Apple could launch the long-rumoured successor to the affordable iPhone SE from early 2016 sometime this month. Despite reports that Apple has decided to postpone the launch indefinitely due to the ongoing public health crisis, the latest leaks suggest the new iPhone – which will purportedly be branded with the same name as the first-generation iPhone SE – is on-track to debut in a few days time.
According to the latest report, disclosed by GSM Arena, Apple held an internal meeting to discuss how to proceed where executives agreed that iPhone SE should be announced worldwide on April 15, 2020. It will be available to order online via Apple Store and retail partners from April 22.
A number of cases for the new more affordable iPhone have already appeared in electronic superstore Best Buy in the United States. Although the shipments have arrived, the packaging does not confirm the iPhone SE brand name, as reported by a number of sources with a strong track record when it comes to unannounced Apple products.
It’s unclear whether Apple executives agreed to hold an online event for the product, or whether it will issue a press release and update its Apple Store listings. The latter was the approach taken for the most recent MacBook Air and iPad Pro upgrades, which brought an improved keyboard and a new LiDAR depth-sensing camera, respectively.
Based on the latest whispers, the iPhone SE will have the same case as the iPhone 8. As a reminder, that means you’ll be looking at a 4.7-inch LCD touchscreen, chunky bezels above and below the display, no 3.5mm headphone port but support wireless charging. The new iPhone SE should also be able to withstand three-feet of fresh water for up to half an hour.
Just like the original iPhone 8, there’ll be no sign of the Face ID facial recognition, AniMoji or MeMoji. Instead, Apple will stick with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner built into the physical home button. Eerily accurate leakster @OnLeaks has collaborated with iGeeksBlog to unmask the design, which looks very familiar to anyone who has ever seen an iPhone 8.
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Evidence buried in early versions of the next-generation update to iOS indicates both smartphones will be fuelled by the A13 Bionic chip, the same silicon found inside iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. This should make iPhone SE a more attractive proposition for those who still use older models – like iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 – since some people do not want to spend money on the latest high-end models.
As it stands, Apple still sells iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in its retail stores. iPhone 8 costs £479 (or £19 a month on finance), while the larger iPhone 8 Plus costs £579 (or £23.99 a month on finance). If the new iPhone SE series costs the same price, but offers the speed improvements you’d expect from the A13 Bionic chip – not to mention the guarantee that Apple will be able to continue supporting models powered by the A13 for much longer than the iPhone 8 – it could be an attractive proposition.
iPhone SE will also be able to use Express Transit – the feature that allows iPhone owners to tap their smartphone against the contactless payment terminal on public transport, like the entire London Underground system, without the need to load up the default card from the Wallet app first. This speedier tap-to-pay process, which only works in some pre-approved situations, requires the NFC chip to be able to work in the background.
That’s only possible on iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone 11. The iPhone 8 and iPhone X do not support this feature.
Of course, given the global pandemic, it’s possible plans will change pretty quickly. But if third-party protective case manufacturers are starting to ship their latest products to stores in the United States, there is clearly confidence that the new handset is around the corner.