The big picture: Apple is reportedly prepping an updated version of its low-cost iPhone SE that’ll be ready to ship in the first half of 2022. Both sources claim the third-gen iPhone SE will retain its Touch ID sensor and Home Button. Apple has since replaced these features on newer flagship iPhones with Face ID, its facial recognition biometric authentication system.
Apple introduced the iPhone SE line in 2016 for those looking for a low-cost alternative to its flagship line as well as those who prefer a smaller display. In 2020, Apple continued the series with the launch of the second-gen iPhone SE, a slightly larger 4.7-inch handset packing modern internals (from the iPhone 11 family) in a chassis that’s consistent with the iPhone 8.
A report from DigiTimes notes that the third-gen iPhone SE will feature an A14 Bionic processor from the current-gen iPhone 12 line. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said last month that the next iPhone SE would get a faster processor as well as 5G connectivity, making it the most affordable 5G iPhone yet.
No specific launch window was provided. Looking back, Apple announced the second-gen iPhone SE in mid-April, so perhaps they will mirror that with the next unveiling.
The next iPhone SE, which might not land until 2023, will reportedly replace the front-facing notch with a hole-punch design. It could also ship with a larger 6.1-inch display option, should early rumors prove accurate.