In reply to nbplopes:

    7 years is the minimum I can tolerate. 20 requires suitable conditions, such as persisting availability of batteries and still working telecommunication standards. Why 7+? It is my experience with electronic devices how long they work (since ca. 2000, it is ca. 10 years that I can reasonably use what I buy), what I want to spend per year (7+ years yields reasonable rates) and what new tech evolution motivates changing devices more than keeping them (for me, the pressure decreases as evolution calms down; currently, 5 years is the norm for motivation alone if I gave way to it while ignoring the longer criteria).

    There could be exceptions if the following tech evolutions occurred, which are very important for me: true all-day battery life for years of use, matte display, AI speed of a silent mobile device equalling current top consumer desktop graphics cards and fulfillment of my usual previously mentioned but often missing requirements for good computing devices.

  4. kawaidon

    Hmm, the iPhone Sports Edition I guess.

  5. mountjl

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Agree entirely. Most PCs, tablets, phones are unusable after 7 years for virtually any purpose. I had the displeasure of trying to get an 8 year old mid range PC up and running last weekend. Yeesh. That Apple still supports the original SE is absolutely commendable. What this guy is looking for is a dumbphone. That may still work in 7 years.

    • Greg Green

      In reply to mountjl:

      I’m still (occasionally) using my late 2013 iMac. I just realized last night it’s really old. But even the new ones are too much money and a marginal performance increase on cpu. Big gains in gpu and maybe fusion drive though.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to mountjl:


      I run a Thinkstation S20 from 2009/2010 and not only is it more than sufficient for desktop tasks I throw at it, but it runs most games from the last five years with an updated video card.

    • RobertJasiek

      In reply to mountjl:

      It is the same for most tech: basic, solidly built devices last very long while sophisticated devices tend to break much earlier. I would have bought the original SE during its last 1.5 years of regular sale if most of the mentioned objections did not apply, in particular if I would have got at least 7 years of security updates. At launch, it was completely uninteresting for me because the objections did not justify the original price at all. For the new SE, this might be different because I have use for the A13 speed, if it were not for the objections.

      People finding 5 years enough can buy it. People like me needing 7+ years probably won't. Why shouldn't the hardware (except for the battery to be replaced) not work that long and longer assuming buildquality like of the original SE?!

  6. RobertJasiek

    In reply to lvthunder:

    It works for PCs with Linux or Windows. Mainboard batteries are standardised so buying one after 15 years is no problem.

  7. bart

    If the $399 price point is correct, and Apple will (hopefully) allow for the core apps to be replaced by other offerings, I am buying this phone. With Apple's support, it will finally bring us in the era of "a mid range phone is good enough for most".

  8. RobertJasiek

    While A13 is very nice and there is nothing wrong with having a successor of iPhone 8, provided the rumour is correct, calling this "iPhone SE (2020)" is the most terrible choice because it means that there there will not be a successor of the iphone SE (2016) and its short length 123.8mm. Already this is sufficient reason for me to disregard the iPhone SE (2020). The other most important aspect is the display ratio: will it remain 16:9?

    My other objections can be: too short iOS updates, bad repairability and battery replacement, camera bump, missing audio jack, iTunes on Windows, bad file management, strong possibility of terrible Apple service in cases of systematic hardware design / production mistakes. Apple must not think that great hardware and only noteworthy (comparatively) small smartphone would convince me to buy my first smartphone ever. Functionality, service and serviceability are also essential.

    • reefer

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      The last iPhone SE is getting 5 years of updates so what are you talking about, really?

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to reefer:
        • If one buys as new an iPhone later than at launch, one gets less than 5 years of updates.
        • I grew up in the age of cable phones, which cost essentially nothing but lasted decades before they had to be replaced. I understand that smartphones have had technological evoluation during their early years so can accept some compromise but 5 years are too short to meet it.
        • I would want to use a smartphone for some time between 7 and 15 years because every smartphone nowadays is by far more good enough than needing an earlier replacement. There are only two noteworthy limitations: OS updates and availability of battery replacements. Neither limitation is technically necessary. These limitations only exist because of the manufacturer's greed, weak politicians and its tolerance by purchasing endconsumers.
        • Environments, ressources and energy consumption for the manufacturing have a high value for me (and should be for everybody) but a smartphone meant to last at most 5 years by artificially limiting OS updates hurts the environment greatly.
        • truerock2

          In reply to RobertJasiek:

          My great grandparents got their first telephone in the 1920s. They were still using it in the 1960s. If they were still alive they would still be using it.

          It worked perfectly fine for over 40 years and there was absolutely no reason to get one of those new fangled rotary dial phones - much less an iPhone SE2.

          • RobertJasiek

            In reply to truerock2:

            Right. My great grandparents used their first from ca. the 20s to ca. the 70s:) My parents had two from ca. 1970 to ca. 1990. Mine of ca. 1995 would still have worked now if the telecommunications signal had not changed their standard blurring the voice too badly. Afterwards, telecommunication standards have changed even more dramatically and quickly along with the evolution of smartphones. 4G with enough bands should be futureproof but the industry is telling the world that 5G would be necessary. The other evolution is of the phones themselves but, for ca. 4 years now, smartphones have been good enough for basic computing tasks. What they miss the most hardwarewise is standardisation of their batteries and requirement for easy replacement of batteries.

        • nbplopes

          In reply to RobertJasiek:

          You can still buy a phone within those requirements.

          its your decision not buy one. No one else. No one is keeping you from getting what you want.

          Those phones you refer had updates close to none. It’s not comparable.

          Do not understand your reasoning.

          • RobertJasiek

            In reply to nbplopes:

            Another requirement is security (Android drops out). Now tell me what smartphones of roughly the size of the SE with at most 16:9 and 7+ years OS updates do exist that I could buy? None. Soon there will be Linux phones but with 2:1 (useless for me) and still too expensive.

            It is an open question whether I can buy a suitable smartphone before the EU forces manufacturers to become reasonable with OS updates and repairability.

  9. colin79666

    I’ll buy one! Holding on with my Launch day 7 just now but the battery is on the way out. I’ve no interest in face unlock or a bigger screen.

  10. reefer

    Very nice if true. I am in the works of buying a new phone and it stands between a iPhone 11/11 pro or this one. That may sound wierd but the way i figure it is that i either buy a phone that last 4-5 years or so but at higher expense, or more of a "burner" (for being a iphone that is) that last maybe two years for a more decent amount of money vs value.

  11. clutem1987

    Good idea to launch a phone that is more affordable. Much like the mid priced Android phones that are available.

  12. bill_russell

    I noticed that back to iPhone 5s is still getting regular schedule updates - its just staying on iOS 12. (prior to that they were 32 bit phones)

    I am now buying iPhones off ebay, with perhaps 2+ years iOS new versions left. I have always been more than happy with phones I got off eBay, if you just use some common sense.

    Lets say an iPhone 7 - $119, or iPhone 8 in "good" condition $159. Replace the battery yourself is relatively easy - $20 or have it done for maybe $50. This is better than a new budget android phone. I know some people just can't stand used. I just love it - cheap and you are "recycling" these perfectly good phones simply by willing to replace the battery.