Buyer's Guide: Don't Buy an iPhone SE Right Now – New Model Imminent
The third-generation iPhone SE is expected to arrive in less than a week with a number of notable features and improvements, so prospective customers should now hold off on buying an iPhone SE until the new model arrives.
Based on reports from reliable sources over the past two years, the third-generation iPhone SE is currently expected to bring at least three main improvements:
- A15 Bionic chip
- 5G connectivity (both sub-6GHz and mmWave in the U.S.)
- Improved cameras
Display analyst Ross Young has said that the iPhone SE could be called the "iPhone SE Plus" even though it not getting a larger display. Historically, the "Plus" naming has denoted a larger screen size, but Apple could use it to denote a minor update with 5G connectivity to differentiate it from the 2020 version. It could also just stick with the standard iPhone SE name.
A15 Bionic chip
The current iPhone SE has an A13 Bionic chip, and the 2022 model is expected to get a newer, faster chip. Most reports indicate that Apple is planning to give the iPhone SE the A15 Bionic chip from the iPhone 13 lineup, though we've also heard a rumor about the device getting the A14 Bionic chip.
When the current iPhone SE was released in 2020, it featured the same A13 chip that had been used in the iPhone 11 lineup from the previous September, so it seems logical that we could see the same situation in 2022 with the new iPhone SE adopting the A15. The A15 Bionic could offer the iPhone SE substantial performance and efficiency improvements, not least to battery life. The iPhone 13 mini greatly benefited from the A15's improved efficiency to prolong its battery life, so similar improvements for the iPhone SE seem likely.
5G connectivity is expected to be the main selling point of the new iPhone SE, with the device set to become Apple's most affordable 5G iPhone. At the current time, Apple's lowest-priced 5G iPhone is the $599 iPhone 12 mini, but the iPhone SE will be significantly cheaper if the rumors are correct.
In terms of connection speeds, the device could be on par with Apple's iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models. The fastest mmWave 5G speeds in the iPhone 13 lineup are limited to the United States and that seems likely to be the case with the iPhone SE as well should it support mmWave speeds. As a more affordable device, Apple could limit it to sub-6GHz networks, but this seems unlikely given 5G is set to be a core feature of the new iPhone SE.
Like previous iPhone SE models, the new iPhone SE is likely to feature an improved camera, and it could adopt the latest Wide Angle camera from the iPhone 13. The current iPhone SE features a 7-megapixel front-facing camera and a single-lens 12-megapixel rear camera, but little is currently known about the improvements that could be on the way.
The iPhone SE is not expected to receive any design changes this year, with the device set to continue to look like the current model from 2020, which itself mirrors the iPhone 8. The current iPhone SE features a 4.7-inch LCD display with thick bezels and a Touch ID Home button, making it Apple's most modern iPhone that still offers Touch ID. All other iPhones have transitioned to Face ID, and there are rumors that future versions of the low-cost iPhone will do so as well, but not at this time. For the 2022 model, the back of the device will still be made of glass to facilitate wireless charging, but it won't include MagSafe technology.
Apple's SE range of devices often features a smaller selection of color options, with the current iPhone SE available in black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED only, so we could see similar color options for the new model.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, reported early last month that Apple was planning to host an event on Tuesday, March 8 to announce updated versions of the iPhone SE and the iPad Air.
On Wednesday, March 2, Apple sent out invites for an event on March 8 with the tagline "Peek Performance." Similar to the other Apple events that have taken place over the past two years, the "Peek Performance" event will be streamed digitally only, rather than be held with an in-person audience.
The announcement of the 2022 iPhone SE is therefore expected to be less than a week away, with the new device priced starting at $399, which is the same price as the current model.