A supply chain report from Taiwan suggests that Apple is planning to release a new version of the iPhone 8 with upgraded guts in March 2020. These guts could include an updated A13 processor which would surely give the old phone some new kick. If true, this could be the new iPhone SE model that’s been generating buzz for months. Many Apple fans with small hands, however, are surely hoping that it’s not true.
The latest iPhone rumor comes from the Chinese-language Economic News Daily, and it’s a bit thin on detail. However, what’s interesting about it is that Apple’s new phone might feature the 4.7-inch screen currently found on the iPhone 8 rather than the 4-inch screen that so many people loved on the iPhone SE. So this new iPhone wouldn’t really be anything more interesting than what Apple’s currently selling. It would maybe load your augmented reality games faster.
All this is less interesting than last week’s iPhone SE-related rumor. That more detailed report suggested that a device called the iPhone XE will feature a 4.8-inch edge-to-edge display with Face ID as well as a patented nanoparticle coating to increase durability. Based on the measurement, you might assume that this rumored device’s screen is also too big for small hands, but the edge-to-edge approach currently found on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus means that you get a lot more screen in a smaller case. So if the iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch screen on a body that’s slightly larger than the iPhone 8 body, some simple math suggests that the rumored iPhone XE would have a 4.8-inch screen on a body that’s slightly larger than the iPhone SE. In other words, small.
Rumors are frustrating. Then again, so is Apple’s innovation strategy under Tim Cook. This is the Apple that seems extremely focused on maximizing the amount of profit the company can squeeze out of any given device design. That’s part of why we got the original iPhone SE three years ago. Even though the iPhone got a major design upgrade with the iPhone 6, Apple could use old parts from the iPhone 5, combine them with upgraded guts, and call it a new model.
If this new rumor is true, Tim Cook’s Apple is going to do the same damn thing next year, rather than design the truly new tiny iPhone so many people want. The move would make good business sense. After all, it costs money to innovate.