iPhone SE Plus just tipped for 2022 — but it’s not what you think

iPhone SE 3
(Image credit: MajinBu)

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

The iPhone SE Plus will apparently arrive next year, but not in the way you might expect from the name.

According to Display Supply Chain Consultants’ (DSCC) Ross Young — someone who boasts an unbeatable 100% accuracy rating on AppleTrack — next year’s iPhone SE 3 will be branded the iPhone SE Plus, despite sticking rigidly to the same 4.7-inch display used on the current iPhone SE

The predicted larger 5.8 to 6.1-inch version, which Young has previously tipped for 2023, is now even further away, he added. You’re looking at 2024 if you want a bigger screened iPhone, but don’t want to pay the premium for an iPhone 13, or even an iPhone 13 Pro Max, today. Though there are persistent rumors that the regular iPhone 14 will come in a Max size, too

Why iPhone SE Plus?

The trouble with this rumor, if it proves to be true, is that the term “Plus” has typically been used by Apple to denote larger iPhones. Starting with the iPhone 6 in 2014, Apple produced larger versions of its handsets under the ‘Plus’ moniker all the way up to 2017’s iPhone 8. After that, Apple still made big-screen phones, but adopted the word “Max” to differentiate, starting with the iPhone XS.

In other words, it looks like Apple is looking to repurpose the word “Plus” to mean “advanced”, just four years after it stopped using it to mean “large”. In the case of the 2022 iPhone SE, this would likely be because it will support 5G speeds for the first time, catching up with the iPhone 12 in terms of connectivity.

Even though Young has proven correct in the past, this is still a rumor, of course, and won’t be confirmed until Tim Cook is on stage next year. But if Apple is adopting the word “Plus” to mean advanced, rather than large, then it comes just as Samsung is reportedly moving on from the word in its smartphones. 

Next year’s Samsung Galaxy S22 handset will apparently come in regular, Pro and Ultra flavors with “Plus” abandoned — presumably because it didn’t upsell the device enough. 

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.