'iPhone SE 2' has iPhone X-style screen and notch according to case vendor

Olixar render of "iPhone SE 2" with screen protector (via Mobile Fun)

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An accessory manufacturer has produced a render for the rumored "iPhone SE 2," suggesting that Apple's refresh of the low-cost iPhone will include a notch at the top, similar to the iPhone X.

Distributed by retailer Mobile Fun, the render appears to depict an iPhone 5S-style chassis combined with an iPhone X-style edge-to-edge screen. Just like the premium smartphone, the image shows the "iPhone SE 2" without a Touch ID button at the bottom, which suggests the top notch will include a camera array using Face ID to provide biometric security.

Accompanying schematics for the screen protector also pictured in the render suggest the screen area will be 121.04 millimeters tall and 55.82 millimeters wide (4.8 inches by 2.2 inches). Taking into account the slim bezel around the edge, these measurements seem to correlate with those of the existing iPhone SE.

Some rumors and "leaks" have pointed towards the "iPhone SE 2" having an iPhone X-like appearance, such as a dubious Weibo video released in March showing the supposed device. Other mockups from November last year also imagined how the successor to the iPhone SE would appear with the increased screen area and the notch.

Most of the other more credible speculative reports point to the smartphone largely retaining its current appearance with few external refinements, such as the use of a glass back for wireless charging. Instead of a major change in design, the "iPhone SE 2" is largely thought to consist of a specification update, with a possible upgrade to the A10 Fusion processor along with 2 gigabytes of RAM and 32- and 128-gigabyte storage options.

Adding an edge-to-edge display and the TrueDepth camera array would be illogical for a number of reasons, but the biggest would be that it would significantly increase the cost of the "iPhone SE 2" at retail. The extra expense could push the price up closer to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, rather than maintaining the iPhone SE's position as the low-cost entry-level model in the iPhone product family.

The additions could also devalue the iPhone X in the eyes of consumers, as there would be little need to pay the high $999 cost if the same premium features could be acquired in a much cheaper device. Doing so would effectively steal sales from the iPhone X, in turn reducing the high average selling price recorded in the last two quarterly financial reports.

Ultimately, the Olixar render is a guess at what the "iPhone SE 2" could look like, part of the design process that accessory producers go through in order to create products that ship as early as possible after Apple's launch. With no clear and concrete evidence, nor real and viable leaks, it is still entirely possible for Olixar to be correct, but based on other reporting about the rumored device, it seems unlikely to be the case.

Olixar was the source of a June screen protector leak ahead of the iPhone X's launch, which at the time matched other rumors and leaks pointing to the introduction of a notched display. One day later, the company released renders for an iPhone X case.

Regulatory reports concerning new iPhone models serve as an indication more of the smartphones are on the way, most likely the aforementioned "iPhone SE 2." Rumors previously pointed to a March launch to coincide with the original device's release, but more recent speculation instead suggests a May launch could take place.