iPhone SE refresh could be lacking a hugely popular feature

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iPhone SE camera
Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone SE in May.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is expected to deliver a new iPhone SE next month, complete with refreshed internals that make it significantly snappier. But it may not be all good news for fans of Apple’s smallest smartphone.

A new report claims one hugely popular feature will be missing.

Some reports suggested Apple could kill the iPhone SE this year, but it makes sense for Apple to keep it around. Not only is it great for those who prefer more compact devices, but it’s a substantially more affordable alternative to the rest of the iPhone lineup.

That’s important for Apple, particularly in emerging markets where cheaper smartphones are more successful, which have become increasingly important for the Cupertino company in recent years. But this year’s iPhone SE upgrade may not be the refresh fans were hoping for.

New iPhone SE could be missing a headphone jack

Japanese blog Macotakara, which has a fairly decent track record when it comes to Apple rumors, claims the iPhone SE will be missing a 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple is expected to remove the popular port — as it has done from its flagship devices — likely to make room for other components.

What might those components be? Well, according to the case-makers Macotakara spoke with this week at the Global Sources Mobile Electronics trade show in Hong Kong, the iPhone SE could feature Qi wireless charging like Apple’s most recent handsets.

To make that possible, Apple would have to ditch the iPhone SE’s aluminum unibody and give it a glass back, like that on iPhone 8 and iPhone X. However, the handset is expected to retain the same appearance elsewhere, including the same 4-inch Retina display.

iPhone SE upgrade to arrive in May

The new iPhone SE will also pack a more powerful A10 Fusion processor, the sources claim. It is expected to retain its Touch ID button and just 2GB of RAM, and there’s no word as yet on whether Apple will upgrade its cameras.

Apple is expected to announce the device in May, a month before WWDC. A recent leak from the Eurasion Economic Commission revealed Apple has already made preparations for its launch.

If indeed the new iPhone SE is lacking a headphone jack, and Apple discontinues the iPhone 6 series when new models are introduced this fall, the company will no longer offer a smartphone with the 3.5mm port. Users must rely on Lightning and wireless headphones instead.