Sketchy Rumor: iPhone SE 2 Will Debut at WWDC With Classic Design But Larger 4.2-Inch Display

We've already heard multiple rumors suggesting Apple will unveil a so-called iPhone SE 2 later this year, and a new supply chain report from Chinese news website QQ.com claims to have knowledge of the device's tech specs.


First, the report says the new iPhone SE won't look like the iPhone X, which would make sense given it's a lower-end device. Instead, the new model will purportedly have a similar design as the original iPhone SE, with a metal back and frame, top and bottom bezels on the front, and a home button.

A key difference would supposedly be a larger 4.2-inch display, but this is questionable given it could make it harder to use the iPhone SE in one hand, which is preferred by a subset of customers. However, it's certainly possible Apple could trim down the bezels of the new iPhone SE slightly.

Apple is likely more focused on making under-the-hood improvements to the iPhone SE, as the device is now outdated by a few years. The report claims the new model will be powered by a faster A10 Fusion chip, although it will supposedly still have 2GB of RAM with 32GB or 128GB of storage available.

The report suggests Apple is planning to unveil the iPhone SE 2 at WWDC 2018 in June, which is certainly possible, but Apple hasn't introduced a smartphone at the event since the iPhone 4 in 2010. If history repeats itself, the new iPhone SE could be introduced at a smaller media event around March.

While most of these tech specs would make sense, the source doesn't have an established track record, so this rumor should be viewed with some skepticism. KeyforWeb.it spotted the report earlier.

There have been many rumors about Apple launching a new iPhone SE in 2018, with many of the sources based in Asia, including research firm TrendForce and publications like the Economic Daily News. One of the latest rumors suggested a new iPhone SE with wireless charging could launch in May-June.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who relays information from Apple's supply chain in Asia, recently cast some doubt on rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE launching in the second quarter of 2018.

If there really is a so-called iPhone SE 2 on Apple's roadmap, Kuo expects it will have few outward-facing changes. He predicts the device would likely have a faster processor and a lower price, rather than iPhone X-like features like a nearly full screen design, 3D sensing for Face ID, or wireless charging.

The current iPhone SE looks much like the iPhone 5s, including its smaller four-inch display preferred by a subset of customers. The device is powered by Apple's A9 chip, like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it has 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Touch ID.

Apple hasn't fully refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched in March 2016, but it did double its available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB last March. It also dropped the device's starting price to $349 last September.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Tag: qq.com
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)

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Apple Supplier Wistron to Explore iPhone 6s Assembly in India Following Plant Expansion

Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in India is closing in on a land deal in the tech hub of Bengaluru that will see the firm invest around $157 million to assemble iPhone SE and potentially iPhone 6s models on the site, according to Reuters.

Unnamed Indian government officials on Wednesday reportedly confirmed the Taiwanese contractor's intentions, which could result in its iPhone SE assembly unit taking over about 100 acres in and around the capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka.


Wistron executives reportedly toured the area in November and met with the industries minister of Karnataka earlier this month, and a deal on the land lease could be struck in a few weeks, according to one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to publicly comment on the plans.

Another source who spoke to Reuters said Apple will likely begin assembling iPhone 6s models in India soon, using Wistron's expanding manufacturing capacity in the country, as it looks to cut costs and diversify its production base beyond greater China. Launched over two years ago, the iPhone 6s is still popular in emerging markets because of its affordability relative to Apple's iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPhone X.

Apple sees opportunities to save on import taxes, price phones cheaper and potentially widen its customer base in India if it assembles phones locally. However last month India raised import taxes on electronic goods, which caused Apple to raise the price of most iPhone models there except for iPhone SE.

Apple has sought tax breaks and incentives from the Indian government for months as it looks to expand operations in the country, but despite some positive comments from state officials, no exceptions have yet been made for Apple.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Tags: India, Wistron

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Ming-Chi Kuo Casts Doubt on iPhone SE 2, Expects Few Changes Should New Model Launch

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has sources within Apple's supply chain in Asia, has issued a research note today that casts doubt on rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE launching in the second quarter of 2018.


Kuo believes Apple doesn't have enough spare development resources to focus on launching another iPhone, with three new models already in the pipeline, including a second-generation iPhone X with a "much different" internal design, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus, and a lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID but design compromises like an LCD screen.

An excerpt from the research note, obtained by MacRumors, edited slightly for clarity:
The announcement of three new iPhone models in the same quarter in the second half of 2017 was the first time Apple made such a major endeavor, and we believe the delay of iPhone X, which had the most complicated design yet, shows that Apple doesn't have enough resources available for development. […]

With three new models in the pipeline for the second half of 2018, we believe Apple may have used up its development resources. Also, we think the firm will do all it can to avoid repeating the mistake of a shipment delay for the three new models. As such, we believe Apple is unlikely to have enough spare resources to develop a new iPhone model for launch in 2Q18.
If there really is a so-called iPhone SE 2 on Apple's roadmap, Kuo expects it will have few outward-facing changes. He predicts the device would likely have a faster processor and a lower price, rather than iPhone X-like features like a nearly full screen design, 3D sensing for Face ID, or wireless charging.

There have been many rumors about Apple launching a new iPhone SE in 2018, with most of the sources based in Asia, including research firm TrendForce and publications like the Economic Daily News. The latest rumor suggested a new iPhone SE with wireless charging could launch in May-June.

The current iPhone SE looks much like the iPhone 5s, including its smaller four-inch display preferred by a subset of customers. The device is powered by Apple's A9 chip, like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it has 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Touch ID.

Apple hasn't fully refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched in March 2016, but it did double its available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB last March. It also dropped the device's starting price to $349 last September.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)

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‘iPhone SE 2’ With Wireless Charging Said to Launch in May or June

Apple is reportedly working on a new entry-level smartphone model similar to the iPhone SE that will support wireless charging and be released in time for summer 2018.

The prediction comes from Digitimes Research analyst Luke Lin, who believes that Apple's iPhone SE successor will have a glass back similar to the iPhone 8 series and iPhone X, but will lack the 3D sensing capabilities of the latter model.

For the entry-level sector, Apple is preparing a new inexpensive smartphone similar to the iPhone SE for 2018, featuring the wireless charging functionality, but not 3D sensing. The smartphone will begin mass production in the second quarter with the official launch in May or June, Lin noted.
Taiwan-based website DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans. Its sources within the upstream supply chain have proven reliable in the past, but predictions from its research analysts are harder to gauge.

Lin doesn't specifically mention the size of the new entry-level model, but the details match up with previous rumors about a forthcoming four-inch 'iPhone SE 2' with a glass back, although earlier speculation said the device would ship in the first quarter of 2018, rather than the second quarter.

Rumors about a the specifications of Apple's next small form factor smartphone appeared in August last year, when Indian tech website Tekz24 claimed Apple's next iPhone SE model would have an A10 Fusion chip, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB and 128GB storage capacities, and a slightly larger 1,700 mAh battery.

In November, China's Economic Daily News claimed Apple's second-generation iPhone SE was set for the first half of 2018 and would be assembled by Wistron at its factory in Bengaluru, India, where some assembly of the current iPhone SE occurs. Taiwanese market research firm TrendForce also recently predicted that Apple is planning to launch a second-generation iPhone SE in 2018 to target the mid-range smartphone market.

Apple hasn't properly refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched back in March 2016, but it did double the available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB in March 2017. Apple has confirmed an AirPower wireless charging mat will be released sometime this year for Apple Watch and iPhone models with a wireless charging feature.

Related Roundups: iPhone SE, 2018 iPhones
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)

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iOS 11.3 Will Allow iPhone Users to View Battery Health and Disable Apple’s Power Management This Spring

Apple today announced that iOS 11.3, available this spring, will enable users with an iPhone 6 or newer to view their smartphone's battery health under Settings > Battery. The software update will also allow users to disable Apple's power management feature.


More details to follow…

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iOS 11

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iOS 11.3 Will Allow iPhone Users to View Battery Health and Disable Apple’s Power Management This Spring

Apple today announced that iOS 11.3, available this spring, will enable users with an iPhone 6 or newer to view their smartphone's battery health under Settings > Battery. The software update will also allow users to disable Apple's power management feature.


More details to follow…

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iOS 11

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Office Depot and OfficeMax Offering $28 Aftermarket iPhone Battery Replacements Until February

Office Depot and OfficeMax today informed us they have lowered their iPhone battery replacement fee to $27.99 at select stores across the United States through February 4, 2018, essentially matching Apple's discounted $29 price.


The lower price, down from $49.99 regularly, is applicable to the iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE, subject to battery availability and while supplies last.

Office Depot and OfficeMax promise same-day battery replacements. If the order is not completed by the end of regular store hours, the customer receives a repair discount of $25, according to fine print on its website.

One very important caveat is that Office Depot and OfficeMax are not Apple Authorized Service Providers, meaning their replacement batteries are not supplied by Apple, and having an aftermarket battery installed can void your iPhone's warranty, although iFixit argues that Apple cannot do so under U.S. law.

A spokesperson for Office Depot and OfficeMax informed us that their iPhone batteries are built to Apple's specifications for each iPhone model and added that all of their batteries carry a one-year warranty against defects.

We still highly recommend only having an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider replace your iPhone's battery, but Apple is currently running low on some batteries, and Office Depot and OfficeMax may be an option worth considering for customers with an iPhone that is already past its warranty.

Office Depot and OfficeMax offer iPhone battery replacements at hundreds of locations across the United States. Those interested can enter their ZIP code on Office Depot's website to find a participating location near them.

iFixit has also discounted its iPhone battery replacement kits to $29 or less as a do-it-yourself option, but again, we recommend letting a professional at Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider complete the process.

For customers who want to keep things official, read our guide on how to get your iPhone's battery replaced with an appointment at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. Apple also offers a mail-in option.

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone SE

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Sketchy Rumor Claims ‘iPhone SE 2’ Could Feature a Glass Back and Support Wireless Charging

Apple's second-generation iPhone SE will come with a rear glass panel that could enable it to support Qi-compatible wireless charging accessories, according to Indian tech website Tekz24.

Speculation about Apple's small form factor smartphone originally began in August last year, when Focus Taiwan first claimed a new iPhone SE would ship in the first quarter of 2018.


That report was accompanied by claims from Tekz24 that the "iPhone SE 2" will be powered by Apple's A10 Fusion chip, with 2GB of RAM, 32GB and 128GB storage capacities, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a five-megapixel front camera, and a slightly larger 1,700 mAh battery.

Three months later, China's Economic Daily News fueled speculation with a report that Apple will release a second-generation iPhone SE in the first half of 2018, to be assembled exclusively by Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron at its factory in Bengaluru, India, where some assembly of the current iPhone SE occurs.

Tekz24 – the source of today's glass back rumor – lacks an established track record of reporting on Apple rumors, so those tech specs and today's claim remain completely unverified.

However, given that Apple recently introduced support for wireless charging with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X series of devices, the possibility that it could bring its smaller four-inch smartphone model into the fold certainly isn't completely outlandish, especially with the company's AirPower wireless charging mat already confirmed for release sometime this year.

Apple hasn't properly refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched back in March 2016, but it did double the available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB in March 2017. Suggestions that Apple could tweak the design – perhaps giving it thinner bezels to make way for a larger screen – remain entirely in the unverified speculation department at this point.

As for the rest of Apple's smartphone line-up in 2018, rumors suggest Apple will launch a new 5.8-inch iPhone X alongside a second OLED iPhone, this one measuring in at 6.5 inches, which means it can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus".

Alongside these two OLED iPhones, Apple is also said to be planning to introduce a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display, positioned as a more affordable device targeting the low-end and mid-range markets, with a starting price of $649 to $749 in the United States.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all three of these iPhones will feature edge-to-edge displays, Face ID, and TrueDepth camera systems, which would likely signal the final nail in the coffin for both the Home button and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in new iPhone models.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)

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French Consumer Fraud Group Investigating Apple for ‘Alleged Deception’ and ‘Planned Obsolescence’

French consumer fraud group DGCCRF, part of the country's economy ministry, last week launched a preliminary investigation into Apple over "alleged deception" and "planned obsolescence" of Apple products, reports Reuters.

The investigation follows Apple's admission that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.


Apple introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1 following complaints of unexpected shutdowns in the iPhone 6s, but Apple did not make it clear to consumers that it was due to battery deterioration nor did Apple inform customers that it could cause occasional performance slowdowns.

Apple has since apologized for its lack of communication and introduced a new policy that allows iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE owners to receive a one-time no-questions-asked $29 battery replacement for their devices, as a device with a depleted battery that is affected by throttling will return to normal performance with a battery replacement.

According to Apple, the power management features that prevent unexpected shutdowns by occasionally throttling older iPhones with batteries in bad condition are designed to preserve the life of the iPhone for as long as possible and were not implemented to force upgrades. From Apple:
First and foremost, we have never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.
Despite Apple's efforts to correct the issue, in addition to the French inquiry, the company is now facing more than two dozen lawsuits accusing it of intentionally slowing down older iPhones and failing to disclose the changes that it introduced in iOS 10.2.1. One of those lawsuits also stems from France, filed by French consumer group "HOP," which translates to "Stop Planned Obsolescence."

The French watchdog's investigation could take months to complete, and based on the findings, the issue could be escalated to a judge for a more in-depth inquiry or dropped all together.

If Apple is found guilty of planned obsolescence in France, the punishment could be a fine of up to five percent of its annual sales.

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone SE

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Apple Says $29 Battery Replacements Are One-Per-iPhone When Device Passes Diagnostic Test

iPhone users hoping to double dip on Apple's discounted $29 battery replacements this year may find themselves out of luck.


While we previously confirmed that Apple is offering $29 battery replacements to any customer with an iPhone 6 or newer regardless of diagnostic result, Apple has confirmed that this policy can only be taken advantage of once, according to new fine print on its iPhone service pricing page.

In other words, after you've had your iPhone's battery replaced once this year, the device must explicitly fail the diagnostic test to qualify for any additional battery replacements for $29. If the test passes, a customer can still choose to have the battery replaced, but Apple's standard $79 fee applies.

Apple says iPhone batteries are designed to retain up to 80 percent of their original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles, and this is likely the primary benchmark for its diagnostic test, but results may vary.

While it's unlikely customers would need to have their iPhone battery replaced more than once in a year, some people may have planned on taking advantage of the $29 deal now, and then again near the end of 2018, as the combined $58 cost for two replacements would still be cheaper than the standard $79.

Apple reduced the price of iPhone battery replacements as part of its apology over a lack of communication about the power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1. The discount is effective immediately and available worldwide through December 31, 2018. Prices vary outside of the United States.

To initiate the process, read our guide on how to get your iPhone's battery replaced with an appointment at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider, or by mailing the device to an Apple Repair Center.


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