The Apple iPhone SE 2020 is '99%' iPhone 8, yet you can't swap the batteries

The first teardowns of Apple's sleeper cell of a 2020 hit, the new iPhone SE, are in, and they confirm what everyone suspected all along. Right after the iPhone SE 2020 announcement, Apple discontinued the iPhone 8 and took it off the market on its website, together with all the accessory mentions.

The iPhone SE dimensions and buttons/camera positioning are absolutely identical with the iPhone 8, and you can even continue using your old wrapper with it. What's changed, then?

Well, just the chipset, it seems, as the iPhone SE comes with the newest Apple A13 and slightly more RAM, which puts it in the hall of fame for $399 phones that can record excellent 4K video.

Apple iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone 8 repair parts

The rest? Well, the rest is "99% identical" with the iPhone 8, as you can see from the first teardown of the iPhone SE by PBK. As if to reiterate that finding, from iFixit took the iPhone SE apart, too, and even told us which iPhone SE parts can be swapped with iPhone 8 ones. 

In essence, both chop shops confirm that the iPhone SE 2020 is an wolf in sheep's clothing, holding mighty power under its inconspicuous iPhone 8 exterior and modest pricing. The sheer fact, however, that the iPhone SE 2020 is 99% iPhone 8 means that Apple may have managed to keep a larger profit margin on the handset that it does with the iPhone 11 family, and we can't wait to see the first bill of materials to appear.

Apple iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone 8 interchangeable repair parts:

  • Display assembly
  • Camera
  • SIM tray
  • Taptic Engine
  • Speaker

In addition, Apple swapped just enough stuff around that you can't use, say, an iPhone 8 replacement battery as a bolt-on directly, as the connectors are slightly different, or the home button. 

The LTE antennas inside differ as well, and perhaps the camera packaging, though they look like identical parts. The thing most likely to break, though - the 4.7" Retina display - is interchangeable between the two phones, so repairs would come very cheap. 

You wouldn't want to swap that directly, though, as you'd lose the individual True Tone calibrations. Sorry, you won't gain 3D Touch, either.

Related phones

iPhone SE (2020)
  • Display 4.7 inches 1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A13 Bionic 3GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1821 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x
iPhone 8

PhoneArena Score:


User Score:

  • Display 4.7 inches 1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A11 Bionic 2GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1821 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x


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