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A new iPhone SE with 5G is coming in 2022, but it may have the same old design

Apple isn’t abandoning the iPhone SE line and is set to revive its most affordable phone model in 2022, according to a new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In notes described by MacRumors, Kuo says a new iPhone SE will be coming in 2022. Buyers interested should not expect a redesign — instead, it will keep the same iPhone 8-style look as the 2020 iPhone SE. While that design is pretty tired at this point, there are other internal changes to keep things interesting.

Its biggest upgrades will be 5G support and a new processor, likely to be the yet-unnamed successor to the A14 Bionic processor found in the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. Apple introduced 5G to the lineup with the iPhone 12 in 2020. As a result, people interested in picking up a cheap iPhone — either an older model or an SE — would be out of luck. A 5G-capable iPhone SE would rectify that. When it comes to pricing, this is said to be the “cheapest 5G iPhone ever,” undercutting the $699 iPhone 12 Mini (which we suspect isn’t long for this world).

An updated iPhone SE lets Apple keep a lower entry point to the lineup, while standardizing on 5G.

The previous iPhone SE 2020 was a well-received phone, with our review finding it to balance a compact design, a powerful camera for the money, and all the benefits of full-powered iOS software for just $400. A follow-up phone with modern technology in 2022 could serve to rival Android phones in the sub-$400 market and lure more buyers over to Apple’s side.

The iPhone SE 2022 isn’t the only iPhone that analysts have shared predictions about. The iPhone 12S is reportedly coming this year with a new 120Hz display and a more powerful processor at the same pricing as last year’s model, and some reports say that Apple may bring a Pixel 5-like design to the iPhone SE in 2022.

There have been additional reports that Apple has been considering an iPhone SE Plus with a 6.1-inch display. This would be based on the iPhone 11 design in the same way the iPhone SE mirrored the iPhone 8. Kuo had earlier predicted that it would be arriving in the first half of 2021 before a reported delay, while JP Morgan Chase, as reported by GizChina, had it pegged for a 2022 release. With the smaller iPhone SE now said to be coming in 2022, it seems reasonable to expect an iPhone 11-inspired iPhone SE to be pushed back to 2023.

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Michael Allison
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