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iPhone SE 3 leak says the iPhone 8 design will stick around

Published Jan 7th, 2022 7:31AM EST
iPhone SE
Image: Apple

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iPhone SE 3 is the unofficial name of the next-gen affordable iPhone that Apple should unveil this spring. The iPhone SE doesn’t get yearly refreshes, with the 2nd-gen model having been released in 2020. That’s a $399 device with the same processor as the 2019 iPhone 11. But the handset features the same design as the 2017 iPhone 8. It’s also the only new iPhone that features Touch ID support. A new leak says that things will remain unchanged for the iPhone SE 3 when it comes to the design. The handset’s hardware will deliver significant upgrades, however.

The iPhone SE 2 has been selling very well, according to last year’s estimates. At $399, no 2022 mid-range Android device can match it in terms of power. But the iPhone 8 design is what might be holding the phone back from performing even better. The affordable Android phones that compete against the iPhone SE 2 have all-screen hole-punch displays. That screen design is a lot more appealing than the iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch display.

Some iPhone SE 3 leaks said recently that the iPhone SE 3 might sport an all-screen design similar to the iPhone XR. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor would sit on the side standby button.

Twitter user @dylandkt is one of the Apple leakers that claimed the iPhone SE 3 will rock an iPhone 11-like design. Here’s what he had to say about a year ago:

The next generation iPhone SE will feature a touch ID sensor that will be embedded into the power button similar to the newest iPad Air. The design of the phone will be similar to the iPhone 11 but with a smaller display size.

The new iPhone SE 3 design leak

The insider is back with a new iPhone SE 3 leak that contradicts his initial take. He now claims that the iPhone SE 3 will look just like the iPhone 8. The iPhone SE 4, or the device we’d expect to see in stores in 2024, would come with the previously rumored iPhone 11/XR design. Here’s what the new iPhone SE 3 leak says:

The iPhone SE with a similar design to the XR/11 with a slightly smaller screen size, has been pushed back to an expected release of 2024. For 2022, Apple will instead release an iPhone SE with 5G, a spec bump, and the same design as the 2020 model.

This correction shows that leakers aren’t always right. Put differently, early iPhone SE 3 leaks like the one from January 2021 only provided a partial insight into Apple’s plans. Since the iPhone SE isn’t a yearly affair, Apple had plenty of time to change its mind. On the other hand, leaks back in October still pointed to a new iPhone SE design for the 3rd-gen model. The chip shortages, manufacturing issues, and logistics problems of 2021 aren’t over. These factors might have convinced Apple to change its iPhone SE 3 redesign plans.

Whether the design information in the new iPhone SE 3 leak is accurate or not, what might matter more to buyers is the specs bump. The iPhone SE 3 should support 5G connectivity and rock the fast A15 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 13.

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.