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Is it time to say goodbye to the Home button and hello to the Action button?
Apple may be ready to update its budget-minded iPhone SE; this would be the fourth generation of this line. We’ve gone through the latest rumors and speculation to figure out when it will come out, what it will do, and more.
When Will the iPhone SE 4 Be Released?
Unlike regular iPhones, Apple doesn’t launch new versions of the SE every year. The last iPhone SE launched in March 2022. The second-generation SE came out in April 2020, and the original debuted in March 2016.
This release pattern means that we shouldn’t expect the SE 4 until at least 2024, and some rumors put it even later than that. According to a February thread from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple originally intended to launch the new iPhone SE in 2024 but has since started over; this delay will push the eventual release into 2025.
“Apple has restarted the iPhone SE 4 and will adopt an in-house 5G baseband chip,” the post says. “The significant decline in Qualcomm’s Apple orders in the foreseeable future is a foregone conclusion.”
A later post in the thread says that manufacturing will happen in the first half of 2024, which would mean that shipping would happen around the end of that year or early into 2025.
In April, analyst Jeff Pu put the release solidly in 2025 (via MacRumors).
Lifewire’s Release Date Estimate
At the very earliest, expect the iPhone SE 4 out in late 2024. But based on Apple’s usual release frame for this series, we expect to see it in March or April 2025.
iPhone SE 4 Price Rumors
Apple has always positioned the SE series as its budget/entry-level iPhone; it’s even reflected in the marketing slogans:
SE: “A big step for small.”
SE 2: “Lots to love. Less to spend.”
SE 3: “Love the power. Love the price.”
Previous editions have also been pretty consistently priced. The first two started at $399, while the third saw a slight bump to $429. Based on this pattern, we guess the SE 4 will stay around this area—especially since Apple is making more of the components (see Specs and Hardware below). We’d think the new iPhone SE will stay at $429 or get another small bump (but we’d be surprised if it goes over $449).
Apple hasn’t announced the iPhone SE 4 yet, so pre-order information isn’t available.
iPhone SE 4 Specs and Features
The newest bit of hardware rumored to be in the iPhone SE 4 is an Apple-made 5G modem chip. The manufacturing of this chip may be the reason for the delay, mainly if Apple decided to manufacture the chips themselves instead of going through one of their usual partners like Qualcomm.
We can expect the iPhone SE 4 to be significantly smaller than the “regular” iPhones it launches alongside. The iPhone SE 3, which came out in 2022, is the same size as the iPhone 8, launched in 2017 (5.45 x 2.65 x .29 inches). The base iPhone 14, which also came out in 2022, is about 20% larger (by volume). We wouldn’t expect the SE 4 to be much bigger; the SE series is appealing to people who like a smaller phone.
Rumors suggest that change may be coming, however. A social-media post by purported leaker Unknownz21 claims that the SE 4 will get that bump and be based on the iPhone 14. The other features they list are Face ID and the Apple Watch-style action button that we think might be on the iPhone 15. Also, like the iPhone 15, this rumor says that the SE 4 will switch to USB-C charging.
Ming-Chi Kuo’s thread also says the SE 4 will be based on the iPhone 14, but he offers more details. Specifically, his sources say that the SE 4’s 6.1-inch display will be OLED instead of LCD, and the 5G chip will only support frequencies below 6 GHz, so its data transfer speeds won’t be the fastest available. However, they’ll still approach or reach 1 Gbps, which is fast enough to do everything you’ll need from a phone, including streaming videos and music.
The Latest News About the iPhone SE 4
You can find all the latest news about the iPhone here on Lifewire, but here are some stories just about the iPhone SE 4.