iPhone SE 3 could steal 'more than a billion' Android users — here’s why

an image of an iPhone SE 3 concept
(Image credit: Apple Lab)

While far from official, the iPhone SE 3 has been tipped to cause a mass exodus of Android users over to iOS in early 2022 thanks to its rumored 5G support. 

That’s the prediction from banking giant JP Morgan, Reuters reports, which has claimed that the next-gen budget iPhone has the potential to pull in “nearly 1.4 billion low-to mid-end Android phones and about 300 million older iPhone model users.”

That's a huge estimate, but apparently it could be facilitated by keen pricing and trade-in value. JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee noted that while Apple’s trade-in value for older Android phones versus older iPhones is, predictably, skewed in favor of Apple phones, it could lead to the iPhone SE 3 having an average starting price ranging between $269 and $399. 

The starting price of the current iPhone SE was $399. But that phone, while very good and a pick for our best cheap phone, lacked 5G connectivity.  

While 5G wasn't necessarily a must have across 2020 and 2021, it’s seeing more use cases, and wider coverage meaning getting a 5G phone now makes sense. Even if you don’t have a 5G SIM, having a phone that’s 5G compatible means it’ll be futureproof for when you are ready to make the jump to the faster mobile internet standard. 

And that could very much be the case for a lot of people looking to upgrade from the iPhone SE or older flagship iPhones that don’t have 5G modem chips, say the iPhone 8 or iPhone X

As for Android users, there are plenty of budget handsets that lack 5G connectivity; the stellar Google Pixel 4a didn't have 5G. That changed with the Pixel 5a, so there could be a cohort of people looking to upgrade from that phone in 2022. 

And upgrading to the iPhone SE 3 should be rather appealing, as going by the rumors thus far it should have some solid upgrades. We’re expecting to see the A15 Bionic chip, the same on that powers the iPhone 13 range in the next-gen SE. The jury is still out on the design front though, with analyst Ross Young suggesting the design will remain much the same as the last model, but with a specs boost. 

Camera improvements, such as a better night mode and perhaps a second rear camera are also potential upgrades. However, details are thin for now.

Nevertheless, a 5G compatible budget iPhone should still be a compelling device. With a iPhone SE launch expected during Q1 of 2022, we don't have too long to wait. And we suggest you wait for the iPhone SE 3 rather than get the current iPhone SE.   

To 5G or not to 5G?

Regardless of whether you are considering an iPhone SE 3 or maybe the Pixel 5a or Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, you may be wondering if it’s now the time to get a 5G phone.

We’d suggest that if you’re in the market to get a new phone, iOS or Android, it’s worth looking for a 5G compatible handset. As mentioned, even if you aren't in a 5G area, there are plenty of areas that now have solid 5G coverage, namely urban locations, so you’d be able to benefit from the connectivity one way or another.

And simply having a 5G phone means your device should have a longer lifespan than those without it. It could also make it easier when trading in or selling an older phone. In short, now’s the time to go 5G.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • whill2179
    I don't think the 5G which is a shorter range signal should matter unless the hyped up how much better it is makes a difference. Android is coming out with new phones that are around those same price points you mentioned in your nice report. But for everyone's sakes you need a phone for emergencies. Apple or Android.