Why I'm not happy about Apple's rumoured new iPhone SE 4 design

Fans of Apple's smallest iPhone were in for a surprise last month when the company unceremoniously dumped the iPhone mini from its line up. Instead, the iPhone 14 comes in a 'Plus' variety that's bad news for anyone who prioritises pocketability. And our final flicker of hope might just have been snuffed out.

Many fans had hoped that Apple might be saving the mini form factor for the iPhone SE, which is currently sporting a frankly prehistoric design (that Home Button's been around since the 1920s, or something). But new rumours suggest the SE 4 will borrow an entirely different iPhone design. (Small hands? Check out the best iPhone 13 mini deals.)

The best iPhone XR deals: all the iPhone XRs on a colour background

The iPhone SE 4 could look a lot like 2017's iPhone XR  (Image credit: Future/Apple)

According to MacRumors (opens in new tab), supply analyst Ross Young claims that the next iteration of the iPhone SE will drop in 2024, and feature a 6.1-inch LCD display – complete with notch. This is obviously much bigger than the 5.4-inch iPhone mini display, and it's starting to sound like the iPhone SE 4 will instead adopt the design of 2017's iPhone XR.

In many ways, this makes sense. Since 2016's original, the iPhone SE has always breathed new life into an older iPhone form factor, with that model keeping the design of the 5S alive. But the SE has also traditionally been a smaller offering than the Plusses and Pro Maxes of the world, which require at least three hands to hold.

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE traditionally resurrects an older design (Image credit: Apple)

Indeed, if the iPhone SE 4 does go the way of the XR, it could be the final nail in the coffin for the mini form factor. The iPhone 13 mini famously sold pretty badly, which probably why Apple decided to go big with the 14 line up. But for those of us who don't feel the need to carry an IMAX display in our pocket, the loss of the mini is sad news indeed.

"Always these monstrous screens. is there really no market for sane sized phones anymore?" One MacRumors commenter asks, while another adds, "I thought the point of the SE was to offer a small phone as well as an affordable one." And with awesome mini iPhone SE 4 concepts like this doing the rounds, the news is even more galling.

iPhone SE concept

Sounds like this fan-made iPhone SE 4 concept won't become a reality  (Image credit: svetapple.sk)

Of course, like all Apple rumours, this one might turn out to be entirely untrue. But it sure does seem like the mini's days are done. If you're all about the big screen, check out the best iPhone 14 deals available now.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

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).