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(Pocket-lint) - Apple's next low-cost iPhone - commonly referred to as the iPhone SE 2 - is expected to go into mass production as soon as next month, February 2020. 

Citing sources familiar with Apple's product launch schedules, a fresh report claims that the manufacturer is planning to unveil the phone the following month, in March 2020. 

The report comes from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, a source with plenty of credibility when it comes to revealing Apple's plans in advance. 

As we've heard previously from a variety of sources and leaks, the plan seems to be launching a low cost phone which looks a lot like the iPhone 8 from 2017, and that includes the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the front. 

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That means the phone isn't likely to get Face ID facial recognition, and will feature quite chunky bezels above and below the display on the front. 

Questions still remain over the pricing of the iPhone SE 2 and - specifically - where that leaves the iPhone 8 (a phone which Apple still sells). 

If it's to hit the sub $400 mark as predicted, but still feature a more modern and more powerful processor than the $450 iPhone 8, that surely would mean the 2017 iPhone would be discontinued. 

After all, it makes very little sense to keep an older, more expensive but less powerful smartphone around when you can get a better experience for less money. 

If the iPhone 8 was removed from the product line, it would be a similar move to when the iPad Air was replaced by the cheaper 9.7-inch iPad a couple of years back, so it wouldn't be entirely unusual for Apple to do that.

That was seen by most as a great move by the company, lowering the barrier to enter Apple's ecosystem. 

Time will tell if the same will be true for the iPhone product range. It may even help Apple gain something of a foothold in developing markets where its products have so far been a bit too pricey for the general consumer.

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 22 January 2020.