Naming the ‘iPhone SE 2’

Rumors of the new iPhone coming in the spring keep getting warmer, as pointed out by MacRumors:

Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone SE 2 in the first quarter of 2020 and starting at a $399 price point, according to the latest research report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo goes into more detail about the expected specs of the so called ” iPhone SE 2″ in the latest research note obtained by MacRumors.

Here are the rumored specs:

  • A13 CPU (same as iPhone 11)
  • 64GB and 128GB options
  • Space Gray, Silver and Red colors
  • No 3D Touch

All of this will be crammed into the iPhone 8’s chassis. Kuo refers to this iPhone as the “SE 2,”1 but I think it could have another name: the iPhone 9.

Two years ago, Apple jumped over the iPhone 9 name, releasing the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and last year, the XR, XS and XS Max. This year, everything has gone to 11. The 9 moniker has yet to grace an iPhone.

I think the name will depend on how Apple positions this iPhone.

If it really is $399, it would be $50 less expensive than the iPhone 8, but if it comes with the A13, it doesn’t make any sense that it would be below the iPhone 8 in the lineup.

I think it is safe to assume that this iPhone will replace the current iPhone 8, while also being cheaper. Without the iPhone 8 in the way, Apple won’t be stuck with “8” as the brand ceiling, forced into the “SE 2” corner.

One could look at all of this and assume the name would be the iPhone 8S, but I think 9 is a better choice.

When compared to the iPhone 11 family and the now-middle-of-the-lineup XR, it will be clear that this phone is the entry-level model, complete with its Touch ID sensor and single rear camera.

Using iPhone 9 will make it seem newer than a phone with an 8 in the name, putting it a little closer to its larger, newer siblings in terms of branding. I think Apple is making this to satisfy a pretty large percentage of its user base who may still be holding onto the 6S or 7, so using a new number — and not just tacking an “S” to the end of an old one — will help entice them to upgrade.

iPhone 9 seems like a stronger name to me than SE 2 or 8S. Count me as a member of Team iPhone 9.

  1. To the angst of iPhone SE lovers everywhere, or at least those who write for 9to5Mac.