The new year has just begun and it already looks like an. Last week, right before , Samsung showed off its affordable , and the rumor mill is heating up with buzz about . The company's next budget iPhone, said to be called the iPhone SE 3, could be on its way soon with a retro design, LCD display and 5G support.
Apple unveiled its revamped iPhone SE in the spring of 2020, but the petite iPhone was a no-show at the company's, and events last year. Instead, the tech giant showed off its new , , , and alongside the . A fresh new also sent the internet into a modest frenzy when it was unveiled in 2021.
Following Apple's September event, the company MacRumors, which reported that the highest-storage option for the iPhone SE was discontinued. This could signal that Apple is ramping down production of older iPhone models as new ones become available.from its online store. The change was first spotted by
The rumor mill is a persistent force, and it's been dishing out details on what the third-gen iPhone SE might look like. If you've been holding out for Apple's budget bestseller, buckle up, read on and keep checking back here for the latest iPhone SE 3 buzz.
Apple's next iPhone SE could arrive in early 2022
The third-gen version of the iPhone SE will likely appear in the first half of 2022, according to a research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. His rumored timeline was later echoed by a report from DigiTimes that speculated the new 5G iPhone SE could be on its way in the first half of this year with an updated , and TrendForce has previously narrowed the iPhone SE 3's arrival to the first quarter of this year. Now, in his recent PowerOn newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has further tightened the window of the iPhone SE 3's announcement to March or April.
According to display analyst Ross Young, however, the iPhone SE Plus may debut in 2022 instead of the iPhone SE 3. The third generation of Apple's affordable iPhone is said to not make an appearance until 2024.
Face ID could be coming to the iPhone SE 3
There could be a new way to unlock your iPhone SE if this rumor comes true: Face ID. All of Apple's current iPhones already feature Face ID, except last year's iPhone SE reboot. Adding the ability to unlock your iPhone SE 3 with facial recognition would be a coup for fans of Apple's midrange handset (especially since).
According to another PowerOn newsletter from Gurman, Apple plans to bring the face scanner to all relevant products -- not only the , but all iPads and Macs, too.
The iPhone SE 3 won't get smaller or bigger
In a world of increasingly supersized smartphones, the iPhone SE has claimed bestseller status thanks in part to its diminutive size as well as its powerful combination of prices and features. The first-gen iPhone SE came in a petite 4-inch frame and was lauded by CNET's Scott Stein for being "amazingly pocket-friendly" among other things. Apple's second-gen iPhone SE wasn't quite as small, but made up for it in might. (Apple equipped it with the flagship-level, the same chip that powers each of the four iPhone 12 family members.)
With the upcoming iPhone SE 3, however, it looks like Apple won't change the size, according to Kuo. Like the 2020 iPhone SE, the next-gen version will have a 4.7-inch screen. Apple may launch a plus-sized iPhone SE along with it, however, for those who want a bigger budget iPhone. More on that later. Remember, the iPhone SE has two main audiences: budget-conscious buyers who aren't interested in paying $799 for an (much less $999 for a Pro or $1,099 for a Pro Max) and .
A retro design for the iPhone SE 3
Although there've been rumors of Apple giving the iPhone SE 3 a major makeover, a report by Kuo has seemingly thrown cold water on them. In the report, seen by MacRumors, Kuo says the third-gen iPhone SE will be similar to existing SE models, which could indicate the retro design is here to stay. That means we'll get the iPhone SE's signature chunky bezels at the top and bottom, as well as a physical home button, possibly with Touch ID, for a more tactile user experience. Like the 2016 version, the upcoming iPhone SE is said to feature a single camera on the phone's rear.
However, the iPhone SE 3 could still get a design makeover. According to a rumor from the Chinese site MyDrivers, reported on by Forbes, Apple's next affordable iPhone will use the chassis of the iPhone XR rather than that of the iPhone 8.
The iPhone SE 3 tipped to get LCD display, 5G
Rumors point to Apple sticking with an LCD display for the third-gen SE, instead of upgrading to an OLED screen. OLEDs are typically more vibrant than their LCD counterparts, with richer contrast and inkier blacks. I'd love to see Apple go with an OLED for the SE 3 considering similarly priced phones like theand rock crisp OLED panels. But a report by Kuo said the iPhone SE 3 won't bring many major changes, but instead incremental upgrades to things like 5G support and processor.
Will there be an iPhone SE Plus?
Short answer: Yes, there should be. Kuo has been talking about a larger iPhone SE for some time now, first predicting a late 2021 release before pegging the launch for the first half of 2022, which would potentially align with Apple's usual spring launch of the iPhone SE. Tech YouTuber Jon Prosser posted on Twitter about the existence of a plus-sized iPhone SE back in April 2020.
As mentioned above, Young speculates that the iPhone SE Plus could be coming in 2022. The rumored iPhone is said to feature 5G support and the same 4.7-inch LCD display as the current version of the iPhone SE. Young also projects that the iPhone SE 3 will debut in 2024 with a 5.7-inch to 6.1-inch LCD display.