Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Apple iPhone SE 4 rumors: What we want to see, and what we know so far

The new cheap iPhone could be reusing a lot of components from the iPhone 14.
By

Published onMarch 4, 2024

iPhone SE 2022 review second opinion showing back of the phone in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Update: March 4, 2024 (05:25 AM ET): We have updated our Apple iPhone SE 4 rumor hub with new leaked renders.


Apple’s iPhone SE range has long been the most affordable new iPhone series you can buy. Coming in at under $500, these handsets still bring a powerful processor, water resistance, and wireless charging.

The last iPhone SE model dropped in 2022, but we’re expecting Apple to announce a new model at some point. Unfortunately, all current rumors point to a 2025 launch, as it seems Apple is waiting a bit longer in-between releases for its budget phone. The good news is the iPhone SE 4 should be a much bigger upgrade, as it’s suggested it will even adopt a new, more modern design.

Let’s jump right in and talk about what we know from the rumors, as well as what we’d like to see.

Will there be an iPhone SE 4?

Apple hasn’t issued any sort of confirmation that it’s working on an iPhone SE (4th generation). Leaks have also been few and far between, so we’re not 100% sure that we’ll see an iPhone SE 4 just yet.

In saying so, the last two iPhone SE models were popular thanks to their sub-flagship price tags. So it seems like a foregone conclusion that Apple is working on a new model. When would it be released? That’s a tougher question.

What is the most likely iPhone SE 4 release date?

iphone se upright
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • Apple iPhone SE: March 21, 2016
  • Apple iPhone SE 2020: April 15, 2020
  • Apple iPhone SE 2022: March 8, 2022

Apple launched the second iPhone SE in 2020 and the third model in 2022, so you’d assume that the iPhone SE (4th generation) would arrive in 2024.

Unfortunately, trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested in April that the iPhone SE 4 isn’t part of Apple’s plans for 2024 or 2025. In saying so, Korean outlet The Elec has claimed that mass production of the iPhone SE 4 has been pushed back by a year to 2025.

Either way, it sounds like Apple won’t launch the iPhone SE (4th generation) in 2024. So we might be in for a long, long wait. If the new phone follows in the footsteps of its stablemates, then it would appear that a March or April launch is on the cards.

What specs and features could the iPhone SE 4 have?

The iPhone SE 2022 has typically offered a flagship processor in a pocket-friendly form factor. Apple also brought a couple of premium extras to the series in recent years, namely wireless charging and water resistance.

There isn’t much in the way of leaks for the iPhone SE 4, but here’s what we’ve gathered and what we think it’ll have.

Design

iPhone SE 2022 review second opinion in hand with display on
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The iPhone SE 2020 and 2022 both offered dated designs that were broadly in line with 2017’s iPhone 8 series. Will the company keep this design for the third time?

Well, Apple-watching analyst Ming Chi-Kuo previously claimed in February 2023 that the iPhone SE (4th generation) would have a 6.1-inch screen and would be a “minor modification” of the iPhone 14. This suggested a larger, more modern design was in store. The display size claim was echoed by The Elec in March 2023.

Of course, the analyst’s comments came before he suggested that the new iPhone SE wasn’t in the works for 2024 or 2025. But it seems like a possibility that any screen size boost would be accompanied by a tweaked design of some kind — hopefully reducing the size of those bezels in particular.

Claims of the iPhone SE 4 being based on the iPhone 14 were corroborated by MacRumors on September 27, citing preliminary information from their own sources. The outlet added that the device would have the iPhone 15 Pro’s action button.

Twitter tipster Unknownz21 claimed on August 13 that the iPhone SE 4 will indeed have a design based on the iPhone 14. They further asserted that the device will have an action button.

Leaked renders from 91Mobiles line up with the above information. The renders indicate an iPhone 14-esque front, with a back that has a single rear camera. We can see the array of Face ID sensors in these, and also a USB-C port. Per these renders, the iPhone SE 4 is expected to have a 6.1-inch display, up from the iPhone SE 3’s 4.7-inch display. There’s a good chance that Apple is reusing the same shell for the iPhone SE 4 as the iPhone 14, as the device dimensions are said to be an identical 147.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm.

Specs

We’ve already heard claims that the iPhone SE 4 will be equipped with a 6.1-inch screen, but it’s also believed that this could be an OLED panel. This would be the first time we see an OLED screen on an iPhone SE model, after years of Apple using an LCD panel instead. Backing up these claims, a report from The Elec says Apple’s suppliers have all proposed their prices for their OLED displays. It’s believed the iPhone SE 4 will reuse the iPhone 13’s or iPhone 14’s display.

Ming Chi-Kuo also claimed in February that the new device would pack an Apple-designed modem instead of a Qualcomm component. He asserted that this modem would only support sub-6GHz 5G for now instead of the faster but more temperamental mmWave standard.

Apple has been working on an in-house cellular modem for ages now, but this has proven to be a tough, protracted challenge. So we’re not sure if we’ll actually see it on the iPhone SE 4 by 2025 (if the phone even comes out by then). It’s also worth noting that Qualcomm recently signed a new deal with Apple to offer Qualcomm modems inside iPhones in 2024, 2025, and 2026.

We're expecting a bigger, OLED screen and a flagship-level chipset from the iPhone SE 4, but there isn't much else to know just yet.

Twitter tipster Unknownz21 claimed the iPhone SE (4th generation) would get USB-C, Face ID, and a single rear camera. This would be the first time we see face unlock on an iPhone SE model.

MacRumors issued their own slew of apparent iPhone SE 4 details. It corroborated claims of an OLED panel, USB-C, and Face ID. It also asserted that the new iPhone would offer a 48MP single rear camera. The outlet confirmed that Apple was testing variants of the iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone SE 4 with custom modems. But the iPhone 15 Pro Max shipped with a Qualcomm modem, so these variants are presumably for internal testing only.

iPhone SE 2022 review second opinion showing lightning connector
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The choice of chipset isn’t known just yet, but all three iPhone SE models used the same processor as the latest mainline iPhones at the time. That means the original model used the A9 chip inside the iPhone 6S series, while the second-generation iPhone SE used the A13 chip inside the iPhone 11 range. Finally, the iPhone SE 2022 used the A15 processor which debuted in the iPhone 13 series.

That means the iPhone SE 4 will use whatever chipset the latest, commercially available mainline iPhones are using, right? Not so fast. Apple made the decision to effectively split the mainline iPhone series in half last year, as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus stuck with 2021’s A15 Bionic chip while the iPhone 14 Pro models got the brand-new A16 processor. So we think there’s a possibility that the iPhone SE model could be lumped with an older (but still beefy) chipset as well.

Other specs aren’t forthcoming from trusted sources just yet. But we’d imagine that a display size bump could also be accompanied by a battery capacity increase. We’re not sure whether Apple will bring a second rear camera to the iPhone SE range for the first time, though. After all, the Cupertino company was stingy enough to skip a night mode on the iPhone SE 2022.

What might the iPhone SE 4 price be?

iPhone SE 2022 review second opinion rear logo
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • Apple iPhone SE 2016: $399
  • Apple iPhone SE 2020: $399
  • Apple iPhone SE 2022: $429

The first two iPhones were pegged at a great price of $399, but the iPhone SE 2022 had a $30 price hike to a still-attractive $429. We’d love to see Apple maintaining this price tag, but we’re not optimistic.

Plenty of Android phone makers upped their prices in the last year or so due to inflation and other factors. Apple is indeed tipped to institute price increases for the iPhone 15 series, so it seems likely that the iPhone SE (4th generation) would receive a hike too.

Throw in apparent upgrades like a costly OLED screen and we’d be more surprised if the new iPhone SE model stays at its current $429 price tag. Will it rise above the $500 mark, though? We’re keen to find out.

Should you wait for the iPhone SE 4?

iPhone 12 in hand with display on
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The fact that there is no solid word on an iPhone SE 4 release year (let alone a vague release window) means you could be waiting years for the new model to break cover. So we wouldn’t advise you to wait for this phone.

There are a few budget-conscious options if you’re an Apple fan, such as the iPhone 12 ($369 at Amazon) or the iPhone SE 2022 ($429 at Amazon). These phones still provide a high-performance experience with a couple of premium bells and whistles. And of course, you’re buying into the Apple ecosystem of services.

Otherwise, there are plenty of great options in the Android space, such as the Google Pixel 7a ($477 at Amazon) and the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G ($449.99 at Samsung). Both phones bring respectable update pledges and water resistance. But the Pixel 7a also brings flagship-level cameras, the very capable Tensor G2 chip, and wireless charging.

iPhone SE 4: What we want to see

We’ve now got a rough idea of what to expect from the iPhone SE 4, but what do we actually want to see on the new handset? We put together a short wishlist. Do note that this isn’t based on any leaks or rumors, though.

A modern (but still compact) design

iphone se product red and lightning port
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The iPhone SE 2022 is essentially the iPhone SE 2020, which was, in turn, based on the iPhone 8 line. This has been an extremely dated design for a few years now, owing to those gigantic bezels in particular.

We, therefore, want Apple to bring a more modern but still pocket-friendly design for the iPhone SE (4th generation). Previous leaks do point to the upcoming model taking cues from the iPhone 14, which would be a welcome move.

A much-improved camera experience

iphone se camera app
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

One awful limitation of the iPhone SE line is that they don’t offer a night mode for the camera app. That’s a ridiculous limitation in light of its horsepower and the fact that even low-end Android phones have offered a night mode for over five years now. So it behooves Apple to finally get with the program and bring this basic photography feature to the next SE model.

We’d also like to see a secondary rear camera (presumably an ultrawide shooter) on the iPhone SE 4. But we wouldn’t count on this addition.

At least 128GB of base storage

iphone se app drawer
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

One of our main complaints about the iPhone SE 2022 was the meager amount of base storage. The cheapest model came with a mere 64GB of internal storage, which really doesn’t cut it in 2023.

To that end, we really hope the iPhone SE 4 brings at least 128GB of base storage. Even 128GB fills up quickly thanks to videos, our camera roll, and more. But this would still be a far more sensible starting point than 64GB.