New iPhone Leaks Suggest Apple Will Ignore Customer Demand
Is Apple ready to sacrifice a much-loved iPhone design because it feels bigger is better?
Launched in March 2016, the iPhone SE arrived five months after the launch of the iPhone 6, sporting similar chip specifications and capabilities, but packed into the smaller design footprint of the iPhone 5S. Apart from the twisted timeline, the SE sits between the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6 in terms of capabilities.
As 2018 dawns, there is a huge gape between the SE and the current top of the tree iPhone X. As the iPhone X becomes more prevalent, that gulf will widen, the handsets will become more prone to errors and flaws brought about by old age.
If Apple follows a two-year cycle, then the expected time to update the iPhone SE would be this March. That will be two years after the launch of the original SE unit. It’s not perfect – the main iPhone line is updated every 12 months for a reason – but mid-range handsets aren’t always going to ship with the cutting edge technology. Having the SE cycle on a two-year basis does make some sense.
Even waiting until September to push out the iPhone SE 2 alongside the presumptively named X2 and X Plus could be justified if Apple was waiting to see how the tweaked iOS 11 UI and other new to the iPhone technology (such as wireless charging and facial recognition) fared in the market place. The iPhone X was a huge engineering effort for Apple, and the priority would have been to get the ‘revolutionary’ handset out to the public.
Unfortunately the indications are that whenever the iPhone SE 2 does turn up, the (ahem) biggest and most loved identifying feature of the handset will be gone.
Reporting on the latest analysis of the supply chain (and assuming Taniyama-Shimura), Forbes’ Gordon Kelly highlights the three new models expected in 2018, and the shock news for iPhone SE fans is that the screen is jumping up from 4 inches, through the 4.7 inches of the iPhone 6, 7, and 8, all the way up to 6.1 inches.
Apple has a choice to make over the iPhone SE 2. It can decide that most people loved the iPhone SE because it was a cheaper machine that had the same levels of power as the iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus when it went on sale. Or it can decide that the iPhone SE remains an adored small handset that works for younger users, those with petite hands, or those who simply don’t want to carry around a wonderslab every hour of the day.
Just as Apple decided that slowing your iPhone down was how you wanted your iPhone to accommodate an older battery (as opposed to offering you a shorter endurance in exchange for more speed), Apple looks ready to decide that users should not get a small screened iPhone, instead they should accept that the world is a bigger place now, and Apple has made the decision for them that the SE is about price, rather than size.
That, for me, would be a disappointment.