iPhone SE 5G just leaked — but there’s bad news for release date

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

For a little while now, we've been hoping that Apple would announce a successor to last year's popular iPhone SE. The affordable smartphone has drawn a lot of attention and praise, especially for its price-to-performance ratio. The rumored iPhone SE 3 has a lot of us excited.

But Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) claims that Apple will not release the iPhone SE 3 in 2021 at all, instead waiting for the first half of 2022, a full year from now.

So that's disappointing, especially since we'd really like to see Apple address some of the iPhone SE (2020)'s weaknesses sooner rather than later. However, we can't fault the company for wanting to capitalize on the popularity of a device still in production.

Kuo also suggested that the iPhone SE 3 will come with some other upgrades, like 5G and a newer chipset (maybe the A14?). He said the new model will have a similar design to the current iPhone SE. Whether that means Apple will continue to use the iPhone 8 body or offer something similarly compact remains to be seen.

At the very least, we would like Apple to increase the screen size from 4.7 inches to above 5 inches, but we don't know if that's going to happen. 

Regardless, this news doesn't make the iPhone SE (2020) any less worthy of your purchase. It's still got high-class performance and solid photography capabilities, even if it lacks a dedicated night mode. Let's hope Apple surprises us, but we wouldn't suggest getting your hopes up right now.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.