The iPhone SE 4 might not be dead after all

iPhone SE (2022) unboxed
The last iPhone SE came in March 2022 (Image credit: Shutterstock / Foxartbox)

Update – April 13: An earlier version of this story cited comments from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – regarding the iPhone SE 4's possible resemblance to the iPhone 14 – which have since been clarified by Kuo himself. Original article (with amendments) follows.

Rumors are a funny thing. Only a few months ago, seasoned Apple analysts reported that Apple had abandoned plans to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE, owing to doubts over the series’ popularity and profitability. 

Then, two months later, the same analysts counterclaimed that Apple had 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.  

Now, in April 2023, we’ve got a better idea of when that release date might be, with reliable leaker Jeff Pu predicting that Apple will release its successor to one of the best iPhones in 2025. 

The most recent iPhone SE – the iPhone SE (2022) – breathed new life into Apple's classic-but-tired iPhone design, with impressive-for-the-price speeds and 5G connectivity, but the iPhone SE 4 is expected to bring the series in line with modern smartphone standards.

Specifically, Apple is all but certain to ditch the current iPhone SE’s huge bezels and small screen size for a display arrangement akin to either the iPhone X or iPhone 14

Ross Young – a leaker with a reasonable track record – claims that the iPhone SE 4 will have a 6.1-inch screen and a notch, while analyst Ming-Chi Kuo purports that the device will inherit the OLED display used by Apple’s latest vanilla iPhone (though, in a follow-up tweet to the below thread, Kuo has since clarified that this iPhone 14-like iPhone SE 4 may simply be an engineering prototype). 

In either case, the iPhone SE is likely to get Face ID, though it's also possible that Apple could stick with Touch ID and house the sensor in a side button, instead of on the front.

As for the phone’s connectivity, 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.

The iPhone SE (2022) was released in March of last year, while the iPhone SE (2020) came to market two years prior, in April 2020. If indeed Pu’s prediction of a 2025 release year for the iPhone SE 4 is accurate, it stands to reason that we could see the phone released sometime in the spring (that’s between March and May, for our Australian readers). 

We’ll be staying abreast of all the latest iPhone SE 4 rumors as and when they surface over the coming months, so stay tuned to TechRadar for the details.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.