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iPhone SE 3 launch date now tipped for April or May

A render of the iPhone SE 3, featuring the rumored Face ID notch
(Image credit: TenTechReview/xleaks7)

The iPhone SE 3, Apple's next budget-friendly iPhone, could be just a few months away, according to two new reports. Coming as a follow-up to the popular iPhone SE (2020), the new entry-level smartphone could offer customers the 5G iPhone experience for hundreds less than the other models.

The first report comes from Display Supply Chain Consultants analyst Ross Young on Twitter. Young, who has a decent track record when it comes to Apple leaks, claims that the Cupertino-based phone maker is starting display panel production for the iPhone SE 3 next month, with full phone production starting soon thereafter. This schedule points to an April/May release window.

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That's not all we've heard today. According to French site Consomac, the iPhone SE 3 has passed through the EEC (Eurasian Economic Commission), one of Russia's regulatory agencies. The website found references to model numbers A2595, A2783 and A2784. The EEC only revealed the model number and OS version. That same agency also certified the upcoming iPad Air 5, according to reports.

eec regulatory listing for what is believed to be the iphone se 3

(Image credit: EEC)

As a refresher, we expect the new iPhone SE to look just like the last one, meaning it'll be have a small 4.7-inch display and a single camera. If this is true, there will be a home button with Touch ID. But this year, we think Apple will include 5G and iPhone 13 power via that phone's A15 Bionic chipset.

As for cost, we hope that Apple keeps the same attractive $399 price point as last time. This would give every budget and mid-range Android phone a run for their money in terms of raw performance and software support. But the iPhone SE 3 could face stiff competition from Google's Pixel 6a later this year, if rumors about that phone pan out.

An April/May timeline for the iPhone SE 3 makes sense, since the last model released in late April 2020. It would be a little bit later than the March/April timeframe some rumors had suggested, though still within that general spring timeframe.

There's also a rumor that the phone will be called the iPhone SE Plus 5G, which doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well as iPhone SE 3. But a budget-friendly iPhone with 5G is nothing to sneeze at, since the next step up in the iPhone chain, the iPhone 11, only has LTE.

Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over five 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.