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Forget the iPhone 15, Apple’s upcoming iPhone SE 4 sounds too good to pass up

Published Sep 28th, 2023 10:48AM EDT
iPhone 14 design.
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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There’s no question that the entry-level iPhone 15 is an amazing device. It’s certainly better than the base iPhone 14, especially since Apple didn’t raise its iPhone prices like we thought. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is an exception, but that’s only because the cheapest version starts with 256GB of storage instead of 128GB. But the handset costs exactly the same amount as the 256GB iPhone 14 Pro Max did last year. 

Apple also sells older iPhones, including the iPhone SE 3, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14/Plus models. That’s if you want a cheaper price for a brand-new device. But if you’re not in a hurry to upgrade, the upcoming iPhone SE 4 might be the better option than all of those older models. A new report indicates the phone may offer a big redesign and upgraded specs to match.

We’ve seen conflicting reports about the iPhone SE 4 over the years. Some of the most recent ones claimed that Apple settled on the beloved iPhone 11’s chassis for the iPhone SE 4. Then, reports said the SE project was scraped completely. Recently, we’ve heard that the iPhone SE 4 might be based on the iPhone 14 design

According to MacRumors’ latest report, the iPhone SE 4 will indeed be a variation of the iPhone 14. Codenamed “Ghost” internally, the phone will have an all-screen design complete with a Face ID notch, OLED screen, and flat-edge metal frame. 

The OLED panel will be a variation of the iPhone 14 screen. If accurate, the iPhone SE 4 will mark the end of LCD iPhones. The iPhone SE 3 is the only iPhone in Apple’s lineup featuring a traditional design and an LCD panel.

iPhone SE 3 color options.
iPhone SE 3 color options. Image source: Apple Inc.

Moreover, the iPhone SE 4 will bring over a few other important changes. The handset will feature a USB-C port on the bottom like the iPhone 15 models. It will also get the iPhone 15 Pro’s Action button on the side. 

When it comes to the camera, Apple is reportedly considering a single-lens camera system featuring a 48-megapixel shooter. The report notes that Apple is toying with five designs for that rear camera design that can be grouped into two major categories: 

Camera and flash encompassed in a single, oblong-shaped camera bump
Only the camera ring raised from the main backplate surface

It is unclear which processor the iPhone SE 4 will use, but Apple usually gives the iPhone SE phones the latest available A-series chips. For the iPhone SE 4, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple reuse the A16 Bionic that powers the iPhone 14 Pro/Max and iPhone 15/Plus. But that is just speculation.

The report also notes that Apple is using the iPhone SE 4 to test the custom 5G model it’s developing. Codenamed “Sinope,” the modem will also be tested in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, it’s unclear if Apple’s modem will be ready for the iPhone SE 4. 

On that note, the report doesn’t offer a release date for the iPhone SE 4. Nor do we have a price for it. But there’s no question the iPhone SE 4 picture that MacRumors helps paint is exciting. If Apple delivers this iPhone SE 4 device soon and prices it under $499, it’ll have a monster iPhone on its hands, which will have no competition in that price range.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.