The first sequel to the iPhone SE won’t feature Face ID, but will have a glass back allowing for wireless charging, suggests a recent tweet from reputable leaker Ben Geskin.
The succinct tweet was delivered with a render of the device indicating that it will retain the home button, and presumably Touch ID. It also asserted that the device is already in ‘mass production’, suggesting an imminent launch.
If Geskin’s unnamed source is reliable, the iPhone SE will offer a counterargument to the speculation that all of Apple’s new devices would feature Face ID, the infrared 3D face scanning system that debuted on the iPhone X. It would be an understandable omission from a new iPhone SE. This branch of Apple’s product line is meant to be relatively small and affordable, and recent reports have suggested that the technology required for Face ID represents a costly component in smartphone production.
But could the iPhone SE’s lack of Face ID have broader implications? It’s possible that if the device sees huge sales numbers Apple will reconsider its embrace of Face ID, given the recent reports suggesting that Apple saw disappointing sales figures for the iPhone X. But Apple has already sunk a lot of money in the Face ID supply chain, and it’s fair to speculate that the company can still find a way to include Face ID in a new device without giving it a thousand-dollar price tag.
Also worth noting: The presence of the home button on the putative new iPhone SE suggests that Apple still hasn’t figured out in-display fingerprint scanning technology, if it has pursued it at all. It could be a somewhat embarrassing technological shortcoming for the iPhone SE 2, given that lower-tier smartphone makers have succeeded in embracing such technology. But it’s still possible that in-display tech will find its way into the iPhone SE 2, just as it’s possible the device doesn’t even exist – we are dealing with the speculation of a single tweet here, after all.