iPhone SE 3: Is Apple launching a low-cost 5G iPhone soon?

Reports suggest that next month, Apple could possibly launch an updated version of its iPhone SE, dubbed as ‘the cheapest 5g iPhone ever’.
17 February 2022

iPhone SE 3: Is Apple launching a low-cost 5G iPhone soon?(Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP)

  • Besides a new 5G iPhone SE, Apple could also launch a new iPad and potentially a new Mac.
  • Apple could time the launch event with the official release of iOS 15.4, the latest version of the iPhone software.
  • J.P. Morgan analysts believe this new low-cost iPhone “has the potential to attract more than a billion non-premium Android users.”

We might be a few weeks away from a new iPhone SE 3, as reports are claiming that Apple could possibly launch its ‘cheapest 5G iPhone’ yet, by next month. Apparently, the tech giant is also preparing to announce a new iPad at its upcoming event and potentially a new Mac.

For starters, there was a report last year by Nikkei Asia indicating that all iPhones released this year will be 5G-capable, including Apple’s first revamp of its budget handset in two years–the popular iPhone SE. “The budget 5G iPhone is set to hit the market as early as the first half of 2022, sources briefed on the matter said,” according to the report.

Apparently, the low-cost iPhone will be powered by Apple’s own A15 processor — the same chip that went into last year’s premium iPhones— and its 5G connectivity will be enabled by Qualcomm’s X60 modem chip.

In a separate report, Bloomberg claims that Apple is targeting a date on or near March 8 to unveil the new iPhone SE and an updated iPad, kicking off a potentially record-setting year for product launches. “Now the company is setting its sights higher for 2022,” the report stated.

The March announcements — along with the usual flood of product news expected later in 2022 — suggest Apple will introduce its biggest crop of new devices ever in a single year, Bloomberg reckon. It is fair to note however that the plans may change in the face of production delays or other changes

What would the iPhone SE 5G and new products lineup be like?

Nikkei, quoting four people familiar with the plans, are suggesting that like previous SE models, Apple’s possible budget 5G iPhone will look like a refreshed version of the iPhone 8 and have a 4.7-inch liquid crystal diode (LCD) display, rather than the more advanced organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. Apple had used only OLED screens for its first 5G range, the iPhone 12, released in 2020.

As for the rumored new iPad, meanwhile, Bloomberg noted that it will be an update to the Air model that features a faster processor and 5G. The company is apparently also planning a new Mac with Apple-designed chips, which could also come as early as March. 

“The 2022 lineup is likely to include new iMac and Mac Pro desktops, a redesigned MacBook Air, an updated low-end MacBook Pro, three Apple Watches, four iPhone 14 models and new AirPods. The company is also planning new services, such as a feature that lets the iPhone accept payments with the tap of a credit card,” Bloomberg’s report suggests.

A JP. Morgan’s analysis, according to Reuters, claims that the iPhone SE 3 has the potential to lure “nearly 1.4 billion low-to mid-end Android phones and about 300 million older iPhone model users.” Although J.P. Morgan seems very optimistic about this third-generation iPhone SE, the report doesn’t mention how long Apple will take to bite this enormous market of Android users planning on getting a 5G phone, and especially an iPhone.