iPhone SE 4: what we want to see

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The iPhone SE 4 is probably a long way off – after all the iPhone SE 3 (also known as the iPhone SE 2022) only launched in March 2022, and these aren’t typically even yearly releases.

But having used the iPhone SE 2022 extensively we have a very good idea of what we want from the iPhone SE 4, because the current model is far from perfect. We want to see more entries to our list of the best iPhone, so we need upgrades. So with that in mind we’ve created a wish list below of what we want from the next version.

But before that, you’ll find information on the possible release date and price, along with any other news and rumors. Right now we don’t know much – though we have heard a few things – but as information rolls in we’ll be updating this article, so check back soon.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next affordable iPhone
  • When is it out? Probably not until 2024 or later
  • How much will it cost? Expect a mid-range price

iPhone SE 4 release date and price

It’s hard to say when the iPhone SE 4 will land since, unlike most phones, we don’t get a new one every year. The iPhone SE 3 landed in March 2022, but the iPhone SE 2 was unveiled in April 2020, and the original model landed in March 2016.

So a March or April launch is likely, but the actual year we’ll see it is more up in the air. That said, there are some rumors, with Ross Young (a leaker with a solid track record) claiming that we could see it as soon as 2023 (opens in new tab), though he’d previously pointed to 2024.

That’s seeming like an optimistic estimate, as more recently Ming-Chi Kuo – who has a good track record for Apple information – claimed the iPhone SE 4 would likely be delayed beyond 2024, so we might not see it until 2025 or later. They even claimed that it might be outright canceled, so there’s a chance it won’t land at all.

As for the price, there’s no news on that front but we’d expect it to be similar to the iPhone SE 2022, which starts at $429 / £419 / AU$719. That said, rumors point to some significant improvements, which could mean the price will rise a bit.

iPhone SE 2022

Expect a similar price to the iPhone SE 2022 (Image credit: Future)

News and leaks

The iPhone SE 4 could mark a big change for the line, as Ross Young (a leaker) (opens in new tab) claims that the screen will be 5.7-6.1 inches. That’s up from just 4.7 inches on the current model, though it will apparently stick with LCD.

Since then they’ve got more specific, saying a 6.1-inch screen will probably be used, and the iPhone SE 4 will have a notch rather than the current design with big bezels. 

That would possibly mean Face ID would be added too, but it’s also possible Apple will stick with Touch ID and just house the sensor in a side button instead of on the front.

We’ve now seen unofficial renders emerge that show the supposed design of the phone, and they match the details above – as well as looking basically identical to the iPhone XR. You can see some of these images below.

Along with these renders, the source claims the iPhone SE 4 will have a 6.1-inch screen and come in Midnight (black), Starlight (white), and Product RED shades.

An earlier leak from the same source (opens in new tab) suggested the iPhone SE 4 might have a punch-hole rather than a notch, but while the iPhone 14 Pro has this change, we’d be surprised if the next SE did.

Young also previously suggested that the most likely size was 5.7 inches (opens in new tab), so they haven’t been very consistent with their iPhone SE 4 leaks. As such we’d take all of these claims with a pinch of salt.

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Elsewhere, Ming-Chi Kuo (an analyst with a great track record for Apple information) has also said – via a note seen by MacRumors (opens in new tab) – to expect a larger screen, and that the iPhone SE 4 will have 4GB of RAM (which is the same amount as the iPhone SE 3 has – though at the time Kuo predicted 3GB for the current model, so take this with a pinch of salt).

The iPhone SE 4 is also sure to support 5G (since the SE 3 does), and it will most likely have a new chipset – but which one will depend on when it launches.

What we want to see

We don’t know much for sure about the iPhone SE 4 yet, but we know what we want from it, including the following things.

1. A new design

iPhone SE 2022 in use on wooden background

The iPhone SE 2022 looks very dated (Image credit: TechRadar)

The design of the iPhone SE (2022) is more than old – it’s ancient, with even the cheapest of cheap phones showing it up in many ways.

So we really, really want to see a design refresh for the iPhone SE 4. This shouldn’t be hard for Apple – it has plenty of phones with a more modern design that it can copy after all. The good news is that signs suggest Apple might actually do this.

2. More starting storage

The iPhone SE 3 has a starting capacity of just 64GB, which in 2022 is frankly not enough, especially given its mid-range price and lack of a microSD card slot.

So for the iPhone SE 4 we want to see 128GB be the starting size – and for that to happen without a price jump.

3. A lower price

iPhone SE 2022

The iPhone SE 2022 costs more than we’d like (Image credit: Future)

Speaking of prices, the iPhone SE (2022) already costs more than the iPhone SE (2020), so not only is a price hike an unwanted prospect, but we ideally want a lower starting cost, so that this truly is an affordable iPhone again.

Given rumors of a larger screen and possibly a new design, this probably won’t happen, but we live in hope.

4. A larger display

The iPhone SE 3 is absolutely tiny with its 4.7-inch screen, and arguably that’s too small even for most fans of compact phones, so we’d like to see the iPhone SE 4 increase in size.

The good news is that rumors point to a 5.7-6.1-inch screen on this, which would be a notable increase, while still just about being compact, especially if the smaller of those sizes is used. In fact, paired with a new design and smaller bezels, the overall footprint needn’t be much bigger.

5. More camera lenses

The iPhone SE 3 has just one camera lens on the back, which even for a mid-range phone isn’t enough. Sure, it’s a quality camera, but it’s also limited, giving you just a wide field of view. So for the iPhone SE 4 we want a second lens added, offering either ultra-wide or telephoto functionality.

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