iPhone SE 3 could launch in early 2022

(Image credit: Future)

A follow-up to the iPhone SE 2020 could launch in early 2022, according to a new report – and it might just be called the ‘iPhone SE 3.’

Sources along Apple’s supply chain point to hiring of more quality testers at a subsidiary of TSMC, Apple's main chipset and components supplier for the earlier iPhone SE and iPhone SE 2020, according to DigiTimes. That suggests the next phone will land in early 2022, and that it will be called the 'iPhone SE 3' – which has previously just been a placeholder rather than a more likely name than, say, the iPhone SE 2022.

While the timeline of the two earlier phones doesn't exactly suggest an ironclad trend – the first iPhone SE launched in 2015 and the second in 2020 – it would be interesting to see a third arrive in 2022 only two years after that last model came out. But there are reasons why Apple would want to speed up this cadence.

iPhone SE in 2022: a complete range

The iPhone SE 2020 launched in April 2020 as one of the last wave of phones before Covid-related lockdowns affected production, and despite an industry-wide slump in phone sales as consumers tightened their belts amid uncertainty and lost jobs, Apple increased shipments 10% thanks to the new mid-range iPhone, per ZDNet.

While initial rumors suggested another iPhone SE would follow in 2021, later ones, especially by noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, suggested it could land in the second half or even into 2022. That was true of the then-hinted iPhone SE Plus, which could have been a more advanced version of the mid-range phone. 

What could be more advanced? Sub-6 5G connectivity, which another leak suggested could be why the iPhone SE 3 would be delayed until after the iPhone 13 phones launch. That rumor didn’t suggest the phone would have better specs or design features - but it could make the iPhone SE 3 one of the more affordable 5G phones on the market.

Via GSM Arena

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.