Carrier Ad Hints Edge-to-Edge iPhone SE 2, AirPower to Launch at WWDC ’18

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An alleged rough draft for a bus stop ad seems to hint that the iPhone SE 2 and AirPower wireless charging mat will be announced at WWDC ’18 next week.

Well-known phone leaker Benjamin Geskin tweeted several pictures of the rough draft on Thursday.

Reportedly, the ad was created by JCDecaux, a French company known for its billboards and bus stop advertising. In a later tweet, Geskin added that the ad was mocked up by JCDecaux for EE Limited — a UK-based carrier.

The ad itself depicts what appears to be an iPhone SE-style device with an edge-to-edge display and a sensor cutout. Most of the copy seems to refer to a carrier plan, but some of it does reveal some interesting tidbits about Apple’s upcoming product releases.

For one, the apparent file name for the draft suggests an ad rollout date of Friday, June 15. That’s the second Friday following WWDC ’18, which kicks off on June 4.

Apple typically releases new devices on a Friday after an unveiling. Theoretically, an iPhone SE 2 could become available to pre-order on June 8 before officially shipping out the next Friday.

iDrop News reader @_jonathanssr also reported to us via Twitter that iPhone SE devices have been removed and placed on an “out of view display unit” in at least one EE carrier store. That could also suggest an impending refresh.

There’s also the matter of the “Free AirPower Mat” claim in the ad. Primarily, that hints at an AirPower release date at WWDC ’18. And while some Twitter users responded with skepticism to the claim, it’s worth noting that it’s probably referring to a carrier deal.

In other words, Apple wouldn’t be giving away free AirPower mats. Carriers would throw the accessory in as a bonus, likely for a two-year contract. If you’re familiar with carriers and carrier plans, you know that this is completely plausible.

Finally, there’s the moniker itself. The ad copy pretty clearly uses a superscript “2.”

However, this probably doesn’t mean that Apple’s next 4-inch handset will be called the “iPhone SE Squared.” It’s much more likely that it’s iPhone SE 2 with a stylized name. Though, of course, Apple could surprise us.

Previous iPhone SE 2 Rumors

The ad draft is far from the first time we’ve seen rumors of an iPhone SE refresh. Early reports about an iPhone SE 2 first started surfacing last year. A lot of details have changed since then, but there’s pretty solid evidence that Apple will release a successor this year.

Take, for example, a recent EEC regulatory filing. The filing suggests that a new iPhone is just over the horizon. Previous EEC filings have reliably foreshadowed device releases in the past.

While the existence of an upcoming iPhone SE 2 is backed up by a plethora of reports and analyst predictions, the exact details of that device are far less clear. Some rumors point toward an incremental upgrade, while others suggest an iPhone X-style overhaul of the 4-inch form factor.

AirPower, originally slated for a release earlier this year, has also remained elusive. And WWDC ’18 makes a lot of sense as a launch date for that accessory.

While we don’t know for sure whether an iPhone SE 2 will be announced at WWDC ’18, we won’t have to wait long to find out. Apple’s developer conference keynote kicks off at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 4.

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