Apple is rumored to be on the verge of releasing a refreshed iPhone SE this year, and a new report suggests that it could borrow an important design element of the company’s current lineup of flagships.
The second-generation iPhone SE could come with a new glass construction and Qi-compatible wireless charging, according to a “very reliable source” cited by Indian tech outlet Tekz24. Notably, that lines up with reports that suggest the “iPhone SE 2” will be closer to an iPhone 8 than an iPhone X in terms of design and features.
In other words, even if the iPhone SE 2 has a glass back and wireless charging, it probably won’t have an “all-screen” design or Face ID.
Tekz24 is one of the first websites to start reporting rumors of an upcoming iPhone SE 2. The outlet previously published a set of specifications supposedly belonging to the second-generation device. Though, at this point, it’s worth noting that the outlet doesn’t have an established track record in the Apple blogosphere.
News of a refreshed iPhone SE began circulating in August 2017, when a Focus Taiwan report claimed that Apple had tapped partner Wistron to begin producing the next-generation 4-inch handset. That report also stated that the iPhone SE 2 would be produced at Wistron’s Bengaluru, India-based plant (where the partner already produces current iPhone SE models) — and could be an India exclusive when it launches initially.
While that fact about the device is still unverified, the existence of an iPhone SE 2 has been backed up by other outlets. In December, China-based Economic Daily News reported that a second-generation iPhone SE could launch in the first half of this year. And, buried within a report on smartphone market growth by research firm TrendForce was a prediction that Apple would release a new iPhone SE in 2018 to target the mid-range phone market.
While an India-exclusive iPhone would be an unprecedented move, it would also line up with Apple’s aggressive attempts to gain a larger foothold in the burgeoning market — which is the second largest in the world after China, and where Apple controls less than 5 percent of the market share. That’s largely due to several factors, like the cost of Apple’s products, the Cupertino tech giant’s failure to get special tax incentives, and even recent import tax hikes.
Similarly, if the iPhone SE 2 is initially an India exclusive that’s also assembled within the bounds of the country, that could lend some credibility to local media rumors about the device. Geographically, it makes sense that Indian outlets would have greater access to sources within Apple’s supply and assembly partners in the country.
Specification-wise, Tekz24 previously reported that the iPhone SE 2 would sport Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, and a slightly upgraded 1,700mAh battery. Reportedly, it’ll come in 32GB and 128GB configurations.
While we’re not sure when the rumored device could launch, Apple first unveiled the iPhone SE in March 2016, before updating its storage capacities in March 2017. That might hint at a March 2018 release date for Apple’s refreshed 4-inch smartphone.