The iPhone SE 2 has long been rumoured but a new report suggests it will emerge branded as the iPhone 9. The cheaper Apple phone has been mooted to have the design of the iPhone 8 and the internals of the latest iPhone 11.

Apple’s 2016 iPhone SE was that rare thing for the company: a one-off. The SE branding swooped in, picked up the iPhone 5’s design and ran with the innards of an iPhone 6s.

It was a great success, underpinned by the very attractive £399/$399 starting price. But Apple was not forthcoming with a sequel as the iPhone strategy evolved and moved towards September 2017’s split announcement of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. The SE is no longer on sale.

There have long been rumours of an iPhone SE 2  with the iPhone8/iPhone 11 hybrid whispers persisting until Macotakara reported the name of the device could be iPhone 9. Apple would position the phone as the follow up to the iPhone 8, which it currently still sells.

It might see Apple move to push iPhones to two different audiences – those who always want the latest, most high-tech iPhone, and those who want or need an iPhone but can’t afford the ever-increasing price.

The introduction of the iPhone 9 to succeed the iPhone 8 makes sense but might confuse buyers who have had two years of iPhone X and iPhone 11 marketing thrown at them. Apple would need to differentiate the benefits of a phone that appears immediately out of date according to numerical branding.

If Apple can sell the iPhone 9 for the same price as the iPhone 8 (£479/$449) it would disrupt the mid-range market that is currently an Android-only battleground. A phone at that price with iPhone 11 performance would be unprecedented and benefit from Apple’s likely five years of iOS updates.