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iPhone SE 4 again rumored to launch in 2025 with new OLED screen

Published Jul 5th, 2023 7:47AM EDT
iPhone 14 design.
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The long-rumored iPhone SE 4 could likely be announced in 2025. While the Korean version of The Elec once again says Apple has pushed back a new iPhone SE from 2024 to 2025, this time, the blame is not on the Cupertino firm’s in-house chip development but its supplier BOE which can’t produce satisfactory OLED panels.

The Elec’s story is based on an OLED & Microdisplay Analyst Seminar in Yeouido, Seoul. UBI Research’s Yoon Dae-Jeong has said that BOE is suffering from performance problems with the future iPhone 15 OLED panels and might not ship any displays to Apple. That said, Samsung and LG would account for all the orders.

While BOE can still receive mass production approval from the Cupertino firm this August, it will have another shot by October. But besides this issue with the upcoming iPhone 15, the manufacturer is also delaying Apple’s plans to introduce the iPhone SE 4.

In March, BGR reported that Apple would have to rely on BOE for the OLED panels of the iPhone SE 4, as Samsung and LG weren’t interested in producing this low-cost panel:

Since the OLED for iPhone SE4 is a panel for legacy models and a low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin film transistor (TFT) product with low technical difficulty, Samsung Display and LG Display are less interested in this model. The price of OLED for the 6.1-inch iPhone SE4 is currently estimated to be around $40. Compared to the price of OLED for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max using low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin film transistor (TFT), which is well over $100, $40 is less than half. It is known that the price of LTPO method OLED is twice that of LTPS method OLED of the same size.

But as BOE’s “performance problems have made the current supplier uncertain,” according to Yoon, it might be possible that Samsung and LG could offer their solutions for the upcoming iPhone SE 4. The researcher says, “Samsung Display is promoting rigid OLED as before, and LG Display is promoting flexible OLED for OLED for iPhone SE 4.”

What rumors say about the iPhone SE 4

Rumors about the upcoming iPhone SE 4 come majority by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. While he first said Apple had delayed the introduction of a new SE model, then canceled production, and finally resumed it, it seems the Cupertino firm is betting on an in-house 5G modem for this device.

In addition, Kuo says the iPhone SE 4 will feature a similar design to the 6.1-inch iPhone 14, meaning it will have the same design, a smaller notch, and an OLED display. Currently, Apple uses the same design as the 2017 iPhone 8 for the iPhone SE 3.

With a redesign, an OLED display, and in-house 5G support, we still don’t know which processor Apple will actually use for this device. Besides, there are no signs of Apple adopting a dual-system camera module or if it will follow the iPhone XR trend and continue offering only one main camera.

These changes make sense as Apple is adding a new design language to iPhone 15 models – and beyond – with all models featuring Dynamic Island cutout. In addition, by 2025, the Cupertino firm could finally add the Face ID sensor under the display for the iPhone 17 Pro models.

BGR will keep reporting on the latest rumors regarding the iPhone SE 4 and the main iPhone series.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.