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iPhone SE 4: Everything we expect based on the rumors

September has become synonymous with iPhone season, when new phones like the iPhone 15 And 15 per usually in the spotlight. But don’t forget Apple’s cheaper, smaller model, the iPhone SEwhich made a comeback in 2020 and 2022.

Looking ahead, the future of the iPhone SE is less certain. Rumors and reports about whether and when Apple will release an iPhone SE 4 are conflicting, with some predictions from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggesting the device may have been discontinued.

Apple hasn’t mentioned whether it plans to release new iPhone SE models in the future, as it rarely talks about future products. Now that Apple has moved away from it iPhone Mini, The iPhone SE plays an important role as a more portable and affordable iPhone in Apple’s lineup.

Read more: Top phones you can expect in 2024

There’s plenty of room for Apple to continue improving its pint-sized iPhone. While my colleague Patrick Holland praised it 2022 iPhone SE For the affordable price and the familiar home button, he criticized the lack of photos in night mode and the outdated design. Android competitors like Samsung and Google have also improved their similarly priced budget phones in recent years. The Google Pixel 7A and Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Both offer features once reserved for premium devices, like high refresh rates and multiple cameras.

It’s impossible to know exactly what to expect from Apple until the company makes an announcement. Based on the oft-accurate Kuo’s predictions, along with other leaks and Apple’s launch history, here’s what we can expect from Apple’s next budget iPhone.

When this story was originally published, Apple did not respond to a request for comment about a future iPhone SE.

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The iPhone SE 4 release date is a mystery

Perhaps the biggest question about the iPhone SE 4 is whether it will ever exist; Kuo’s predictions have been back and forth in recent years. In 2019, the analyst said that Apple was working on an iPhone SE with a full-screen design similar to the iPhone XR MacRumors reported by the time. Since then, Apple has released two versions of the iPhone SE that retain the old iPhone 8-inspired design, leading to speculation as to whether the model Kuo was referring to has been canceled or postponed.

Kuo’s predictions for the iPhone SE 4 for 2023 are also mixed. He reported in January that an iPhone SE was originally planned for 2024 was canceledbut followed in February to say that The project was revived. He changed his prediction again in April saying that the model he was referring to earlier may just be a technical prototype for Apple’s own 5G baseband chip. His previous comments also suggested that the iPhone SE 4 would include this 5G chip.

A report from MacRumors stated that Apple is actually developing a new iPhone SE that reportedly includes some dramatic upgrades. However, according to a recent report by , it may not hit the market until 2025 MacRumors.

The release rhythm of the iPhone SE was not as routine as that of Apple’s flagship iPhones. Apple launched the first iPhone SE in March 2016, while the second generation came out in April 2020. The latest third-generation iPhone SE was launched in March 2022. A launch in 2024 would fit into the schedule that Apple has followed in recent years, but it’s hard to be sure since there was a four-year gap between the first two models.

Rumors point to an iPhone 14 or XR-like design

The iPhone XR (left) next to the iPhone 8 Plus (right) The iPhone XR (left) next to the iPhone 8 Plus (right)

The iPhone XR (left) compared to the iPhone 8 Plus.

Angela Lang/CNET

If the company is working on another iPhone SE, there’s a chance it could have a 6.1-inch screen, similar to Apple’s modern flagship phones. In comparison, the current iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch screen with thick bezels on the top and chin, similar to the iPhone 8.

What’s less clear is which iPhone Apple will model the SE after when the company works on a new version. Unlike Kuo’s 2019 report, serial leaker Jon Prosser And Analyst Ross YoungCEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, have also suggested that the next iPhone SE could have a larger screen and a design similar to the iPhone XR. A MacRumors article reported in September 2023 that the iPhone SE 4 will feature a modified version of the iPhone 14 body, reiterating this point again in November. Given that MacRumors’ reports are more recent, it is reasonable to assume that the next iPhone SE will be visually modeled on the iPhone 14.

A supposedly leaked case design also suggests that the iPhone SE may have a refreshed look to match Apple’s latest devices. The images were published by Serial Leaker Majin Bu on X as well as on the Chinese social network Weibo before you go to tech blogs such as: B. make the rounds MacRumors, TechRadar And NotebookCheck.

Kuos Post from February 2023 also suggested that the iPhone SE 4 could have an OLED screen instead of an LCD, which would mark a notable advance for Apple’s cheaper phone. MacRumors also reports that the next iPhone SE will feature an OLED display.

OLED screens typically show deeper blacks and better contrast compared to LCD screens, and Apple has so far kept this display technology exclusive to its Pro series. Kuos follow up mentioned in April that the device, which he believed could be a future SE, could only be a technical prototype.

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The iPhone SE will likely have a larger battery

The next iPhone SE could also inherit the iPhone 14’s battery, accordingly MacRumors. If the blog’s previous reports about the iPhone SE 4 following in the footsteps of the iPhone 14 prove accurate, a larger battery would be required to power the larger screen. Apple doesn’t disclose the battery capacities of its phones, but says the iPhone 14 should offer five hours more video playback compared to the third-generation iPhone SE. Given the new chip and larger battery we’re expecting in the next iPhone SE, it seems like Apple’s next affordable iPhone could see some pretty significant gains in battery life.

Touch ID or Face ID? We’ll have to see

Fans of Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor may be out of luck. MacRumors reports that the next iPhone SE, like other modern iPhones, will feature Face ID instead of Apple’s fingerprint sensor. This contradicts Kuos Report from 2019, suggesting that the next iPhone SE would have a smaller notch area without Face ID and Touch ID in the power button. That sounds similar to Apple’s approach with its 10th-generation iPad, fifth-generation iPad Air and sixth-generation iPad Mini, which feature Touch ID in the top button.

It may have the iPhone 15’s camera, USB-C, and action button

iPhone SE 2022 charging port-Macr iPhone SE 2022 charging port-Macr

Kevin Heinz/CNET

Apple’s next wallet-friendly iPhone may have some similarities with the iPhone 15. Since Apple switched to USB-C on the iPhone 15 range to comply with new European regulations, it’s likely that the iPhone SE 4 will rely on the Lightning port could do without, as well. MacRumors also claims that the iPhone SE 4 will feature USB-C.

The more surprising hint in MacRumors’ story is that the iPhone SE 4 could get the Action button, a new button for programming shortcuts that is currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. This would be an interesting choice, considering that the action button is currently one of the main differences that separates Apple’s new premium pair of iPhones from its entry-level models. (However, Bloomberg reports that this year’s standard iPhones will also get the action button).

MacRumors also reports that a 48-megapixel single camera could be on the market for the next iPhone SE. That would signal further similarity to the iPhone 15, which also has a 48-megapixel main camera. If the report is correct, the iPhone SE will only have a rear camera, unlike Apple’s more expensive phones. The regular iPhone 15 has wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras, while the Pro versions have wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle and telephoto cameras.

It will probably have a new processor, Apple is rumored to have a 5G modem

A diagram shows a simplified blueprint of Apple's A16 Bionic smartphone processor A diagram shows a simplified blueprint of Apple's A16 Bionic smartphone processor

Apple’s latest mobile processor is the A16 Bionic, which powers the iPhone 14 Pro series.

Apple/Screenshot from CNET

The iPhone SE typically features the same processor as Apple’s latest flagship iPhone. For example, the iPhone SE 2022 has the same chip as the iPhone 13, which was released in September 2021. Since Apple’s latest mobile chip is usually the standout feature of the iPhone SE, it’s hard to imagine Apple deviating from this pattern.

Kuo also suggested The next iPhone SE could have an Apple-made 5G chip. However, it is difficult to say whether this prediction is still true, as he later revised his estimate and said that this device was probably a technical prototype for testing this 5G chip. MacRumors also reports that the iPhone SE 4 will feature an Apple-made 5G modem.

Apple acquired Intel’s modem business in 2019, leading to speculation that the company will eventually build its own 5G modems instead of relying on Qualcomm as a supplier. Making its own chips allows Apple to maintain greater control over launch timelines and product features – an approach that is a central part of the company’s strategy across its key product lines. Although Apple has not revealed its future plans, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said CNBC in March that he expected Apple to start using home-grown modems in 2024.

The fourth-generation iPhone SE could be one of the most exciting iPhone updates in years, simply because we don’t know exactly what to expect. If the leaks, rumors and reports prove accurate, Apple’s budget iPhone could take a big leap forward in terms of design, functionality and screen size either this year or in 2025.

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