The Next iPhone SE, Probably Coming in Spring 2024, Will Probably Be Based on the iPhone XR / iPhone 11 Design

Hartley Charlton, writing for MacRumors last week:

Now, Young’s revised forecast claims that the device will feature a 6.1-inch display with a notch. Whether the iPhone SE ‘s notch will contain a TrueDepth camera array like other iPhone models to facilitate Face ID is not known. Some rumors indicate that the iPhone SE will not gain Face ID, instead sticking with Touch ID like previous models to keep costs down.

Moving to an all-screen design, there will no longer be space for a capacitive Touch ID Home button in the device’s bottom bezel. Multiple reports, including information from MyDrivers and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest that Apple is planning to add a Touch ID Side button to the iPhone SE, much like the iPad Air and iPad mini.

Apple hasn’t yet set a consistent pattern with iPhone SE models, but one thing that has been consistent is that they’ve been based on “old” iPhone hardware designs. The first-gen SE was like an iPhone 5S; the 2020 and 2022 models look like the iPhone 6/7/8. What gets upgraded in the SE models are the A-series chips.

It makes all the sense in the world that the next SE will ship in the spring of 2024, and will be based on the iPhone XR / iPhone 11 (non-pro) design. I had been holding out hope, idly, that the next SE might be based on the iPhone 12/13 Mini design, but the XR/11 makes way more sense. The SE iPhone models are supposed to be popular but low-priced, and as sad as it makes me to say it, the iPhone Mini has not been popular. It’s also the case that the iPhone Minis have nice OLED displays; the XR/11 have LCD displays that aren’t as nice but cost less. That LCD screen technology has “next SE” written all over it.

This is all just rumor and conjecture, of course. But I’d bet a few dollars on it. I’d even bet that this next XR-lookalike SE will come with the A16 chip from last month’s new iPhone 14 Pro models — that’ll be the same chip in next September’s non-pro iPhone 15 models, and then this 4th-gen SE will come out six or so months later.

This would mean that this year’s 3rd-gen SE will be the last iPhone with the classic home button design, and, sadly, we might never see a Mini-sized iPhone again.

Wednesday, 19 October 2022