iPhone SE 3 rumor just tipped two biggest upgrades

Best camera phone: iPhone SE 2020
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Update: A new report has the iPhone SE 3 once again tipped for an early 2022 release; we could be seeing the phone rather soon.

With a year to go before the iPhone 14 Pro allegedly emerges in its notchless glory, the next iPhone is set to be a refresh to the entry-level handset: the iPhone SE 3. Now a fresh report backs up what we’ve already been hearing: that the iPhone SE 3’s familiar looks will disguise some seriously powerful internals.

Japanese Apple blog Macotakara claims that while the iPhone SE 3 will maintain the somewhat dated look of the current iPhone SE, it will share some of the internals of the recent iPhone 13 range, with the absurdly powerful A15 chip doing the heavy lifting. And while you’d imagine there will be less RAM and storage to keep the mid-range pricing, that does open the door to 5G on a SE model for the first time.

But at a glance, the iPhone SE 3 will apparently look the same as the current cheapest iPhone — which is to say, pretty much identical to 2017’s iPhone 8. That means that the 4.7-inch IPS Retina screen would still be sandwiched between thick borders at the top and bottom, with the familiar Touch ID Home button still in place for authentication. 

Notably, the report makes no mention of a larger iPhone SE Plus, which was once rumored to be in the works. That makes sense, as the last we’d heard this was to be pushed back to 2023

Macotakara claims that the iPhone SE 3 will enter production this December, with its unveiling occurring in Spring 2022. From the end of March onwards, which makes sense: the last thing Apple wants is the cheaper iPhone stealing the thunder from the 13 range, and a six-month gap should give those keen for the latest flagship hardware plenty of time to buy.

The iPhone SE is certainly due an upgrade, with the last version appearing at the start of the pandemic in April 2020. But while annual updates are expected of many Apple products, the iPhone SE is one that’s considerably harder to predict, with a four-year gap between the first- and second generations. 

Still, with this latest report matching the usually accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s predictions, we’re inclined to believe that the wait for a new iPhone SE is almost over. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.