With its budget price and powerful specs, it's no surprise that the iPhone SE is a hugely popular device. But it isn't given a whole lot of love by Apple, and has only received one update in five years. New reports suggest that could all be about to change. But if you were hoping that the SE 3 would be in for a design refresh, prepare for disappointment.
According to new rumours, the next iPhone SE will arrive by the end of March next year. While it's set to gain 5G capabilities, it will also retain the same design (which dates back to ye olde iPhone 6), complete with chunky bezels and, yep, the home button. And while some still love the old design, others would prefer to see a truly budget all-screen iPhone. Could an eight year-old design really stand a chance of hitting our best camera phones roundup?
As spotted by MacRumors (opens in new tab), Taiwanese research firm TrendForce claims that the SE 3 will arrive in the "first quarter of 2022". The device will "remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G". Meanwhile, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that all of the upgrades will be on the inside, including said addition of 5G, and a faster A15 chip.
Design-wise, the iPhone SE 3 is said to be keeping that iPhone 6-inspired shape. There are some benefits to this design, such as Touch ID. Face ID is hardly pandemic-proof, as many a frustrated mask-wearing iPhone user will attest. And there's clearly a demand for unlocking via fingerprint, as shown by the tech's inclusion in the iPad Air 4 last year.
But is a 2014 design really acceptable in 2022? We don't think we'll be rushing out to but this one. We were a little disappointed by the 2020 iPhone SE, and were hoping for a smaller form factor. Then the iPhone 12 and 13 mini came along, which was tiny in everything except price. Concept artists have naturally begun imagining the next SE as budget version of the 12 mini – which is something we'd really like to see.
While a 13 mini-inspired SE seems logical, not all of Apple's decisions make logical sense (this is the company that sells wheels for $699), so time will tell whether it opts to base the next SE on the iPhone 13 or iPhone, er, 6. In the meantime, check out today's best iPhone SE and iPhone 13 mini deals below – and don't forget to take a look at our Apple deals page for more offers.