The iPhone SE is Apple’s best budget iPhone, and the third generation will be announced at Apple’s Spring 2022 event in March.
It should be a huge upgrade to Apple’s less expensive handset, with the same processor as the iPhone 13 at an incredibly low price. But affordability was never the main selling point of Apple’s entry-level iPhone: It was all about portability.
So when Apple introduced the first iPhone SE in 2016, it was all about size. According to Apple’s Greg Joswiak, the first generation iPhone SE was “the most powerful four-inch phone ever.”
So where did it come from, and how does it fit into the rest of the iPhone lineup? Let’s find out.
iPhone SE (2016)
The first generation of iPhone SE
The first iPhone SE was based on the design of the iPhone 5, which despite its name was the sixth generation of the iPhone. Released in 2012, the iPhone 5 was impressive at the time with its newer, thinner chassis, 4-inch Retina display, and sleek new Lightning connector, which replaced the previous 30-pin Dock connector.
The iPhone 5 was one of the shortest-lived iPhones, it was replaced in 2013 by the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, and it missed a lot: When the next iPhone, the iPhone 6, became noticeably larger, it was clear that for many people it was the smaller iPhone It is the ideal place in terms of portability and ease of use.
The iPhone SE was launched in March 2016 to the delight of these folks, and while it looked like the iPhone 5, it didn’t have the same internals.
Instead of the Apple A6 chip, it had the same A9 as the 2015 iPhone 6S, and it also had a 12MP rear camera, Live Photos and Retina Flash. It was something of a stealthy iPhone, with modern interior items in an antique condition, and it was pretty sad when Apple stocked it in late 2018.
It features, along with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the longest iOS support of any iPhone: seven versions, starting with iOS 9 and running up to iOS 15.
iPhone SE (2020)
The second generation of iPhone SE
Apple decided to bring back the iPhone SE in early 2020. This time it was part of the same iPhone generation as the iPhone 11, and Apple launched the iPhone SE 2020 at the same time as it discontinued the iPhone 8/8 Plus in April 2020.
Like the first generation, the second iPhone SE was a mixture of retro design and modern interiors. It was based on the iPhone 8, but inside it was the iPhone 11: it had an A13 Bionic system on a chip and a 4.7-inch Retina display.
That’s small compared to other phones, but it’s a huge improvement over the previous 4-inch display, and it has True Tone, Display P3 support, and HDR10/Dolby Vision (although it can’t actually display HDR; instead it enhances content for its own display) .
Camera-wise, the second iPhone SE was very similar to the iPhone 8, with its 12MP rear camera capable of shooting 4K video, 63MP panoramic photos, and Smart HDR. Both cameras also support Portrait modes.
iPhone SE 3 (2022)?
The third generation of the iPhone SE?
The biggest change we expect to see in the 2022 iPhone SE 3 5G is the last part: 5G. The current iPhone SE is 4G only, meaning it lags behind the rest of the affordable smartphone market. Now that 5G is widely available, it should be in this iPhone too.
According to the latest iPhone SE 3 rumors, it will have the same A15 Bionic SoC as the iPhone 13 and will come with the same design and colors as before: white, black and red. There will be three storage options 64GB, 128GB and 256GB, and the screen will remain a relatively small 4.7in.
However, the most exciting rumor is not related to the specifications of the device. It comes down to its price.
The phone is likely to launch as low as $299, which is good news for consumers, but terrible news for Android companies that currently have this market segment for themselves. The very cheap iPhone SE 3 could bring a lot of new buyers to the iPhone family.