Apple is rumored to launch the iPhone SE 3 in March this year. The upcoming SE refresh would make it the cheapest 5G phone in the company’s stable with some key internal upgrades. Below are the confirmed and unconfirmed features of the 2022 iPhone SE 3 based on rumors and leaks.
The iPhone SE is currently the most affordable iPhone in Apple’s smartphone lineup, with a starting price tag of $399. Announced in April 2020, the device is just a re-branded iPhone 8 with some internal upgrades. This year, Apple is again expected to refresh the iPhone SE, but sadly the changes are unlikely to be significant. If rumors are anything to go by, they will primarily focus on internal changes and 5G support, with the company still retaining the same design and display size.
Nonetheless, the addition of 5G could encourage scores of Android and older iPhone users to get the iPhone SE 3 and give Apple’s ecosystem a try. It could also become the go-to upgrade for people using older iPhone models and those who are on a shoestring budget for a new 5G smartphone.
The ‘Confirmed’ 2022 iPhone SE 3 Features As Per Leaks
While nothing is confirmed until the iPhone SE 3 launches, multiple leaks over the last few months have given us a fair idea of what to expect from the iPhone SE 3.
Design and Display
Apple did not tweak the iPhone SE’s design with its 2020 refresh. Sadly, rumors indicate things are not going to be any different this time around as well. Most speculation points to the phone featuring a design largely unchanged from the current-generation model. This also means that the display size is expected to remain unchanged at 4.7-inch, and the device would still retain the physical Touch ID button. The colors could be the only major change from a design perspective, with Apple possibly releasing the phone in variations of the Starlight and Midnight colors.
A report from Macotakara claims that the iPhone SE 3 could lack MagSafe support, though it will continue to feature Qi wireless charging support.
There were rumors of the iPhone SE 3 featuring an iPhone XR-like design and a bigger display, but these changes seem reserved for the 2024 refresh. Other upgrades rumored to be a part of the major refresh in 2024 include an iPhone 11-inspired design, a 6.1-inch display with a hole-punch cutout, and upgraded cameras.
A15 Bionic and 5G
Seemingly, the entire focus of the iPhone SE 3 refresh will center around its internals. The device will reportedly be powered by the same A15 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 13 series. It would be impressive to see Apple pack so much horsepower in a device with such a compact form factor. However, the move should not be surprising since the iPhone SE 2 was also powered by the same chip that powered the previous year’s flagship iPhones.
Kuo speculates that the upgrade to A15 Bionic will also bring support for 5G connectivity. The claim was corroborated by Macotakara and display analyst Ross Young. While unclear, it would be a welcome change to see Apple retire the base 64GB storage in favor of 128GB. As for RAM, it is expected to remain unchanged at 3GB.
Since the iPhone SE 3 is expected to retain the same design as its predecessor, the battery capacity is unlikely to change either. So a more efficient A15 Bionic chip could help improve battery life, as it could offset the extra load that the 5G modem would add.
Rumors have not talked much about the camera of the iPhone SE 3. However, since its design is expected to follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 8, it could feature just one camera on the back and one on the front. The current-generation iPhone SE 2 uses the same 12MP sensor that was first found on the iPhone XR, so the iPhone SE 3 could borrow its primary camera sensor from the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13. The lack of an ultra-wide camera will be a bummer since even budget-oriented Android devices offer it, irrespective of the price. However, the lens is a feature reserved only for pricier iPhones. On the front, the iPhone SE 2 has a 7MP camera, and Apple is unlikely to upgrade that for the 2022 refresh.
Price and Availability
Apple is expected to hold a virtual spring event on March 8. It is expected to announce the iPhone SE 3 and several other products, including the iPad Air 5, new spring cases for the iPhone 13 series, and more. Apple has typically launched an iPhone SE refresh once every two years in Q1 — the original iPhone SE debuted in March 2016 and the second generation in April 2020. So, the speculated launch timeline appears to be reasonable. A recent MyDrivers report claimed that the device has already entered mass production.
As for pricing, the iPhone SE 3 should retain the same $399 price tag as the existing model. That would make it a great deal if one does not care too much about cameras or display size.
iPhone SE for $199?
Perhaps another interesting effect of the iPhone SE 3 launch could be Apple reducing the existing model’s price and selling it for $199 instead of discontinuing it. An iPhone for $199 could offer great value for money, especially in developing markets where iPhones are usually within the reach of the consumers with the deepest pockets.
What are your expectations from the upcoming Apple iPhone SE 3? Please tell us in the comments section.