If even half the rumors and leaks we’ve been seeing are true, Apple has been working on its next compact and affordable smartphone for quite some time. A bunch of leaks on the supposed Apple iPhone SE 2 are regularly seen surfacing. Now, new information suggests that Apple will be starting mass production of the new low-cost iPhone in February.

The Cupertino-based company is expected to launch this new iPhone somewhere in March, suggested a source to Bloomberg. Further, the source mentioned that assembly work for the new handset will be split among Hon Hai Precision Industry, Wistron Corporation and Pegatron Corporation.

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Why Apple needs a low-cost iPhone SE 2

The new cheaper iPhone will be the brand’s first compact smartphone since the iPhone SE launched in 2016. The new phone will reportedly be called the Apple iPhone SE 2, or the iPhone 9. However, it is also possible that the iPhone SE 2 and the iPhone 9 end up being two separate devices. Apple has observed the growing market for its compact, more affordable phones. This was especially evident with the sales of the iPhone XR. Moreover, a cheaper device to fill Apple’s shelves will help tackle Android competition where devices as cheap as $200 (roughly Rs 14,250) are growing more powerful.

The iPhone SE 2 will carry the design from the iPhone 8 launched in 2017. The new phone will reportedly feature a 4.7-inch screen. The iPhone 8, which is still selling for $449 (roughly Rs 31,950), might be discontinued after the iPhone SE 2 launches.

The new iPhone is also expected to bring back Touch ID. Apple could either use the fingerprint recognition service in the home button or use an in-display fingerprint scanner. The former is more likely if Apple sticks with a small 4.7-inch screen. The phone is also expected to use the same Apple A13 Bionic processor used in the iPhone 11.

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