iPhone SE 4: latest news, rumors and what we want to see

iPhone SE 2022
The iPhone SE (2022) (Image credit: Future)
The latest iPhone SE 4 leaks

– Tipped to use the same battery as the iPhone 14
– Might look similar to the iPhone 14, but be lighter
– Could have an Action button, Face ID, and USB-C
– Was rumored for a 2025 release, but that has since been cast into doubt
– As such, the phone could have a 6.1-inch screen and a notch, allowing for Face ID
– Could inherit the iPhone 14's OLED display
– Getting a new Apple-designed 5G modem

The iPhone SE 4 could be the biggest upgrade yet for Apple's mid-range SE line, with a new design and a wealth of new features reportedly planned.

Leaks suggest that unlike the iPhone SE (2022), this phone will look a lot like an iPhone 14, complete with Face ID and no home button. But it might in many ways actually be an even better phone, as it could additionally have an Action button, USB-C, and weigh less.

Of course, the iPhone 14 isn't Apple's latest phone, and by the time the iPhone SE 4 launches we might be a few generations on from there, as leaks currently point to it landing in 2025 or later.

Still, this upcoming mid-ranger has already been extensively leaked, so we have a good idea of what to expect, and we'll update this article whenever we hear anything new about this best iPhone contender.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next affordable iPhone
  • When is it out? Was thought to be 2025, but now uncertain
  • How much will it cost? Expect a mid-range price

iPhone SE 4 release date and price

Expect a similar price to the iPhone SE 2022 (Image credit: Future)

It’s hard to say when (or if) the iPhone SE 4 will land since, unlike most phones, we don’t get a new one every year. The iPhone SE 3 landed in March 2022, but the iPhone SE 2 was unveiled in April 2020, and the original model landed in March 2016.

So, a March or April launch seems the most likely, but the actual year we’ll the iPhone SE 4 – or whether we'll see it at all – is more up in the air. 

Initial reports had claimed Apple has abandoned plans to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE, owing to doubts over the series’ popularity and profitability. But that was brought into doubt by other reports and analysts claiming Apple has restarted development on the iPhone SE 4, albeit with the company eyeing a much later release date than initially intended for the pint-sized device. 

More recently, leaker Jeff Pu predicted that Apple will release the iPhone SE 4 in 2025. But then analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the iPhone SE 4 “is not currently part of Apple's new product planning” for the next couple of years, suggesting we shouldn't expect to see the phone until at least 2026.

Then again, MacRumors has even more recently pointed to a 2025 launch for the iPhone SE 4.

As for the phone's price, there’s of course no news on that front either, but – if the iPhone SE 4 does eventually arrive – we’d expect it to be similar in price to the iPhone SE 2022, which starts at $429 / £419 / AU$719.

iPhone SE 4 news and rumors

Assuming the iPhone SE 4 is in development, the phone is expected bring big changes to the line. For instance, Ross Young (a leaker) previously claimed that its screen will be 5.7-6.1 inches, which would be a big jump up from the current model's 4.7-inch display.  

Since then, they've got more specific, saying that the iPhone SE 4 will have 6.1-inch screen and a notch, rather than the current design's big bezels. That could mean Face ID may be added, too, and indeed more recent leaks have said to expect Face ID.

We've now seen unofficial iPhone SE 4 renders emerge, too, that show the supposed design of the iPhone SE 4, and they largely match the details above. Incidentally, the phone in the images looks almost identical to the iPhone XR, and you can see some of them below:

Along with these renders, the source claims the iPhone SE 4 will have a 6.1-inch screen and come in Midnight (black), Starlight (white), and Product RED shades.

Yet another source has also suggested the iPhone SE 4 will have an iPhone 14-like design, complete with a notch, a 6.1-inch screen, and even Face ID. However, they add that the iPhone SE 4 will also have a customizable Action Button rather than a mute switch, and USB-C, but that it will still have just one rear camera.

Similar claims about the iPhone SE 4 having an Action button and USB-C have been made multiple times since, with MacRumors claiming that as well as those features, the iPhone SE 4 – which will apparently be housed in a modified iPhone 14 body – will have an OLED screen and will weigh less than the iPhone 14 at 165g, possibly due to just housing one – apparently 48MP – camera.

All that said, another source has claimed that the iPhone SE 4 will instead look more like an iPhone 16, and will have a Dynamic Island rather than a notch. Though we're not overly convinced by this.

Elsewhere, Ming-Chi Kuo (an analyst with a great track record for Apple information) has also said – via a note seen by MacRumors – to expect a larger screen, and that the iPhone SE 4 will have 4GB of RAM. 

Kuo has also predicted that the upcoming device will inherit the OLED display used by the iPhone 14, where Young has been touting an LCD display. For our money, the former screen option is more likely – especially if the phone isn't arriving until 2025.  

That said, in a follow-up tweet, Kuo has since clarified that this iPhone 14-like iPhone SE 4 may simply be an engineering prototype – so the jury is still out on which modern-day iPhone the next iPhone SE might resemble.

Speaking of inheriting iPhone 14 features, a reported leak has the iPhone SE 4 tipped to use the same battery as the iPhone 14. That could see it get a cell that comes in at 3,279mAh, which would be a big boost over the 2,010mAh battery in the iPhone SE 3. And a bigger battery would insinuate a larger phone, which has us thinking again that the iPhone SE 4 will look like the iPhone 14. 

As for the phone’s connectivity, another Apple leaker, Jeff Pu, reports that Apple is developing a custom-designed 5G modem that will be manufactured – using a 4nm process – by the company’s chipmaking partner, TSMC. It’s not yet clear whether this 5G chip will offer any performance or power efficiency improvements over rival modems produced by the likes of Qualcomm, but it’s safe to assume that the iPhone SE 4 will offer top-of-the-range network connectivity. 

iPhone SE 4 wishlist

We don’t know much for sure about the iPhone SE 4 just yet, but we know what we want from it. Below, we've rounded up a few of our biggest hopes:

1. A new design

iPhone SE 2022 in use on wooden background

The iPhone SE 2022 looks very dated (Image credit: TechRadar)

The design of the iPhone SE (2022) is more than old – it’s ancient, with even the cheapest of cheap phones showing it up in many ways.

So, we really, really want to see a design refresh for the iPhone SE 4. This shouldn’t be hard for Apple – it has plenty of phones with more modern designs that it can copy. The good news is that signs suggest Apple might actually do this.

2. More starting storage

The iPhone SE 3 has a starting capacity of just 64GB, which, in 2023, is frankly not enough, especially given its mid-range price and lack of a microSD card slot.

So, for the iPhone SE 4, we want to see 128GB as the starting size – and for that to happen without a price jump.

3. A lower price

iPhone SE 2022

The iPhone SE 2022 costs more than we'd like (Image credit: Future)

Speaking of prices, the iPhone SE (2022) already costs more than the iPhone SE (2020), so not only is a price hike an unwanted prospect, but we ideally want a lower starting cost, so that this truly is an affordable iPhone again.

Given rumors of a larger screen and possibly a new design, this probably won’t happen, but we live in hope.

4. A larger display

The iPhone SE 3 is absolutely tiny with its 4.7-inch screen, and arguably that’s too small even for most fans of compact phones, so we’d like to see the iPhone SE 4 increase in size.

The good news is that rumors point to a 5.7-6.1-inch screen, which would be a notable increase, while still just about being compact, especially if the smaller of those sizes is used. In fact, paired with a new design and smaller bezels, the overall footprint needn’t be much bigger.

5. More camera lenses

The iPhone SE 3 has just one camera lens on the back, which even for a mid-range phone isn’t enough. Sure, it’s a quality camera, but it’s also limited, giving you just a wide field of view. So, for the iPhone SE 4 we want a second lens added, offering either ultra-wide or telephoto functionality.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.