iPhone SE 4 could still be years away — but may come with a big upgrade

Unofficial renders of the iPhone SE 4
(Image credit: Jon Prosser/Ian Zelbo)

The iPhone SE 4, Apple's rumored next-gen budget iPhone, has been tipped for a release in two years' time but wait could yield one big upgrade, 

That's according to Jeff Pu of Haiton International Securities (via MacRumors), who claims that the next iPhone SE will appear in 2025, rather than 2024, as previous rumors have suggested. However, it will come with a 5G modem designed by Apple and built by TSMC, a project that Apple's supposedly been working on for several years already.

This chip will apparently not offer mmWave support though, just like the current iPhone SE 2022. Apple's flagship iPhones like the iPhone 14 series do offer both mmWave and sub6GHz support though, at least on models sold in countries where mmWave is available.

Even without mmWave compatibility, a 5G modem designed in-house could provide Apple with the opportunity to enhance the 5G performance of its phones according to its own whims. That could mean greater performance and efficiency than the current 5G modems used in iPhones, provided by chipmaker Qualcomm. 

Back with a vengeance

It had been thought that Apple had canceled the iPhone SE 4, but more recently it seems like development is back on, with the new 5G chip being one of several potential upgrades. 

Other sources are claiming the new SE will be a 6.1-inch device based on the iPhone 14, or possibly the iPhone XR, and it could move from an LCD screen to an OLED one. If these rumors are legitimate, this would spell a notable upgrade over the current 4.7-inch iPhone SE 2022, which still uses the iPhone 8's shell from 2017.

With over a year and a half until the rumored debut of the iPhone SE 4, you're best looking elsewhere if you need a new phone in the near future. We recommended starting with our best iPhones guide if you're certain you want another Apple handset, or our best cheap phones list if you prioritize value over sticking with iOS.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, 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.