With the highly awaited iPhone 15 series officially announced this year, people are definitely excited about the new iPhones. The titanium build and USB-C port are showstoppers. But don’t miss out on Apple’s beloved iPhone SE! This affordable iPhone is a preferred choice of many, with Apple keeping it simple by only changing a few things, mostly the internal hardware, for the past couple of iterations. However, this time around, it’s likely that the iPhone SE 4 is getting a design overhaul similar to what we have seen for other iPhones. We’ve detailed everything we know so far about the entry-level iPhone SE 4 in this guide, so let’s dive right in.
We have discussed different aspects of the iPhone SE 4 such as its expected price, rumored specs, release date, etc., in the various sections below. You can use the table of contents below to navigate through them with ease.
iPhone SE 4: Release Date
Apple’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineup launched at the company’s annual September 2023 event. The phones featured A16 Bionic and A17 Pro Bionic chips, respectively. We did not see Apple release a new, fourth-gen iPhone SE model at this event, so a 2023 launch is out of the question.
Reports indicate that Apple plans to start production of the iPhone SE 4 in 2025 instead. This report comes from Korean outlet thelec.kr, which claims that the production of iPhone SE 4’s OLED displays has been delayed to 2025. There were also delays in the development of the company’s in-house 5G modem. Also, we now know that Apple signed a 3-year deal with Qualcomm for an agreement where the latter will provide 5G modems for use in future iPhones until 2026.
Multiple sources, including renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, seem to be in agreement that we won’t be seeing the new iPhone SE 4 in 2024 either. In fact, one of his early leaks regarding the iPhone SE 4 suggested we will not see it in 2025 either. Thus, you can expect the iPhone SE 4 to release in 2026.
Currently, Apple has a two-year gap between the release dates of the iPhone SE 3 and iPhone SE 2. These leaks aren’t positive, but we will update this section once we know more about the iPhone SE 4 release date.
iPhone SE 4: Price (Expected)
While we don’t have any confirmations from Apple on what they will price the iPhone SE 4 at, we can still speculate on it and get a ballpark figure for the iPhone SE 4 price. The iPhone SE 2 came out at $399, and they revised the price to $429 for the iPhone SE 3. As you will read below, rumors suggest a drastic shift in the overall design, hardware, port, and more of the iPhone SE 4.
So, the price can definitely increase by a higher margin this time around. It would be wonderful to see the iPhone SE 4 at $450, but given the leaked design and hardware upgrades, we might not see Apple price their 2025 iPhone SE 4 at such an aggressive price. Apple could easily break the $500 price point. A more realistic price expectation for the iPhone SE 4 is between $500 – $600. By the way, the iPhone 15 starts at $799.
iPhone SE Model Price iPhone SE 2 $399 iPhone SE 3 $429 iPhone SE 4 (to be announced) $500-600
iPhone SE 4: Design and Display
Let’s get into the design and display leaks around Apple’s rumored iPhone SE 4. The latest leaks suggest it could be time to say goodbye to Apple’s older home button design. Ming-Chi Kuo’s tweet about the iPhone SE 4 tells us that the biggest change will be the display on the budget iPhone. He says that the new iPhone SE 4 will feature an OLED panel instead of an LCD panel. He continued by saying the SE 4 would be a minor modification of the 6.1-inch iPhone 14.
By the way, iPhone 15 and 15 Pro have already switched to a USB Type-C port in place of the lightning port. So, we can expect the iPhone SE 4 to comply with EU laws as well. It is important to note that the iPhone SE 4 will probably feature a Type-C USB 2.0 port, instead of USB 3.0, which is reserved for iPhone 15 Pro models.
In the past, we have seen Apple stick to the same formula with the iPhone SE series. They take the older design used before the Face ID era (first introduced in the iPhone X back in 2017), upgrade it with a new SoC, and apart from other minor improvements, this is it. So, mostly the processor gets upgraded to a new variant, but people still use the traditional Home button design with the thick bottom & top bezels on the SE series.
While some users have complained about this, others want Apple to keep doing this and release incremental updates to the iPhone SE with no drastic changes. Many end up preferring the Home-button design, used for around 10 years. The launch of the iPhone X, which was the best-selling smartphone in Q1 2023, marked a shift in the iPhone’s design to the notch style we know today.
Using the same parts (such as the enclosure and displays) also costs Apple less money, which is how they kept the iPhone SE so affordable. But now, the iPhone SE 4 is expected to cost more. This is because they could be changing the design & hardware extensively instead of relying on older parts.
In addition to what we know thanks to Ming-Chi Kuo’s earlier posts on X (formerly Twitter), it would be safe to assume that the design will be similar to the iPhone 14. Well, a recent leak by Twitter user Unknownz21 talks about some other new features that could make their way to the iPhone SE 4.
In the post below, they talk about the planned features of the iPhone SE 4, which include a notch with Face ID functionality, a USB Type-C Port, and sadly, he says there will only be one rear camera.
Do note that the design shared above is conceptual. The leaker replied to the image saying, “Close but not quite,” suggesting he knows about the new design language of the iPhone SE 4. Still, the shared concept looks pretty good to me, if I imagine the iPhone SE 4 with the rumored changes.
Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup has ditched the notch design and features Dynamic Island across the board. This makes the front design of all its new iPhone 15 models similar. So, with the notch-based iPhone being phased out from the lineup, Apple can now bring it to the iPhone SE lineup. So, the iPhone SE 4 will potentially use the same display as the iPhone 14. It will become a budget iPhone with the previously-used notch design.
iPhone SE 4: Processor
Let’s discuss what processor Apple will include in the upcoming iPhone SE 4. To tell you about which chipset could potentially be used in the next-gen iPhone SE, we first need to look back at older models. Since Apple makes its own chips, this is one of the strongest aspects of the iPhone SE and other iPhones. The iPhone SE 3 came with the A15 Bionic, which was previously used in the iPhone 13 series. So, in the iPhone SE 3 released in April 2022, they used last year’s chip which made its debut in September 2021.
The A17 Pro Bionic has made its debut on the iPhone 15 Pro series. The ‘Pro’ suffix points to a potential base variant A17 chip that could come out later. Also, this is the first time Apple has used the ‘Pro’ branding instead of the ‘Bionic’ suffix for iPhone chips. However, as per a report (via MacRumors), the company might be looking to design new chips for the standard models instead of including the previous-gen Pro chips in non-Pro models next year. The new processors are rumored to be based on TSMC’s lower-cost ‘N3E process’ as opposed to the N3B process that the A17 Pro uses.
Keeping this rumored change in mind along with the leaks, the iPhone SE 4 is not coming out anytime before 2026. Assuming Apple could launch the fourth-gen iPhone SE in April 2026, Apple utilizing the A18 chip based on the N3E process for the iPhone SE 4 seems likely. Analyzing what chips Apple had used on previous iPhone SE models, we can see how this assumption shapes up:
Model Release Date Processor iPhone SE 2 April 2020 A13 Bionic iPhone SE 3 March 2022 A15 Bionic iPhone SE 4 Q1-Q2 2026 A18 (speculated)
iPhone SE 4: Cameras, Software, and Battery
As you have read so far about the iPhone SE 4, it is clear that the design and overall hardware are aimed towards evolving the SE lineup to be in line with the modern iPhones. Since the new chipset will bring lower power consumption with better performance, we can expect better battery life on the iPhone SE 4. We will update this section once we get any battery size or life rumors.
Talking about the iPhone SE 4’s camera hardware, we don’t know if we’re getting an upgrade this time. So far, the iPhone SE 2 and the SE 3 offered the same camera sensor hardware as the iPhone 8. The feature leak we discussed above includes one crucial piece of info related to the camera — we will see “only one rear camera” once again.
This means that Apple will use the same primary 12MP sensor they have been using on the iPhone SE on the fourth-gen device as well. But there’s a good chance that the company will bring its 48MP sensor that’s been added to the iPhone 15 lineup to the iPhone SE 4 in 2023. Moreover, users would highly appreciate it if Apple put features such as Night Mode for better low-light photography on the upcoming SE 4.
Finally, in terms of software, the iPhone SE 4 will be running Apple’s latest iOS release at the time, possibly iOS 19. We don’t know what new features we will see on the software front by then. Hopefully, Siri will get better with AI and LLM support. Apple announced iOS 17 at WWDC 2023 this year, and it comes with many impressive new features. You can check out the best features of iOS 17 here.
iPhone SE 4 vs iPhone SE 3: What’s the Difference?
Since we don’t have the confirmed details about the iPhone SE 4, it’s unfair to make a comparison against its predecessor. However, we can try to compare the previous model against the speculated specs & features of the iPhone SE 4. Firstly, the iPhone SE 4 is expected to have a USB Type-C port instead of a lightning port. This is a much-appreciated change! People have been waiting for Apple to adopt USB Type-C, and it has already happened on the iPhone 15 series.
Next, the display and design language is expected to see a significant upgrade. While previous iPhone SE models looked the same, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo clearly stated that the iPhone SE 4 is planned with major upgrades – no Dynamic Island though. Combining what we know from Kuo’s tweets and other leaks, it’s clear that the iPhone SE 4 will be similar to the iPhone 14 with a 6.1-inch OLED panel. This would make the iPhone SE 4 a different experience from the iPhone SE 3.
In addition to this, we also expect the iPhone SE 4 to have Face ID instead of Touch ID. This will make the phone much more secure, and faster to unlock for you! Rumors also suggest that Apple might bring the iPhone 15 Action button to the iPhone SE 4 in 2026, allowing users to map it to various functions, such as launching the camera or running shortcuts. To recap, here are the rumored iPhone SE 4 specs:
|Specification||iPhone SE 4|
|Display||6.1-inch (diagonal) OLED|
|Storage||starts from 128GB|
|Camera||Single 12MP (or 48MP) rear Camera|
7 or 12 MP selfie camera
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, USB-C 2.0 connector|
|Security||Face ID, No Touch ID|
What do you think about Apple’s rumored iPhone SE 4 launch? Are you looking to buy it in the future? Do you think we will have to say goodbye to the iconic home button/Touch ID design? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image Courtesy: Twitter/Ian Zelbo