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Apple iPhone SE 4: Release date, price, specs, rumors, and what we want to see

How long will we have to wait for a new cheap iPhone?
August 14, 2023
iPhone SE 2022 review second opinion showing back of the phone in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Update: August 14, 2023 (7:25 AM ET): We’ve updated our iPhone SE 4 rumor hub with new claims from a Twitter tipster.

Original article: 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. So what should you expect from the iPhone SE 4? Here’s everything we know so far.

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 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 will 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.


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.

Twitter tipster Unknownz21 claimed on August 13 that the iPhone SE 4 will indeed have a design based on the iPhone 14. They added that the device will have an action button, ostensibly in line with the iPhone 15’s rumored shortcut button.


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.

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).

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.

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.

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

There is one feature that’s practically a certainty at this point, and that’s USB-C connectivity. The EU’s new rules concerning a common charging port mean that the iPhone 15 series is set to be the first iPhone line with USB-C. This would undoubtedly affect the iPhone SE 4 as well. This was echoed by Twitter tipster Unknownz21, saying the new model will indeed have USB-C.

Otherwise, the leaker added that the iPhone SE (4th generation) will also pack Face ID and a single rear camera. This would be the first time we see face unlock on an iPhone SE model.

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 will 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’s 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 with 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.