Supply chain sources say iPhone SE 2 design uncertain, June launch unlikely

At the Global Sources Mobile Electronics 2018 exposition in Hong Kong, there was a buzz in the air about when a new iPhone SE model would come to market. The general consensus at that time was that it would launch late in the second quarter to time around WWDC.

That was all back in the fall. It is now mid-May.

In the home stretch up to the conference, we’ve been seeing a lot of flips and flops on whether the iPhone SE 2 would be made this year after all. After that debate settled to a “yes,” designs have started popping up — earlier rumors indicating that, just like the original iPhone SE, it would follow on the design of the iPhone 5S, but more recent items have pointed to a more iPhone X-like style. This debate has been brewing for months and there have been breadcrumbs about deadline slippage along the way, such as a potential commissioning of Indian factories to assemble the iPhone SE 2 for far later this year.

Macotakara has been talking with some suppliers at Japan IT week and the story from their view seems as fractured as how we’re seeing it now. Chinese glass and case producers are now pretty certain that an iPhone SE 2 will not launch this quarter and may just tag along with the three rumored premium iPhone releases due this September — a four-model launch strategy has not been tested often in mobile technology. The latest word from one glass manufacturer is that Apple is prototyping three kinds of display glass products for the design, all of them featuring the notch. A case maker says a 6-inch size is in the running.

It’s not absolutely certain that this model will get Face ID, even as Touch ID has been counted out as a possibility. There’s also the question of whether the glass-based design will also allow for Qi wireless charging, something that’s been adopted in the 2017 iPhones.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.