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 great upgrade for Apple's most affordable phone, with the same processor as the iPhone 13 for 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 4-inch phone ever."
So where did it come from and how does it fit in with the rest of the iPhone lineup? Let's find out.
iPhone SE (2016)
(Image credit: Apple)
The first generation 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 pretty impressive at the time with its newer, slimmer body, 4-inch Retina display, and sleek new Lightning connector, which replaced the old 30-pin Dock connector.
The iPhone 5 was one of the shortest-lived iPhones, replaced in 2013 by the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, and it was sorely missed: When the next iPhone, the iPhone 6, got much bigger, it became clear that for many people the smallest iPhone was the sweet spot in terms of portability and ease of use.
The iPhone SE launched in March 2016 to make those people happy, and while it looked like the iPhone 5, it didn't have the same guts.
Instead of an Apple A6 chip, it had the same A9 as the 6 iPhone 2015S and also had a 12MP rear camera, Live Photos, and Retina Flash. It was something of a stealth iPhone, with modern internals in an older package, and was greatly regretted when Apple scrapped it in late 2018.
It has the distinction, along with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, of having the longest iOS support of any iPhone: seven versions, starting with iOS 9 and going all the way to iOS 15.
iPhone SE (2020)
(Image credit: TechRadar/Apple)
The second generation 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 released the 2020 iPhone SE at the same time it dropped the iPhone 8/8 Plus in April 2020. XNUMX. . .
Like the first generation, the second iPhone SE was a mix of vintage design and modern interiors. It was based on the iPhone 8, but inside was an iPhone 11: it had the A13 Bionic system-on-chip and a 4,7-inch Retina display.
It's small compared to other phones, but it was a significant improvement over its predecessor's 4-inch display, and it supports True Tone, Display P3, and HDR10/Dolby Vision (although it can't actually display HDR; instead , enhance the content for your own viewing).
Camera-wise, the second iPhone SE was very similar to the iPhone 8, with its 12MP rear camera capable of 4K video recording, 63MP panoramas, and Smart HDR. Both cameras also support portrait modes.
iPhone SE 3 (2022)?
The third generation iPhone SE?
The biggest change we expect to see in the 3 iPhone SE 5 2022G is the last bit: 5G. The current iPhone SE is 4G only, which means it lags behind the rest of the affordable smartphone market. Now that 5G is widely available, it should be on this iPhone too.
According to the most recent rumors of the iPhone SE 3, it will have the same A15 Bionic SoC as the iPhone 13 and will have the same design and colors as before: white, black and red. There will be three storage options of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB, and the screen will still be a relatively small 4,7-inch.
However, the most tantalizing rumor is not about the specifications of the device. It's about your price.
The phone is expected to launch as low as €299, which is great news for consumers, but terrible news for Android companies who currently have this sector of the market to themselves. A super cheap iPhone SE 3 could attract many more buyers new to the iPhone family.