Apple’s budget iPhone SE 2 needs to be small and affordable

2016’s iPhone SE with a 4-inch display was Apple’s first “budget” iPhone. A new version of it needs to be small and affordable, Patrick Holland opines. Variously rumored to be called “iPhone SE 2” or “iPhone 9,” it seems likely to be revealed as soon as next month.

Patrick Holland for CNET:

For the past year, people have hoped for a similar device and rumors are all over the place. One has it that the phone will have Face ID, and one says it won’t. There is a rumor that it’ll have a 4.7-inch screen, while another points to it having a 5.4-inch screen.

The biggest rumor is that the new phone will have an iPhone 8 body, with the iPhone 11’s A13 processor and RAM.

Apple's new budget-friendly iPhone is said to closely match iPhone 8's physical specs
Apple’s new budget-friendly iPhone is said to closely match iPhone 8’s physical specs

Let’s go back to 2016 and revisit why the iPhone SE was such a hit. The iPhone SE cost $399, the lowest price for any “new” iPhone… While the “SE” most certainly stood for “special edition” for many it meant “small edition.” A year before, Apple released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and at the time they were the largest iPhones ever. In comparison, the iPhone SE was absolutely tiny, and small phone lovers became enamored instantly… In order for a new iPhone SE to be as appealing to customers as when the first one launched, Apple needs an attractive price, a small size and smart compromises.

MacDailyNews Take: If smallness is to be a selling point of this “iPhone SE 2,” a 4.7-inch display, like iPhone 8’s (or even the less-rumored 5.4-inch display) would still be smaller than the smallest member of the iPhone 11 family, iPhone 11 Pro with a 5.8-inch display. That $399 price point is a good bet, especially if, as rumored, “iPhone SE” will eschew the TrueDepth Camera system with Face ID, etc. and retain the older Home Button with Touch ID biometric authentication. So, a 4.7-inch, or even 5.4-inch Home button-equipped device at $399 would fit both of Holland’s criteria. If Apple could somehow make a non-Home button, X-class iPhone with a 4.7-inch display, that would be the ultimate device for iPhone SE lovers are the size would be very small physically, close to the original iPhone SE, but with a much more expansive screen. Unfortunately, such a device would likely cost too much to fit the “budget” iPhone bill.

13 Comments

  1. I love it. It’ll be the same size as the phones that drove people to the original SE in the first place because they were too big, but now because it’s smaller than the even bigger phones that came later, so it’s a small phone. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining…..

  2. This

    If Apple could somehow make a non-Home button, X-class iPhone with a 4.7-inch display, that would be the ultimate device for iPhone SE lovers are the size would be very small physically, close to the original iPhone SE, but with a much more expansive screen.

    1. The lack of a home button on my X is more annoying by the day, hang-ups, hiccups and orientation issues make getting back to the home screen a neverending swipefest, a physical button gets you back no matter what in one or two presses, every time. I’ll be going back to an 8+ once it’s time to “upgrade”.

  3. For me, and many of my friends, it’s not the price that matters. It’s the size! 4″ is perfect. I hope someone with a brain realizes that there is decent customer base that wants a SMALL 4″ phone. 4″, NOT 4.7″. Something you can carry in your front pocket. A device that can easily be in one hand. Something that doesn’t look like a iPad being held to your ear. For the people who don’t need to validate themselves daily with selfies. The ORIGINAL size, which Steve Jobs called “Perfect”, yet Tim Cook ignores. 4″

    1. Hand-feel, yes, Usability, less so. Take the current SE, give it the full face screen treatment and you’d have a similar feel in hand and more screen space, which helps avoid feeling claustrophobic, which was my main beef with the smaller size.

    2. “there is decent customer base that wants a SMALL 4″

      There is not. There are a few people that post to each other on the same few forums that have fooled themselves and each other that there’s a decent customer base, but there’s not.

      1. “There is not.”

        Hopefully one day soon you will learn the difference between opinion with zero facts does not translate to REALITY.

        Got it? Wrong Again, Again and Again…

    3. “If you watch the 2007 Apple keynote when the iPhone debuted, the first thing Jobs says when he unveils the device is that “It fits beautifully in the palm of your hand.” Its size was perfectly suited for what Jobs believed was the original iPhone’s crowning achievement, making phone calls.”

      “Perfectly sized” in 2007 was 3.5 inches.

      More here:
      https://www.history.com/news/iphone-original-size-invention-steve-jobs

      Fast forward to 2020 and four inches is the NEW perfect size.

      Personally, anything larger — NO SALE…

    1. I prefer to pay a little more for a much better education. I also prefer to pay less for a smaller size, but you go and pay more for less if you want.

  4. I have an iPad when I want to carry a large screen. I want the phone to be as portable and unobtrusive as possible, while maintaining the functionality that doesn’t require a large screen (camera, good speakers, face recog, fast processor, battery life… I know some features might not fit in a small phone… give me whatever will fit). I want to be able to use it with one hand without balancing on finger tips and risking drops. I’m willing to pay MORE to get this phone. It’s not paying more for less… screen size is a less important feature than portability for me.

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