Apple is set to launch the next version of the iPhone SE 2 in the first quarter of 2020, according to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The new phone will be more affordable than the rest of the Apple iPhone lineup and feature newer internals, like an A13 processor with 3 GB RAM, in a familiar iPhone 8 chassis.
Kuo says that most of the new iPhone SE’s hardware specification will mirror the iPhone 8. The analyst predicts Apple will sell 30-40 million units across 2020.
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The Q1 timeframe lines up with a previous report from Nikkei, which said to expect a cheaper iPhone with iPhone 8-esque design in the spring. This would mean it would feature a 4.7-inch LCD display and Touch ID home button.
Kuo does not predict an exact price for the new phone. Before the 4-inch iPhone SE was discontinued, Apple sold it for $349 in a 32 GB storage configuration.
The current iPhone product range at Apple stores spans the iPhone 11 series, iPhone XR and the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The 4.7-inch iPhone 8 is currently on sale for $449 for 64 GB.
Presumably, when the new SE launches, Apple will stop selling the iPhone 8 altogether. Given the current pricing of the 8, you could easily see how Apple could sell an iPhone SE 2 32 GB for around the same price as the old SE, in the $349-$399 range.
Kuo notes that the key target market for the new iPhone SE would be iPhone 6 owners. A spec-bumped iPhone 8 appeals to people who are not fussed about the latest iPhone features like Face ID or multi-camera modules, but do want a fast and speedy iPhone experience able to take advantage of the latest iOS features.
Notably, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are not eligible to upgrade to iOS 13, which means Apple Arcade is unavailable to a large segment of the active iPhone user base. If Apple can get iPhone 6 owners to upgrade to an A13 entry-level phone, it could also lead to increased Apple Arcade subscriptions. The A13 chip would also enable augmented-reality experiences that the older phones are not powerful enough to run.