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iPhone SE 5G (2022): Release date, features, and rumors

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Image: Apple

Apple’s “Peek Performance” event — its first of 2022 — will take place on Tuesday, March 8. It’s during that event we expect the company will announce a revamped iPhone SE, an upgraded iPad Air, and potentially a new Mac or two. 

We have a pretty good idea of what to expect with the iPhone SE, thanks to reports from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is now on Twitter, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Both Kuo and Gurman have impressive track records when it comes to providing information about Apple’s upcoming events. 

Here’s what the rumor mill — including Kuo’s first tweet and Gurman’s reporting — over the last couple of months, are currently saying about the upcoming iPhone SE. 

What will the new iPhone SE be called?

  • iPhone SE (2022)… maybe?
  • iPhone SE 5G is another option

Apple isn’t one for making big-name changes to products unless it’s absolutely needed, so it makes sense that Apple will call the third-generation budget iPhone the same name it’s called the previous two: iPhone SE. 

The second-generation iPhone SE was differentiated by adding the model year to the end of the name, resulting in “iPhone SE (2020).” So, if you want to be technical about it, the new iPhone SE could end up showing up online as “iPhone SE (2022).”

Another option is that Apple could pull a Samsung and add 5G to the end of the name, especially if the company plans on keeping the second-generation iPhone SE in its lineup at a lower price (more on that in a minute), making the name iPhone SE 5G. It has a nice ring to it, I’ll admit. 

A fun aside: When Apple announced the first iPhone SE in 2016, I was lucky enough to be at the event, and during the hands-on portion of the event, I grabbed just a quick minute of Apple’s Phil Schiller. At the time, he was senior vice-president of marketing. I quickly asked him the question on everyone’s mind: What does the “SE” stand for? Special edition, he told me. 

How much will the new iPhone SE 5G (2022) cost?

  • Our best guess is $399
  • The 2020 iPhone SE may stick around for $199

Apple has traditionally sold the base model iPhone SE for $399 with 64GB of storage, and we don’t see a reason for that to change. But here’s where this otherwise boring section about the price gets interesting this year — Bloomberg is reporting that Apple intends to keep the iPhone SE (2020) model in its lineup with a reduced price of $199. 

At a lower cost, the iPhone SE (2020) will compete in emerging markets such as India, where low-end Android devices are the most popular mainly due to cost. 

What will the new iPhone SE 5G (2022) look like?

  • The home button lives on
  • Red, black and white colors
  • Truly, there isn’t much of a change

Both Kuo and Gurman are reporting the new iPhone SE will look very similar to the current iPhone SE. That means the home button with Touch ID will remain. Kuo also notes that the iPhone SE will come in white, black, and red colors. 

With the rumored addition of support for mmWave 5G to the iPhone SE, we can assume that the new iPhone SE will also have a small antenna on the side of the phone, just like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 do right now. Unless Apple does something dramatic with the camera array, the antenna may end up being the only real design change. 

What’s new about iPhone SE 5G (2022)?

  • Faster processor
  • 5G support
  • 256GB storage option

The only upgrades that are rumored for the new iPhone SE include Apple using its A15 processor and adding 5G, both mmWave and Sub-6, cellular connectivity. Kuo also claims the new iPhone SE will have a 256GB storage option, doubling the max storage capacity of the current model. 

The trio of upgrades make sense. The iPhone SE (2020) uses Apple’s A13 processor, and lacks 5G connectivity. By bringing the processor current and adding 5G, Apple remains competitive in the mid-range segment of the market. 

We’ll have full coverage of the Apple Peek Performance event on Tuesday so make sure to check back once the event wraps. 

If you’re thinking about buying an iPhone SE, what are you wanting to see Apple change about the current model? Is a new processor and 5G enough? Let us know in the comments below.




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