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iPhone SE 3 just got closer to launch — here's why

iPhone SE 3
(Image credit: MajinBu)

The iPhone SE 3 has reportedly moved a step closer to launch, with components for the latest version of Apple's budget smartphone now ordered and in production.

That's according to Taiwanese news site DigiTimes, which cites industry sources in a report claiming that three companies that will be providing iPhone parts have been ordered not to reduce the size of their shipments for Apple. With that in mind, we suggest you wait for the iPhone SE 3 rather than get the current iPhone SE.  

These parts won't only be for the iPhone SE 3, but since that phone's predicted to arrive in the first half of next year, it stands to reason that a fair chunk of them will be put towards assembling the new SE.

December is apparently the usual time any adjustments in order size would be discussed, once Apple has analysed how the smartphone market is doing. However, if this report is accurate then it implies Apple is more positive about the market than had previously seemed to be the case.

Earlier this month it was reported that Apple had instructed suppliers not to increase parts orders for the iPhone 13, as it predicted that once supply chain issues had been resolved, demand would soften. However, if the above report is true then it seems that prediction has changed from expecting a drop to foreseeing a more stable market.

The current second-gen iPhone SE arrived in 2020, replacing the original iPhone SE after four years. However, Apple seems to be picking up that release cadence, as rumors claim we'll see new iPhone SE models both in 2022 and 2023. The new model, possibly called the iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE Plus, will reportedly use the same 4.7-inch display and Touch ID home button design as the current SE, but will have a 5G-ready A15 chipset running the show, as on the iPhone 13 line.

The 2023 model sounds like it could be a much bigger step forward than next year's version. The rumors for that one suggest Apple will upgrade the display size, although others believe this model won't arrive for another couple of years.

The iPhone SE, despite its increasing age, remains high on our list of best cheap phones. As the most budget-friendly route into the iOS ecosystem, it's a tempting offer for those put off by the more expensive iPhone 13 series. Yet with an A13 Bionic chipset, the SE is almost as powerful as a flagship iPhone, and still offers way better performance than any comparable Android phone while also doing a great job with photography.

Update: The iPhone SE 3 has been tipped to pull in 1.4 billion users. And it’s thanks to 5G.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.