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iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 release dates are imminent, insider says

Published Mar 3rd, 2022 10:56AM EST
iPhone SE
Image: Apple

Rumors said Apple would host a press event on March 8th to unveil the first batch of new hardware products for 2022, and Apple has delivered. The “Peek Performance” event will stream on March 8th. Apple will probably unveil the new iPhone SE 3, iPad Air 5, and at least one new Mac during the event. And now, a new leak further reinforces previous rumors, indicating that the iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 release dates are close.

We saw several reports claiming that the iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 will see spring launches. But the rumors did not offer firm release dates. Some speculated that Apple’s press event would take place this month, while others claimed Apple might unveil its first products of 2022 in April.

What’s important to remember is the way Apple launches new products. If it’s a brand new piece of hardware, then Apple will likely unveil the gadget several months before the actual release date. It happened with all sorts of first-gen devices, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and even the M1 Macs.

When it comes to product refreshes, they’re generally available right after the launch events. We saw a few exceptions in recent years when component issues delayed Apple’s launch events. The pandemic was responsible for the biggest launch delay so far — the iPhone 12 series.

The iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 happen to be product refreshes. These are the kind of products that Apple will want to start selling immediately after the launch event.

iPhone SE 3 placeholder image
iPhone SE 3 placeholder image based on iPhone SE design. Image source: 91mobiles

The iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 3 release dates are close

Well-known leaker Evan Blass reported for 91mobiles that one of Asia’s leading mobile networks is already preparing the landing pages for the iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 3. This indicates that a release is getting close for both products.

The site shows placeholder images the unnamed carrier used to prepare the product pages for the unannounced Apple products. They feature imagery for the previous-gen iPhone SE (above) and current iPad Air models. That means we don’t yet have leaked iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 press renders for you.

Blass explains that’s not how Apple operates. Vendors like the unnamed Asian carrier do not get the official details about the new products ahead of time. That only happens with Android devices. And that’s why many press renders leak long before Android phones and tablets actually launch.

But these early iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 landing pages indicate that carriers expect to start selling the new products soon after the March 8th Apple event. Given Apple’s playbook for new products, we expect the latest devices to be made available for preorder soon after the press event. Then, the release dates should follow soon after.

We don’t have leaked release dates for the iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 at this time, however. Guessing them is more difficult compared with Apple’s iPhone-centric September events.

That said, we’ll remind you that both the iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 3 will not deliver massive changes. They’ll use the same designs as their predecessors, but they’ll feature plenty of performance improvements. In other words, Apple should not encounter any significant production issues that could delay the releases.

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 closely follows the events in 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.