iPhone SE 2? Apple's newly-registered iPhone models give hope

Several unreleased iPhone model numbers appeared in a regulatory filing with the EEC, hinting at what's to come.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read
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A new hint has surfaced to support the rumor that Apple will release an iPhone SE 2 in the near future, but it's a roundabout one, so bear with us. I promise, this will all make sense.

Apple recently registered several unreleased iPhone model numbers with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), a Russian-language regulatory organization. 

As spotted by French site Consomac, the model numbers are A1920, A1921, A1984, A2097, A2098, A2099, A2101, A2103, A2104, A2105 and A2106. According to the filing, each model number represents an Apple branded smartphone running iOS 11.

But before you start celebrating the thought of 11 new iPhones, keep in mind that Apple sometimes uses different model numbers for the same type of iPhone. For example, the iPhone X carries the model numbers A1865, A1901 and A1902, depending on the iPhone's carrier and/or which country it's sold in. So while the filing does suggest one or more new iPhones, those numbers don't tell us how many new phones we'll wind up with in the end.

However, there is a chance that at least a few of those model numbers could belong to the rumored iPhone SE 2, which is overdue for a refresh. As iPhones become larger and quite possibly more expensive, the smaller, scaled-back iPhone SE is Apple's one phone that can compete with an army of cheaper Androids.

Apple released the original iPhone SE in March 2016, then released it again with more storage a year later. But besides that, there haven't been any major upgrades to the iPhone SE line. The iPhone SE is unlike other iPhones because of its small 4-inch size and its lower price tag -- it starts at $349 in the US, £349 in the UK and AU$549 in Australia.

Watch this: 5 best Apple iPhone SE 2 rumors

This isn't the only time we've been clued in on a new Apple product via an EEC filing. Last year a filing for new MacBooks appeared in May. Then a few weeks later Apple unveiled those new MacBooks at WWDC 2017. Similarly, regulatory EEC filings for the new 9.7-inch iPad appeared in February, and then the real thing was announced in March.

By this timeline, we could see the new iPhone models or possibly the iPhone SE 2 in the next few months. This would line up with Apple's 2018 WWDC event, which starts June 4. Or we could always see the new iPhones release on their own out of the blue.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

[Via MacRumors]