A new version of the iPhone SE will almost certainly launch in 2018, but it remains unclear whether we should expect a more compact and less powerful iPhone 8 as before, or a cheaper iPhone X.

There is an important distinction to make between these two possibilities, with size being a deciding factor for many potential purchasers. Either choice should be cheaper than the current flagships, but the original iPhone SE is now the only 4in iPhone you can buy direct from Apple (prices start at £349/US$349).

From rumours and leaked images (such as the render from Olixar at the top of this page) we think we’re looking at a cheaper iPhone X for the second-generation iPhone SE, and that might mean the 4in iPhone is finally dead. The cheaper iPhone expected to head our way this September is said to be carrying a 6.1in LCD screen.

When is the iPhone SE 2 release date?

The iPhone SE 2 is expected to launch in September alongside the successors to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

The jury’s out as to what those new iPhones might be called, with potentials including standard and Plus versions of the iPhone 8s, iPhone 9 and iPhone 11. It’s a similar story with the iPhone SE 2, which might in fact be called the iPhone X SE.

Remember, though, that the X was brought in before the iPhone 9 even saw the light of day for one reason: to celebrate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. Will an iPhone X SE make sense 11 years on from the original iPhone’s launch?

When is the iPhone SE 2 release date?

The iPhone SE launched on 21 March 2016 and received a few tweaks to its spec on 24 March 2017, so a new model is now more than overdue.

All the rumours point to three new iPhones at Apple’s annual September event: two premium OLED iPhones, and one LCD model. The latter is almost certainly the SE 2, given that a lower spec will make possible a lower price.

The only question is will Apple really want to launch a cheaper iPhone that will likely steal the limelight from its premium models and compete with them on sales?

iPhone SE2

How much will the iPhone SE 2 cost?

Apple typically tries to keep its pricing constant when releasing new models, so we’d expect the new iPhone SE 2 to come in at £349/$349.

A price rise of around £50/$50 wouldn’t be out of the question given the significant upgrades we’re expecting to see – the iPhone X is already more expensive than the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, so a cut-down version of it would likely also be more expensive than what we’ve seen before.

What are the rumoured features and specifications of the iPhone SE 2?

The latest and most tantalising leaked render of the iPhone SE 2 is below, courtesy of @OnLeaks and @TigerMobiles:

It shows a phone akin to the iPhone 5s and SE, right down to the antenna lines and black blocks on the top and bottom of the back. Notably, there’s no headphone jack and a small notch at the top of the display.

According to the source, ‘Dimensions are exactly the same as iPhone SE (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm). Due to the rounded corners on the display, it’s hard to give a precise screen size but it will be between 4.7in and 5in.’

We are still surprised Apple would persist with a design first seen in 2013.

iPhone SE2

iPhone SE2

(Above: A leaked image said to be of the iPhone SE 2, via SlashLeaks.)

The iPhone SE 2 will likely see some of the design changes we’ve seen in recent iPhones. It could well have an all-screen front with that infamous ‘notch’ design, along with a glass rear panel and Qi wireless charging, and it will more than likely come without a headphone jack but a Lightning adaptor in the box. The latter has been confirmed by the leaked renders from Olixar.

BGR has published sketches of what is said to be the iPhone SE and iPhone SE 2 side by side, which it received from a previously reliable source. If genuine, the notch would appear to be here to stay.

iPhone SE 2

iPhone SE 2

Specifications are tipped to be very much iPhone 7-standard, with the A10 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32- or 128GB of storage, 12Mp and 5Mp cameras and a 1,700mAh battery, but the same 4in screen. Apple is expected to cut down costs by dropping 3D Touch.

Read next: Best new phones coming in 2018 and beyond

Follow Marie Black on Twitter.

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