iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9

The budget or lower-cost iPhone

iPhones have always struggled in Asian markets owing to strong competition from budget flagships with multiple camera lens and other fancy features. Apple has restored to local production to reduce the cost like it attempted in India. It has helped Apple with sales of iPhone XR, thanks to the reduced cost and powerful A-series chip therein. There is still a lot of room or gap in the market that Apple is not able to fill where popular Chinese competitors like Oppo, Oneplus, Xiaomi and their sub-brands attract potential smartphone buyers.

Apple conducts its spring launch event, usually in the end of the March to launch or introduce new devices or technology to be released immediately or later in Oct or by the end of the year. This year we might finally see the budget or lower-cost iPhone 9 or SE 2. Amidst sad and grave repercussions owing to outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19, Bloomberg News has reported a launch of 400 USD low-cost iPhone in March event.

Below is the cited text by a Taiwanese publication DigiTimes (via MacRumours).

New LCD iPhone enters final verification stage
Apple will soon introduce a new LCD iPhone series, dubbed tentatively SE2, which has recently entered the final phase of verification at an assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China, according to industry sources.

Specifications, Design and Price

Apple is like to launch a low-cost or budget iPhone to called as iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9 in the upcoming March event. The new budget or low-cost iPhone is expected to be a notch-less one bearing a single camera in the back. If we believe the leaks and rumors in various reports, it is expected to resemble iPhone 8 in terms of physical dimensions. It is supposedly will come with a 4.7-inch LCD screen and a Touch ID home button with the current generation fast A-series A13 64-bit chip from iPhone 11 series and an increased 3GB of RAM. So, basically it would be a internal hardware upgrade and a gift for notch haters and die-hard iPhone 8 lovers. As of yet, there is no clarification on whether or not this budget iPhone would have any version of Face ID or TrueDepth front camera.

The budget iPhone is expected to start at a mind-boggling price of 399 USD for the base variant with 64GB of storage. If it truly translates in local currency i.e. INR with help of local production lines in India to cut costs, it might overhaul iPhone XR in terms of sales.

Potential buyers?

People who did not have enough budget to buy the shinny new iPhone 11 or 11 Pro and found iPhone XR as a tough choice in comparison with budget flagships from Chinese competitors with powerful hardware and other features especially in the Asian markets. At least, I have high hopes from Apple India to not disappoint us and make good use of production lines in India to avail us the price benefit of the budget or low-cost iPhone. Price is going to be an obvious and most decisive factor for a user trying to buy an iPhone 9 or SE 2.

Until now, in most of the markets, iPhone 7 was the only option available. It is rather outdated one with not so competitive mobile chip versus what the Chinese budget flagships has to offer. This iPhone 9 or SE 2 if we believe the reports would come with current version of A-series A13 chip that also powers the latest iPhone 11 series. If it comes out to be true, with 3GB of RAM and latest mobile chip, iPhone 9 or SE 2 is going to be a powerful and reliable iOS device for a couple of years for a potential buyer.

Critics of iPhone X’s design with a notch, FaceID and lack of TouchID or a fingerprint scanner would love to get their hands-on this new budget or low-cost iPhone. I personally do not like the notch and would surely love to buy an iPhone without one, budget or not. I do not care for price like thousands of others who are critical of iPhone X’s design with an irritating notch for the sake of putting a TrueDepth camera to avail the Face ID. Touch ID enough though not as reliable or secure as FaceID, still works fine and security enthusiast could still use a strong passphrase to encrypt their device.

Not every one wants a DSLR quality camera in their smartphone. They just want a quick, functional, latest smartphone with an OS of their choice. It is not like you would be deprived of camera altogether. There is a single camera in the back and also in the front. So, it should work just fine for a regular user who wants to video call or take a quick snap and post online. Nothing wrong in a single camera, Google Pixel series until Pixel 4 did well in terms of camera with a single camera setup with use of computational photography for past few years.

Apart from all this, there are a lot of first time users who wishes to switch to iPhone or iOS for trial or app development for example. A student, blogger etc in a country like India, can really use a budget iPhone to develop and test apps.

The upcoming budget iPhone 9 or SE 2 attracts attention of a lot of users or individuals for a variety of purposes.


This low-cost or budget iPhone has entered one of the final verification stages of production. It likely to go public in the March event. I am very hopeful. Once final verification is complete, the manufacturing and full scale production can begin in China and other plants in other countries to make it cost effective for that particular market like India. There is a little tension regarding the immediate stock post launch owing to the serious effect of Coronavirus COVID-19 which might bind suppliers from operating on full scale or as usual.

Anyways, an iPhone SE 2 or 9 with A13 chip, 3GB of RAM and a decent sized battery for 400 bucks is a steal provided that it does translate to almost same value in INR for me. The budget or low-cost iPhone cannot fly otherwise. If I were in US, I am sold!

Manish Gehlot

I am a privacy, security, encryption and software freedom enthusiast. I am into VPNs, TLS security. Recently I also got into technical writings including guides.

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