iPhone SE 3 Rumors: Release Date, Specs, Price & More

Apple released the iPhone SE in March of 2016 and the iPhone SE 2, which Apple calls the second-generation iPhone SE, in April 2020. The iPhone SE has long been a favorite for its manageable size and affordability. Now, there are rumors that the iPhone SE 3 is on the way. Here are all the new iPhone SE rumors we've come across so far. 

Related: Apple Spring Event 2022: Everything We Know

***Update*** Apple revealed the new iPhone SE at the March 8, 2022 Peek Performance event!

2022 iPhone SE 3 Rumors: Release Date, Specs, Price & More

The new iPhone SE is on the way! When is the new iPhone SE release date? How about the price? What features and design can we expect? Here's our rumor roundup for the iPhone SE

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iPhone SE Release Date & iPhone SE with 5G?

When is the new iPhone SE release date? We don't know for sure, but if Apple keeps up with the schedule they've established for new iPhone releases in previous years, new iPhones will be announced at an upcoming event on March 8, 2022 called Peek Performance. But, will the third-generation iPhone SE be released at that time?

The answer is, it's complicated! Up-and-coming Apple prognosticator and data analyst Ross Young reveals Apple will begin production on a 5G capable iPhone SE in April or May, and the phones will be available soon after. 

ross young twitter 5g iphone se

In a Tweet from two days earlier, Young predicts that the next iPhone SE may be called the iPhone SE+ 5G. This leaves me wondering whether this 5G iPhone SE will be considered the third-generation iPhone SE 3, or just a plus model of the iPhone SE 2. 

ross young twitter

iPhone SE 3 Features: Face ID, Display, Size & Design

Face ID has become ubiquitous on the iPhone, whit the iPhone SE 2 and the iPhone 8 as the last holdouts with the Home button and Touch ID. So, will the latest iPhone SE maintain this feature or lose the Home button and update to Face ID?

xleaks7 twitter iphone se 3 form

Apple leaker xleaks7 released leaked CAD drawings and dimensions that show the iPhone SE 3 looking almost identical to the SE 2.

9to5Mac has collected info from Ming-Chi Kuo, Ross Young, and Japanese blogger Macotakara, and their consensus is that the iPhone SE 3 (or SE+ 5G) will have the same 4.7-inch LCD display and keep its Home button and Touch ID. Later generations of the SE may move to Face ID but, for now, the affordable, classic model will look much the same as the iPhone SE 2.

What's Inside? Processor & Storage 

With the outside of the new SE slated to look much the same, I'm wondering what kind of updates Apple will offer to the processor, storage, and camera features. After all, 5G connectivity is great and all but not quite enough incentive to purchase a new phone. So, what else has Apple added?

iPhone SE 3 Processor

Apple introduced the powerful A13 Bionic Chip with the iPhone 11, and included it in the second-generation SE. This enabled app launch, augmented reality experience, and gameplay just as smooth as on the iPhone 11. I'm willing to bet that the iPhone SE 3 will feature an even more powerful chip, most likely matching that in the upcoming iPhone 14 line. According to iPhone Life web writer Elisabeth Garry will most likely be called the A16 Bionic. She explains, "Per DigiTimes; this chip will be based on a four-nanometer process, down in size from the five-nanometer process used for the A15 chip. For its modem, the iPhone 14 models will probably employ the Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 5G chip, an improvement over the Snapdragon X60 chips used in iPhone 13 models."

It's possible that the iPhone SE 3 won't include the A15, particularly if Apple wants to motivate buyers to purchase one of the more spendy iPhone 14 line. But, even if that's the case, the iPhone SE 3 will offer the A14 processor. 

iPhone SE 3 Storage

The iPhone SE 2 offers the choice of 64 or 128GB storage capacity. Will the iPhone SE 3 offer more? Apple made a huge leap last year when it offered a choice of 128, 256, or 512GB of storage in the iPhone 13. I think it's possible that a similar jump may happen for the SE 3, and Apple may offer a choice between 128 and 256GB of storage. But, this might not happen due to price constraints, and because Apple doesn't want competition for the iPhone mini. After all, the iPhone mini 12 offers a choice of 64, 128, and 256GB starting at $599, $150 more than the base price for the iPhone SE 2.  

iPhone SE 3 Camera

We already discussed how the new iPhone SE is not expected to differ in appearance from the second-generation SE, and that will most likely extend to the camera. The iPhone SE 2 offers the following features:

  • Single camera with 12-megapixel and f/1.8 aperture Wide camera
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps
  • Optical image stabilization for video
  • Digital zoom up to 3x

It's possible that Apple may offer a camera upgrade. Even if they don't, though, the inclusion of the more powerful A14 or A15 chip will mean the SE 3 offers faster processing that will improve stabilization and dynamic range.

New iPhone Price

The iPhone SE has been a budget-friendly iPhone option in the past, and should remain so when the latest generation debuts. Apple priced the iPhone SE 2 at $399 for the 64 GB version, $449 for the 128 GB, and $549 for the 256 GB. With the inflation we've seen over the last year, along with the possibility of 5G connectivity, I'd expect Apple to offer the third-gen or SE+ 5G model for at least $50 over 2022 prices. That means we can expect the base model to ring in at $449.

To help defray the cost of a new iPhone, Apple is continuing its trade-in program, where you can turn in your gently used iPhone to lower the cost of your new iPhone. Check with Apple to see if your model of iPhone is accepted, and how much credit you'll receive. If you aren't trading in your old phone, you'll pay full price for your 2022 iPhone SE.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.