A new report is corroborating that Apple will release a second-generation iPhone SE in the first half of 2018 — which would mark the first refresh of the surprisingly popular 4-inch device.
Buried within a recent report on smartphone market growth this year is a tidbit that further backs up rumors of an iPhone SE 2 launching soon. In addition to the market analysis and predicted Apple moves, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce forecasted that Apple will release a refreshed iPhone SE in the first half of the year to help the company tackle the mid-range smartphone sector in emerging markets.
TrendForce’s report is only the latest in a series of rumors hinting at a refreshed iPhone SE 2. In August, local sources cited by Focus Taiwan suggested that a second-generation iPhone SE was on the horizon. Later, in November, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News reported that the device could be manufactured at Wistron’s plant in Bengaluru, India — where the Apple partner already assembles Made In India iPhone SE devices.
iPhone SE 2 Release Date
As far as when the iPhone SE 2 will launch, we’re not sure — but we can make a few educated guesses. Apple first released the iPhone SE in March of 2016. And in March of last year, Apple doubled the base storage capacities of its iPhone SE lineup and slashed its starting price.
Apple’s current release history for the iPhone SE lineup, along with the recent reports that a new device will launch in the first half of 2018, seems to indicate that a March 2018 launch is likely.
The iPhone SE 2 is likely to be an incremental upgrade, according to Indian outlet Tekz24. It could pack the same internals as the iPhone 7 lineup, similar to how the first-generation iPhone SE carried the same specs as the iPhone 6s. At this point, we shouldn’t expect an iPhone “XSE,” however — local sources seem to report that the iPhone SE 2 will still retain a Home button and slightly reduced bezels.
It’s worth noting that several outlets have suggested that the iPhone SE 2 will be an India exclusive, at least initially. That would be an unprecedented move for Apple, but it’s still within the realm of possibility (particularly when you consider Apple’s aggressive strategy and its paltry market share in India). Whether or not that will turn out to be true remains to be seen.