According to a report in Investor's Business Daily, Loop Capital Markets analyst John Donovan says he has heard rumors that the new iPhone SE could start at just $300. This would be a huge decrease from the current $399 iPhone SE 2020.
In the same report, Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives says Apple will stick with the $399 starting price, but he doesn't rule out a lower price.
"Apple needs to make sure that it doesn't outprice itself in the midst of the strongest iPhone upgrade cycle it's had since 2015," Ives told IBD.
The biggest expected upgrades for the iPhone SE 3 are the addition of faster 5G connectivity and the A15 Bionic chip, the same chip found in the iPhone 13 lineup. So the iPhone SE 3 could easily be the fastest handset among the best cheap phones.
Could Apple really price the iPhone SE 3 as low as $300? Well, it's rumored to offer the same design as the current model, complete with small 4.7-inch display, Touch ID button and chunky bezels. So perhaps Apple has figured out a way to ramp up production while saving costs. However, the new A15 chip would presumably lead to better computational photography even if the camera hardware doesn't change.
Even before this rumored price decrease, JPMorgan analysts predicted in December that the new iPhone SE could lure as many as 1.4 billion users away from Android phones, though that figure is hard to believe.
There are plenty compelling low-cost Android rivals out there, from the new OnePlus Nord CE 2 (£300 in the UK), which features fast 65W charging and a large 6.4-inch display. There's the also Google Pixel 5a, which costs $449 with 5G, great cameras and 6.3-inch screen. But a $300 iPhone SE 3 would definitely stand out if true.
Other rumored products tipped for the Apple event in March include a new iPad Pro 2022, a powerful iMac Pro and possibly a new Mac mini 2022. Stay tuned for more rumors and leaks as we get closer to the Apple event.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.