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Apple's iPhone SE 3 design sounds pretty disappointing

iPhone SE concept
The SE we wanted (below) and the SE it sounds like we're getting (above) (Image credit: svetapple.sk)

The iPhone home button has been on its way out for a while, but there's one device that's still clinging on to the old design: the iPhone SE. Rumours have suggested for a while that the next iteration of Apple's budget iPhone will finally adopt a more contemporary all-screen design, but new reports are now suggesting otherwise.

According to new rumours, the next iPhone SE will arrive next year, and 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? 

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE 3 is set to retain the current design (Image credit: Apple)

As spotted by MacRumors, DigiTimes claims that the iPhone SE will keep its current 4.7-inch form factor, but feature an A14 Bionic processor and 5G capabilities like the iPhone 12. The report claims the device will drop in the first half of 2022.

One of the main benefits of the "classic" design is 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 were a little disappointed by the 2020 iPhone SE, and were hoping for a smaller form factor. Then the iPhone 12 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. 

iPhone SE

This is the iPhone 12 mini-inspired SE we really want to see  (Image credit: svetapple.sk)

While a 12 mini-inspired SE seems logical, not all of Apple's decisions a known to make 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 12 or iPhone, er, 6. In the meantime, check out today's best iPhone SE and iPhone 12 mini deals below – and don't forget to take a look at our Apple deals page for more great offers. 

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Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is senior news editor at Creative Bloq. He is an author, editor and national poetry slam champion, and his debut book of comedy short stories was published in 2018.