Update: Display analyst Ross Young has claimed that the next budget iPhone will be called the iPhone SE Plus 5G.
The iPhone SE 3's reveal date may have just been revealed as happening during the first big Apple event of this year.
Mark Gurman's latest Power On (opens in new tab) newsletter noted that the new budget iPhone could be arriving in March or April at Apple's first big product showcase of 2022. To be clear, Gurman's sources don't mention the iPhone SE, just the potential dates. That this event will feature the iPhone SE 3 is an assumption on his part, although a pretty safe one given previous rumors.
Gurman also said that this event will be an online-only affair. While the it's still seemingly a few months off, this seems like a good choice under the current coronavirus circumstances.
The iPhone SE 3 is thought to look a lot like the current iPhone 8-style iPhone SE (2020), with it tipped to stick with a 4.7-inch display and physical Touch ID button. However, we do expect some internal changes.
The main one of these would be the addition of a 5G-ready A15 Bionic chipset (at least according to Macotakara (opens in new tab)), the same one found in the iPhone 13 series. Even if nothing else really changes, this would be enough to make the iPhone SE 3 one of the best cheap phones based on performance power alone.
This model has been rumored to be entering trial production, meaning that it's likely on track for a launch around the time that Gurman's sources suggest. But there's apparently another iPhone SE launching in 2023 or possibly in 2024, according to other rumors. This iPhone SE will be visibly different from the current or rumored upcoming model, as it allegedly uses a design based on that of the iPhone XR.
But what else could we see at this spring event? This time last year, we saw the iPad Pro 2021, the iMac (24-inch), the AirTag and the Apple TV 4K. This year, products like the iPad Pro 2022, and a new MacBook Air could be the support acts for the new iPhone SE.
One final nugget of information from Gurman's newsletter: the next big Apple event of 2022. Gurman claims that after this spring launch event, the next date to mark on our calendars is June, for Worldwide Developers Conference 2022 (WWDC). He added that this is where we'll see new versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, but that once again this will be an online-only event.
What will be interesting is how the iPhone SE 3 vs. Google Pixel 5a potential showdown will shakeout, as this could be the big budget phone battle of the year.