Apple refreshed its entry-level iPhone in March 2022, adding a few nips and tucks here and there and a quiet price hike. But the aging design and minimal upgrades ensured the new iPhone SE was received coolly. Many were excited for the next generation, and reviewers hoped Apple was planning a more radical overhaul of the device.
As if on cue, rumors are now emerging as to what that could look like. In this article we have compiled everything we know so far about the iPhone SE 4 and can reasonably speculate.
When will the iPhone SE 4 appear?
Apple’s iPhone SE doesn’t follow the same predictable annual release schedule as the standard line, and intervals between updates can be difficult to predict. The timing of this year’s launch hints at a two-year routine, but that followed a much longer gap between the first and second phones. Here are the three models released so far:
As you can see, after Apple introduced the SE line in 2016, we had to wait four years for the device to be updated – so long that the original SE was discontinued in September 2018. The 2nd generation shifted it from the iPhone 5/5S design to the iPhone 6/6S style which it keeps to this day. Since then we have had two releases two years apart. With that in mind, it seems likely that the iPhone SE (4th generation) will arrive in March or April 2024.
Display Supply Chain Consultants’ Ross Young, a trusted industry expert who specializes in displays and is very accurate with his predictions, also believes a new iPhone SE will launch in 2023, although he has hinted that it will it is a new model could arrive in 2023.
How much will the iPhone SE 4 cost?
Prices have steadily increased over the three existing generations, no doubt influenced by the global cost of components and distribution. While the iPhone SE (3rd generation) released at around the same price as the model it replaces, Apple has upped the cost a bit, making the current model a bit less desirable than previous iterations, especially considering the meager amount of storage that comes with the base model. Here’s how to line up:
iPhone SE (3rd Gen, 2022):
64GB: $429 / £449
128GB: $479 / £499
256GB: $579 / £609
iPhone SE (2nd generation, 2020):
64GB: $399 / £419
128GB: $449 / £469
256GB: $549 / £569
iPhone SE (1st gen, 2016):
32GB: $399 / £379
128GB: $499 / £449
The iPhone SE has to be cost-effective, though, and we’d be surprised if there was a sharp increase with the next-gen, even with several rumored upgrades.
What will the new iPhone SE look like?
Since the iPhone SE has traditionally always been one of the smallest devices Apple offers, it seems logical that the discounted iPhone 13 Mini format could find its way down to replace the SE’s iPhone 6 body. But this is just one of several future Apple might choose for the SE line.
In a recent episode of the Geared Up podcast, tech tipster Jon Prosser said the “iPhone SE 4…is just the iPhone XR,” meaning it’ll have an “all-screen” design and a 6.1-inch inch display. In an episode of his own Front Page tech show, Prosser showed an “exclusive first look” at the new iPhone SE, which is very similar to the iPhone 11 indeed. Ross Young, meanwhile, has stated that the next iPhone SE will be most likely to have a 6.1-inch display.
Prosser also reports that the new iPhone SE will have a notch like the iPhone XR, a claim also supported by Young.
What features will the iPhone SE 4 have?
While the iPhone SE 4 is rumored to have a notch, it may not have Face ID. Apple rolled out Face ID as a feature of its high-end products (iPhone and iPad Pro), and leakers aren’t sure if it will have the facial recognition technology. A notch without Face ID would be odd, but not unprecedented — keep in mind that the MacBook Pro has a notch that only houses the front camera. We’ve seen older reports from industry analyst Ming Chi-Kuo (via MacRumors) and Chinese tech site MyDrivers claiming Apple will move the Touch ID sensor to the power button like the 10th-gen iPad.
Renderings by Ian Zelco at Front Page Tech show the iPhone SE 4 with a single camera, so you can probably expect a similar 12MP wide-angle lens. However, we hope it includes some of the features we didn’t get with the iPhone SE 3, namely night mode and cinema mode.
Depending on when it comes out, it could get the improved A15 chip found in the iPhone 14 or the newer A16. Neither would be a huge improvement over the A15 in the current model.
With the iPhone 13 range moving to a baseline of 128GB (and the 14-series phones following), it’s hoped the new iPhone SE could do the same, as 64GB really isn’t enough for most people anymore, especially since System files take more than 10 GB. But we’re not very hopeful – the iPhone SE (3rd gen) came after the iPhone 13 range and still started with the same 64GB of storage, and the redesigned 10th gen iPad also starts at 64GB . We explain more about this in Why you shouldn’t buy the 64GB iPhone SE.
Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long to find out. We’ll update this article as more information becomes available, so keep checking back to see what we can dig up. In the meantime, if you can’t wait until next year, here’s a roundup of the best iPhone deals available right now.
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