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Apple's next iPhone might drop MUCH sooner than we thought

iPhone SE
(Image credit: Apple)

While fans of the budget iPhone SE had to wait four years for the second generation to drop last year, it seems the wait for the SE 3 won't be anywhere near as long as we thought. With its low price and killer specs, the SE is understandably popular – and the latest model might drop very soon.

According to new rumours, mass production of the iPhone SE 3 is about to begin, with a release date expected in the first quarter of 2022. And now for the bad news – the design will apparently still resemble that of the iPhone 6. Does an eight year-old design really stand a chance of hitting our best camera phones roundup? 

iPhone SE

Rumour has it we're still in for this dated design (Image credit: Apple)

As spotted by MacRumors (opens in new tab), a report from MyDrivers claims that trial production, "a stage in the supply chain ahead of when the device is mass-produced," has begun. suggesting that the device is now fast approaching.  

We recently heard that the SE 3 will arrive in the "first quarter of 2022," and will "remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G". Meanwhile, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed 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. 

iPhone SE

This is the iPhone 13 mini-inspired SE we really want to see  (Image credit: svetapple.sk)

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.

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Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).