Apple's smaller, cheaper iPhone might make a comeback in 2020

Customers visit the Apple store in Berlin, Germany, 20 December 2018. According to media reports the...
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If you skipped out on the latest crop of iPhones, the next drop may very well interest you. This year's cadre of smartphones included Apple's new flagship phones, but gone were the cheaper options that the company had introduced over the last few years, such as the iPhone SE. That could all be changing soon. According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's iPhone SE 2 could potentially be launching early next year.

According to CNBC, Kuo predicted that the potential iPhone SE2, if that's indeed what it would be called, could bring back Apple's A13 chip and 3GB of LPDDR4X memory, all within a body that would look similar to an iPhone 8. This would point to it being a return to form for what fans have known as the iPhone SE.

The iPhone SE ("Special Edition") was originally part of the ninth iPhone generation, and made its debut in 2016. It got another iteration in 2017 with additional storage options. Physically, it resembled an iPhone 5s with better hardware inside.

However, the iPhone SE was discontinued in addition to the iPhone 6s and iPhone X in September 2018. There hasn't been a totally comparable line since, and Apple faithful have been finding themselves missing it due to the SE's smaller form factor and lower price. A new spin on the classic would certainly make a large sector of Apple clientele happy.

In an analyst report, Kuo predicted that the iPhone SE2 might keep the iPhone 8's 4.7-inch screen, which is just a couple of inches smaller than the iPhone 11's 6.1-inch display. This would be the kind of size difference those interested in picking up an iPhone SE would be looking for, given that it's a similar comparison to the iPhone 5s from the iPhone SE. The potential SE2 would probably also be cheaper than the iPhone 8, just as the iPhone SE was.

Interestingly enough, it may also bring back the Home button from the iPhone 8 instead of adopting the same all-screen format that Apple seems to be using with most of its phones going forward. This design is meant to support Face ID, the way Apple phone user can unlock their devices simply by looking at the front-facing camera to be granted access. The iPhone 8 design doesn't actually support this design, and that's part of the reason the Home button still exists on it.

"Though most of iPhone SE2′s hardware specs will be similar to iPhone 8′s, we think the excellent computing power offered by A13 and 3GB LPDDR4X, and the more affordable price will be great selling points," concluded Kuo in the analyst note. "Therefore, we estimate iPhone SE2 shipments in 2020 will reach 30–40 [million] units."

Given the love across the tech world for the iPhone SE, the announcement that Apple is bringing back this model would make a splash in a big way. An affordable twist on Apple's new flagship phones might be a reason for anyone who's jumped ship from the manufacturer to get back on track, especially with so many options that will have made it to market by then.