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Price, release date, leaks and features

Apple is expected to release an iPhone SE 3 this year after the romping success of its predecessor. Here’s all the information we know about it so far.

It’s no surprise that Apple is one of the biggest players in the smartphone industry, given the brand’s impressive track record of attractive design, immaculate software, and superb specs that you’ll find across its devices.

Even if you’re not prepared to part with a huge sum of money for a flagship phone, the iPhone SE 2, released in 2020, is a very tempting prospect and one of the best mid-range phones around.

The rumours point to a sequel to this popular device being released in 2022, so here’s all we know so far about the iPhone SE 2022.

Release Date

There’s no official release date that’s been set for the iPhone SE 3, and its existence hasn’t even yet been established beyond all doubt. However, some insiders have hinted that it’s set for release in early 2022.

The market research organisation TrendForce first reported that the iPhone SE 3 would come out in the first quarter of 2022, and would be “a major instrument in helping Apple establish a presence in the market segment for mid-range 5G smartphones.”

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a fount of information for all things Apple, specified that the event was likely to take place in March or April 2022.


According to the rumours gathered so far, there are two potential devices on the way; in addition to the iPhone SE due in 2022 there may also be an iPhone SE Plus coming later, so here’s what we know about both so far.

It was a rumour from a developer named DylanDKT (via AppleInsider) that first suggested that the 2022 release would just be a slightly tweaked version of the current SE, without any major design changes at all, and that the next big update would not be launched until 2024.

This same rumour seemed to be confirmed by Ross Young (above), who claimed that the later model would be named the “iPhone SE Plus”, and Mark Gurman has also said that the 2022 upgrade will just be a minor refresh.

However, the Plus version is where we could see something “different” — in a manner of speaking. An unusual quirk of the iPhone SE series, at least so far, is that they have not featured a new design, instead recycling previous iterations of the iPhone. The original iPhone SE was housed in the body of an iPhone 5S, while the second-generation model was based on the same design as the iPhone 8.

This time round, rumours point to the next major iPhone SE redesign sharing the same body as the iPhone XR, although this would make it significantly larger than previous models in the series, with a 6.1-inch screen rather than a handy little 4.7-inch display that has won affection from those who prefer a more manageable handset. It would also mean that this would be the very last iPhone to feature an LCD screen, since the following models have featured OLED tech instead.

iPhone XR

It goes without saying, however, that the internal specs will be significantly upgraded from the model that dates from 2018.


The most exciting forthcoming specification, which is in keeping with a trend set by previous SE handsets, is that Apple’s latest silicon, the A15 Bionic chipset, is thought to be included in the new device. You would get incredibly fast performance from this chip, which is the same one found in the iPhone 13 Pro, and it would of course pack in 5G connectivity too.

Further leaked specification details hint that the new device will have just the one 12-megapixel camera, with an all-new sensor, and 3GB of RAM.

This might not be the kind of information that gets the heart rate pumping, but that’s because the iPhone SE has never been about cutting-edge tech; it’s a mid-range device that packs in good specifications and Apple software for a reasonable price, rather than being a trailblazer.


The iPhone SE usually occupies a modest price point, representing Apple’s entry into the mid-range market rather than the pricey flagships for which it is best known.

Back in 2020, the iPhone SE launched with a base price of $399/£419, and it’s fair to assume that the new one will likely retail for a similar amount. However, that all depends on whether we’ll just get a modest stopgap upgrade in 2022, or a major redesign (which may cost a bit more).

Trusted Take

For now, it seems that Apple is only eyeing up incremental improvements to the iPhone SE, and shelving the big redesign for two years. That’s disappointing in itself, but I hope that time-out lets them reconsider the idea of using the iPhone XR’s shell, which is completely out of line with the iPhone SE’s typically small and manageable frame; there are precious few small smartphones around anymore, even among Android devices, and so the SE should stick to the tried and tested formula of being a big-value phone in a small package.

Peter Phelps

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