Mobile

Smaller, cheaper, but still powerful new iPhone may launch in March

A smaller, cheaper Apple iPhone may be put into production in February, and then officially launched in March, according to a report published by Bloomberg, quoting anonymous sources familiar with Apple’s plans. This could be the rumored device currently referred to as the iPhone SE 2, and a sequel to the popular iPhone SE released in 2016.

Apple iPhone 8 review in hand logo
Apple iPhone 8 Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The new iPhone will apparently have a small 4.7-inch screen, making it a little larger than the original 4-inch iPhone SE, which was modeled after the iPhone 5. The iPhone 6 was the first iPhone to come with a 4.7-inch screen, although the sources speaking to Bloomberg on the matter indicate the new iPhone’s design will be more like the iPhone 8. Leaks have recently shown how the style may subtly differ. Apple still sells the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which are its cheapest new models currently available, starting at $450.

Possibly due to sharing a similar design to the iPhone 8, and in order to keep the costs down, the iPhone SE 2 is expected to have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor rather than the Face ID biometric unlock system used on the iPhone 11 range. Inside, Apple will apparently use the same A13 Bionic processor as the iPhone 11 though, ensuring that it will have plenty of performance. It will also certainly use the latest iOS 13 software.

It’s unclear whether Apple will call the new phone the iPhone SE 2, or choose a new name for the low-cost device. The price is also a mystery, but if it’s to be truly affordable — and different from what Apple already offers — it will need to cost less than the $450 iPhone 8. The original iPhone SE cost $400, which may be the target for the new version too. An affordable iPhone will assist in the company’s quest to sell 200 million iPhone models in 2020, by helping increase sales in regions such as India where the market is dominated by cheap Android phones.

If the cheap iPhone does go into production next month, is it likely the official announcement will come in March? For the last few years, Apple has held an event in March, quickly following Mobile World Congress. Last year, Apple revealed the Apple Card, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+ on March 25. In 2018, it held an event on March 27, where new iPad tablets were revealed. An Apple event in March 2020 seems almost certain, but whether the cheap iPhone is the star remains to be seen.

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