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Apple's iPhone SE sequel reportedly won't be a big revamp

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does not believe Apple's smallest iPhone will be changing much in 2018.

The iPhone SE may only get a slight revamp in 2018, according to an analyst.
Sarah Tew/CNET

The iPhone SE gave Apple's 4-inch line of iPhones a new life in 2016, but a noted Apple analyst does not believe that will be the case in 2018.

KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is notable for having a track record of predicting Apple's iPhone developments, said in a research memo obtained by MacRumors that the company will likely be too busy launching three iPhone X-style phones to spend much time revamping the SE.

"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 2018," says an excerpt of the note, edited by MacRumors for clarity.

Kuo's previous memos have detailed the possibility of Apple developing three big-screen phones in 2018, one being a 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display that is similar to the current iPhone X, a 6.5-inch iPhone with an OLED display that could function as an "iPhone X Plus" and a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LED display (and no 3D Touch feature) at a cheaper $649 to $749 price (about £495 to £570 or AU$850 to AU$980).

Should an iPhone SE sequel launch in 2018, Kuo predicts it would get a faster processor and a lower price. It would not receive a variety of other features that the 2017 iPhone line includes, like wireless charging, Face ID or a full-screen design.

When Apple launched the iPhone SE in 2016, it was notable for including the same processor as the iPhone 6S, contactless payments through Apple Pay and a better rear camera in the same design as the iPhone 5S.