This was written about a few weeks before the release of the XR, XS, and the Max.
I'm still hopeful that Apple will release an updated SE. One of the reasons is that since then, we have seen Apple release an iPad Touch update and a slew of Mac upgrades for all segments of the traditional computing world.
Should this happen, will Apple simply release the iPhone SE 2 with the traditional form factor with the iconic home button or will it go the way of the X series with a full screen and notch? And if it is the latter, will SE fans hand down their SE to a family/friend, relegate it to another role in their life, trade it in, or will they throw in the towel and come to the conclusion that Apple has abandoned them?
I would guess that SE fans would be ecstatic with a full screen SE in the same form factor. Some would be hesitant with Face ID as many were with the iPhone X. Over time, most of these skeptics will be won over. And from the rumor mills, Apple may offer both Face ID and in-screen Touch ID in a few years and that feature will likely trickle down to the lower level iPhones. And then everyone will be happy.
Then it'll be interesting to see if the iPhone 7 or 8 form factor will stick around. It may so that Apple can lower the prices of the 7 or 8 to address lower price points for a few years. Eventually, they'll be gone.
Now comes to pricing for the iPhone SE 2 And that is why I think an iPhone SE 2 with the X form factor will not be cheap in the beginning. The iPhone 7 and 8 is current $450 and $600 respectively. In a year when Apple releases the SE 2, I can see the iPhone 7 go away while the iPhone 8 go down where the iPhone 7 now costs. The SE 2 will likely start at $500 and up. A year after that, it'll be down to $400 and stay there for the duration of its life cycle.
So there you have it. It's now June with the new 2019 iPhones about three months away. Apple is not give an updated iPhone SE 2 any prime time spot during the fall announcement. That time is saved for the iPhone XI. If Apple sticks with the current form factor for the iPhone SE 2, any update will get a simple press release like the iPod touch. Then it is possible we'll see a 2019 release. If the iPhone SE 2 is given the X form factor, a 2020 spring release is much more likely.
My iPhone SE was my main phone since it came out back in March of 2016. It was the perfect iPhone for one need: to be small enough to carry around and be useful but also easily hidden away. I also had the iPhone Pluses each of those year because I find those 5.5" iPhones to be much more productive. But the iPhone X has been my main mobile driver since the start of the year. How has it been and will I consider going back to the next version of the SE?
What I love the iPhone SE was the size. I think it is safe to assume that anyone who bought the SE was because of the size. And the fact that it stayed on the market for more than two years now without an actual upgrade (other than Apple increasing the storage capacity), it one the first iPhone with the staying power with a decent following from a core group of iPhone lovers. Apple has kept other iPhones on the market longer than the initial year but the SE actually served as an anchor for the smaller form factor market, not to mention that it likely served to win over millions of fans for Apple in markets where many mobile warriors cannot afford expensive flagship phones.
There is some evidence that Apple will be updating the SE with newer CPU and possible other features found only in the newer iPhones that has came out since the SE. It will likely bring about another wave of iPhone updates from the folks who have kept their iPhone 5, 5S, and even current SE. After all, for SE users, they have been devoted to their SE for about 3 years. For me, 27 months was a long time to be using a single device.
However, given how different the iPhone X series is compared to the other iPhones, as a mobile fan, I had to give it a go. In past years, I have gotten the new iPhone Apple released like clockwork. I would watch the fall iPhone event religiously and make sure I stop off at my local Starbucks and get my venti mocha with easy whip just before closing at 11PM and hang around till midnight I can try to be among the first to get the initial batch of the new iPhones.
So, for me to put off getting the X for more than two months is a big deal for me. And it's all because of the SE. I had the iPhone 7 Plus and it was perfect for the things I needed it to do. And the SE was my companion wherever I went (Ever try jogging with a Plus model? Yeah, not fun).
Eventually, the battery life on my SE started to degrade noticeably and I was not sure I can hold off for the next SE without know when that will be or if there will be a new SE. So the X.
With a form factor that was bigger than the iPhone 7 or 8 but smaller than the Plus variants, the X definitely was not the SE. But it did come with a new features like Face ID and the new A11 Bionic chip. And it has a 5.8" screen that is bigger but about as useful as the 5.5" in terms what I need from my iPhone X. Hence, I essentially gave up the SE and the Plus for one X.
For 5S and SE users only, you likely have different needs from mine - you likely don't need something like the Plus to be productive and managed on the SE. For Plus users, the X makes a case in that it has a different form factor and has a few unique features but there is not a huge leap between the X and the Plus versions that says you have to upgrade.
In a few weeks, we'll know what Apple will offer. If an updated SE is in the stars, it will be no available in 2018. 2019 Will likely be when we see it if at all. It'll be intriguing to see how Apple will address the needs of the SE fans.