Here’s everything we know about the low-cost 5G iPhone SE 3 coming this year

There’s a new iPhone SE rumored for the first half of 2022. In its third generation, analysts also expect this could be Apple’s most affordable 5G phone that could turn a billion Android users into switchers. Read on as we round up everything we know about the upcoming iPhone SE 3.

  • Design

Pretty much all rumors so far say the new iPhone SE 3 feature the same design as the current iPhone SE. Japanese Apple blog Macotakara as well as analysts Ming-Chi Kuo and DSCC’s Ross Young believe that Apple’s most affordable iPhone will feature the same 4.7-inch LCD display with the iPhone 8-like design.

This means the next iPhone SE won’t have any significant design changes, will keep Touch ID on the Home Button, and will probably feature a variant of the Starlight and Midnight colors. More substantial changes, such as hole-punch design would be left out for the 2023 model, according to Ross Young.

There were rumors at one point that the next iPhone SE would get a larger 5.5-inch display and a Touch ID side button. For instance, Kuo floated the idea of an ‘iPhone SE Plus’ last year.

Last but not least, a sketchy report from MyDrivers in October 2021 said the iPhone SE 3 wouldn’t be based on the iPhone 8 but on the iPhone XR instead. The publication said:

However, it was said earlier that the iPhone SE 3 is still the iPhone 8 model, that is, 4.7-inch screen, front Touch ID , but the latest rumor is that it is based on the iPhone XR, equipped with side fingerprints, of course, does not rule out the front Face ID.

  • Processor and storage options

The current iPhone SE uses the A13 Bionic. According to Macotakara and Ming-Chi Kuo, the next generation will see a spec bump, as it’s expected to feature the A15 Bionic chip, the same as the iPhone 13 line.

Ever since Apple introduced the iPhone SE, it always featured the same processor as the current generation mainline iPhone, so it’s only natural the same will happen in 2022.

Rumors also don’t talk about storage capabilities as of now. The current model is available in 64GB and 128GB options. Since Apple just moved the iPhone 13 line to start at 128GB, maybe the company could follow the same trend with the iPhone SE 3.

  • Camera

As of now, there aren’t rumors regarding the iPhone SE 3 camera. Though, since it’s likely to have the same design as the iPhone 8, it will probably feature only one main sensor.

If Apple follows the trend, the iPhone SE 3 will probably have a camera close to the iPhone 12, as the SE model doesn’t have the same sensor as the current mainline generation iPhone.

Since the current SE phone only features a 7MP front-facing camera, it would be great if the company puts a 12MP sensor in it. Night Mode, Cinematic Mode, and Photographic Styles would be awesome additions as well.

  • 5G, 5G, and 5G

One of the things rumors all agree on is support for 5G connectivity. In June 2021, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was already saying that the iPhone SE 3 would feature two big upgrades: 5G and a better processor. In October, Japanese blog Macotakara and analyst Ross Young also backed up Kuo’s prediction of a 5G iPhone SE.

When the iPhone SE 3 will launch?

At the end of November 2021, a TrendForce report said Apple would announce the iPhone SE 3 in the first quarter of 2022, which suggests the company might hold another special event around March.

Apple is staying with the plan to release its third-generation iPhone SE in 1Q22 and four models under a new series in 2022. The third-generation iPhone SE is expected to be a major instrument in helping Apple establish a presence in the market segment for mid-range 5G smartphones. Its production volume for 2022 is forecasted to reach 25-30 million units.

This story backs up a Kuo report from June where the analyst says the new-entry level iPhone SE would arrive in the first semester of 2022.

These reports are aligned with Apple’s usual schedule for the iPhone SE, since the original model debuted in March 2016 and the second-generation version arrived in April 2020.

According to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in January 2022, Apple will hold an event in March or April to announce the iPhone SE 3:

Apple gets ready for its first virtual event of 2022. Apple’s first virtual event of 2022 is coming up in just a few short months and is likely to take place in either March or April, I’m told.

What should we expect? Probably a new iPhone SE, at least. It was at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020 that Apple ushered in the current iPhone SE.

  • How much the iPhone SE 3 will cost?

As of now, there are no rumors regarding the price point of the new iPhone SE 3. Since it’s the most affordable iPhone, it’s likely to remain at a price point of $399. If Apple doubles the storage option while adding 5G, this would be a really sweet spot for this phone, even though it would lack a design change.

If this turns out to be the case, it’s important to be reminded of the JP Morgan analysis from December that says this iPhone could turn a billion Android users into switchers:

“Apple’s trade-in program for non-iPhones is admittedly not as attractive as the iPhone trade-in values, it could nonetheless lead to an average starting price range of $269 to $399 for the 5G iPhone SE, which is still very competitive,” analyst Samik Chatterjee, rated five stars on Refinitiv Eikon for his estimate accuracy, said.

In a separate note, J.P. Morgan said consumer demand for major upgrades like 5G models is expected to remain strong and also a priority for supply, even as it wanes for most hardware products including smartphones, TVs, and PCs.


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