Is Apple prepping two designs based on the iPhone SE?
One of the interesting aspects of following Apple in the news is that there is always rampant speculation about upcoming products, particularly the incredible juggernaut that is its iPhone range. The latest scuttlebutt surrounds the probable launch of an iPhone SE successor this year, either to be called the iPhone SE 2, or iPhone SE (2018). The early rumors pointed to a design that will remain largely unchanged, except for a new glass back, upgraded internals, and a May launch window. However, a new rumor has surfaced pointing to an iPhone SE-styled device, but featuring a (presumably more expensive), notched display possibly with a September launch window.
But what if Apple is actually prepping not just one, but two designs based on the iPhone SE chassis? The first would replace the current iPhone SE (2016) and at a similar price point and design (same 4-inch display, chassis, new internals), that could launch imminently; and the second, would have a more expensive, notched full-screen display, that could launch alongside the next generation iPhone X models. A lot of the tech media conjecture over the notched iPhone SE design leak coming from case maker Olixar is that it doesn't make sense from a pricing perspective, if it were to be the direct replacement for the current iPhone SE -- and they are right.
It would be extremely surprising if Apple would price this would-be, more fancy, iPhone SE sequel at a similarly attractive US$349 - this could only realistically be achieved by retaining the current design, including its 4-inch display. This remains the most likely scenario, should Apple only release one iPhone SE style device this year as this price point still needs to be addressed. However, if the Olixar notched fullscreen display leak is accurate, and Apple does have a more radical redesign of the iPhone SE planned with a notched display, it would make more sense for this would-be device to launch at a higher price point -- it would also include Apple's Face ID technology (possibly even a second-generation iteration), making a September launch window much more likely.
With well over US$200 billion in cash and liquid assets, Apple is more than well-positioned to introduce a second iPhone SE-styled device with Face ID and no Home button. While small iPhone lovers would no doubt like to see Apple release an all-new chassis in the style of the iPhone X, Apple is far more likely to re-use this chassis design once again. It is still a handsome design (barring the large front bezels), even though it first appeared as the iPhone 5 way back in 2012. Many Apple fans think it is still the best of all the iPhone form factors to date in both looks, pocketability and ease of one-handed use. Even if it uses an LCD panel, which is also highly likely, it could prove to be a surprise hit and help give Apple a further uplift in sales.