Apple may use 'iPhone 6SE' name for this year's phone

A new report claims that this year's iPhone may not be dubbed the iPhone 7 after all. According to  (translated from German), supply chain sources report that Apple's next phone will be called the iPhone 6SE.

From (via 9to5mac):

Accordingly go Chinese manufacturer expects that the next Apple phone is named "iPhone 6SE". According to our information, packaging was also produced in the accessories industry, which are marked with the name.The iPhone 6SE would be the direct successor of the iPhone 6s, the source said. So far the Chinese manufacturer only speak in conjunction with the 4.7 inch model of the iPhone 6SE - for 5.5 inch model, there is currently no information. Consistently were here but only the name appendix "Plus".

While it would certainly be a different direction for Apple to take the naming scheme, it wouldn't really be surprising if this year's phone wasn't given the '7' moniker. The phone is said to hew closely to the design of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, with changes including updated antenna lines and no headphone jack, and a new camera. The 2017 iPhone will reportedly feature many more substantial design changes, and thus Apple could wait until next year to release an 'iPhone 7.'

In another, separate report, noted leaker Evan Blass claims that the new phone will see a retail release on September 16, so it looks like Apple isn't straying from tradition in at least one aspect.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • Talk about confusing. We already have people still calling the SE the 5SE even though it's not. If this happens, I really can't see that dying. Whatever it is, people will probably buy of course.
  • Now u *really* have to know what u'r talking about... Get a letter in the wrong place and u'r flamed for life.. I don't think Apple can be called "simple" anymore, More so, "simply confusing" with their product names.. They do have good products, but i think they also got an names shortage as well.
  • This would make a lot of sense if the rumours about a lack of design changes this year and major changes next year are true. All the previous number changes have been accompanied by a major redesign (ignoring 2G to 3G), and not changing the number would manage people's expectations a bit better. It will probably mean a few less sales this year, but the implicit hint that something better is coming next year would mean that this year's buyers won't be as annoyed when the redesigned phone comes out next year.
  • Totally agree. Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple needs to drop the numbering system. Keep the iphone SE moniker if you are going to keep making the 4" model and go with iphone and iphone Plus or Pro. Use the calender year (2016) as an internal designation if needed. I think iphone buyers are smart enough to know what they are buying.
  • Totally agree. Can you imagine if they numbered the Macs?
  • Agreed. The Mid-2015 / Late-2008 / etc designation works fine, use model number (A1051, A1341, etc) if you really want to get specific.
    They could just name it iPhone SE 2016 (SE), iPhone SP 2015 (6S) and iPhone SX 2015 (6S plus) or something like that. And the 2016 release be called the SP 2016 and SX 2016.
  • They will. Next year. 10th anniversary at WWDC. They will introduce the.... iPhone Sent from the iMore App
  • I really don't agree. When I was recently shopping for an iMac I had to be really careful what I was buying because people don't always know the year, especially when it's been a couple of years since purchase. I ended up buying directly from Apple but some of the 3rd party stores, or used iMacs weren't always clear what model you were buying. Obviously the numbering gets ridiculous when you get into higher digits but the 7,8,9, and 10 numbers make a lot of sense and are an easy differential for the iPhone.
  • Not to mention when you have a early, mid, or late year model. So confusing Sent from the iMore App
  • All Macs have model numbers. That'll tell when it was made. You can also use Mactracker cross reference model numbers.
  • At least PC's do it by spec.... If u try that with an Apple genius they'll give u a confused look and reiterate "Now, did u want a Late model Mac"
  • It's right there in About This Mac in the toolbar. Mine says "MacBook Pro( 13-inch, Early 2011)". The Mac does have to be running through..........
  • If this is true, this could also be a way to keep "7" out of their name in a year where Samsung has come on so strong with the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and the soon to be released Note 7.
  • Then what do they do when Samsung releases the 8 series, skip to iPhone 9? Sent from the iMore App
  • It's only a 1 year problem thanks to the iPhone's S series. It was just a guess anyway. :)
  • numbers do go up, not down...
    iPhone 10se, iPhone 11, 11se, 12, 12se........ etc
  • When does Apple *ever* worry about another manufacturer? For better or worse, Apple does things their own way, in their own time.
  • They would never give the public perception that they're worried about anything. But if there was ever a time, it would be now. The S7 has been extremely successful, and whether it's warranted or not (I don't believe it is) there is some negative sentiment surrounding Apple's stock and earnings and all that. So making sure the number 7 doesn't coincide with Samsung's most successful release makes marketing sense. And like I said above, it was just a guess... I'm sure in a couple of months we'll find out it'll be called the iPhone 7 and all this will be moot! :)
  • well, there have been all these rumors. Seems no one in the 'rumor mil' can even agree on anything... I bet the name will be changed to "It's called IPhone 7" This is even, even before Apple has actually got a name for it... so in the 'rumor mil' u can basically call it anything u like.... history is non-existent, because Apple has not said anything. "We" just THINK it is How about we all put names in a black tip hat and i'll draw one out.
  • Subterfuge Edition.
  • Why?
  • Yes seems super easy to me. Whenever the number jumps up to the next that means it's the redesign. So you have the iPhone 6, then 6S, then 6SE. Then you have the iPhone 7, 7S, and 7SE before going to the iPhone 8. Seems logical and makes perfect sense to me. I like it! Sent from the iMore App
  • I hope this rumor is true, then the phone would line up well with the rest of the 6 series family, seeing how it looks like it will look similar. Sent from the iMore App
  • I don't believe it. I think Apple will keep the "SE" name for its 4-inch devices, and won't add numbers to it. This rumor is just bunk.
  • I see Apple is slipping back into the pre Jobs era of confusing product names and lines.
  • Called it... Sent from the iMore App
  • You, me, and about ten or twenty thousand others "called it." People (me included) have literally been saying this for months.
  • I thought that 6SE made more sense as a name. It would be disingenuous to call it the 7 if it didn't have a new distinguishing look. It'll be interesting if they change the naming scheme with next years 10th anniversary iPhone, or if it'll simply be iPhone 7.
  • I could really care less. It's just a name. If the phone is compelling enough, I'll buy it. If it's not, then I'll wait. My guess? I'll buy it.
  • From "Insanely Simple" to "Simply Confusing".
  • This product release just gets boringer and boringer. I hope Apple has some other exciting product release planned for September or this holiday season will be a snoozefest!
  • iPhone 6SE, god I hope not? It sounds ridiculous, I know that the new iPhone (what ever it made end up being called) won't be much of a redesign but why not just call it 6s (2016)? Just by looking at the back of the new iPhone, (which I'm not a fan of) it looks different enough at thr back but at the front they'll look virtually identical. Sent from the iMore App
  • If you say 6S you're not going to know which year unless you say the year... sooooooo why not just say 6SE. It's simpler. Then people know instantly. Most people use cases so you're not going to be looking at the back of people's phones regularly. Doing that sounds like dogs sniffing each other's butts. Hey who are you... Hello! Sent from the iMore App
  • If there is an SE addition then why change the antenna bands now? Why not wait until next year to co inside with thr 10th anniversary of the iPhone but not with that hideous design. Sent from the iMore App
  • Not a big surprise since there was a rumour a while ago that Apple was going to a three year cycle instead of two for the major iPhone releases and that this year wasn't going to feature many big changes. Though I'm not sure about the 6SE name since it might cause confusion with the SE unless they rename it to something like the 6SE Mini.
  • Certainly would explain a lot. Still, it looks like a train wreck if you ask me. A stop gap phone to say you have a new one when you don't. Android is so far ahead, I'm afraid the "iPhone" will be surpassed before it gets to market. Numbers are good and simple, just drop the "s". iPhone (2017), iPhone 2 (2018 or next gen), etc. I'm in favor of dumping the new model every year. Improve the existing model and save the new model number for real changes. Sent from the iMore App
  • The way I see it; this years iPhone just "iPhone" next year iPhone10 no 6 or se, 6 is done se is for next years se2. There'll be no 7, a number change is meant to come with exterior redesign, calling it a 7 draws attention to lack of redesign. no 7s because; though it's most appropriate as it goes along with a camera upgrade year, and it's not an exterior redesign year, it would draw attention to skipping the 7 and to the fact that there was no real redesign, warranting a 7. Last years flagship was 6s while its main competitor the Samsung Galaxy was S6, this year Samsung will release an 8 they already have a 7. Apple is being numerically left behind by name by its competitor. This years iPhone; no numbers no s, after next years iPhone10, no more s's. Sent from the iMore App