When we asked you
whether you want to see а still-small but more powerful sequel to Apple's iPhone SE
cutie pie, the answer was a resounding "yes!". The reason why? Well, it was the only hope that a small iPhone will live on, and there are plenty of Apple fans that resent the era of 6 inch screen diagonals, and counting.
This is why, perhaps, the rumor mill has been in overdrive for the past two years, unearthing a ton of purported details, schematics and even renders of the alleged SE successor that was tentatively dubbed SE 2. First, a bit of a rumor chronology.
Apple's iPhone SE 2 Indian connection
Apple is fresh out of multi-year negotiations to enter the Indian market
by fulfilling Prime Minister Modi's requirement for iPhones to be manufactured locally. After cutting its teeth on the production of the Apple iPhone 5c
, Wistron's Indian facilities not only churned out the iPhone SE
way back in 2017, but produced some iPhone 8
models as well. That's precisely where the rumor about a "made in India" SE 2
started, and the speculations about the specs sheet.
The iPhone SE design is roughly an iPhone 5s derivative, is powered by the A9 chipset used in the Apple iPhone 6s
, with 2GB of RAM, a 12MP rear-facing camera, and storage options that doubled in March 2017 to 64GB and 128GB, starting at $349 at the time.
As for the Apple iPhone SE 2 at this point, the alleged "reports" from Indian factory insiders claimed that the handset will keep the 4-inch display, 12 MP camera, RAM and storage amounts, but would be powered by Apple's A10 Fusion chip, upgrade the front camera to a 5 MP FaceTime unit, and boast a slightly larger 1700 mAh battery. It made sense at the time, including the modest but welcome specs upgrade.
The iPhone SE 2 leaks
Cases, moulds, display panels
, even a purported live video
of a "notch-y" iPhone SE floated around for a good while. The rumor mill kept churning speculation that more or less corroborated with the Indian leaks, but added extra meat like a glass back
that would eventually facilitate wireless charging
, or the aforementioned notch schematics.
In with the iPod touch 2019, out with the iPhone SE 2
Late in May, Apple launched its seventh generation of the iPod touch
franchise. A 4" display, 3.5mm earphone jack and a camera in the center of the top bezel, sounds familiar. The big change and the only consistent rumor about the eventual iPhone SE 2? Well, swapping out the A8 SoC for the A10 Fusion chipset found inside the iPhone 7
that will make the 2019 iPod touch newer unit faster than its sixth-gen predecessor.
The scent of the A10 Fusion chipset in the iPod touch 2019 might be what sent the iPhone SE 2 rumor hounds in the wrong direction
The way that Apple outed a new iPod touch on the hush-hush, and the way it advertises it by promoting the upcoming Apple Arcade
subscription service on the device, hints why it chose to release a seventh generation just now. Apple is trying to pivot away from the iPhone as its main source of revenue and profits, and into the lucrative business of media, apps and streaming services that will extract more revenue from the already giant customer base to whom it has already sold iPhones and iPads. To do this, Apple needs to expand this base, and people are keeping their expensive phones longer than before. Introducing a gateway to Apple's services ecosystem at a rock bottom price point like the $199 for the iPod touch 2019, fits well with that strategy.
Where does that leave that elusive unicorn of a tiny Apple handset, the iPhone SE 2? Well, in the dust bin of rumor history, as it is now becoming clear that all those leaks, tips and speculation about an upcoming retro-sized 4-incher with an upgraded A10 Fusion chipset seem to have been based on the newly-minted iPod touch that Apple announced, rather than on a magical iPhone SE 2 unicorn. Sad?