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Home / Features / Apple iPhone SE (4th gen) specs and rumors latest: will it appear in 2024?

Apple iPhone SE (4th gen) specs and rumors latest: will it appear in 2024?

All the latest up-to-date Apple iPhone SE 4th gen news plus rumoured specs and features we think we'll be seeing.

iPhone SE against orange background

While most of the attention is on Apple’s new iPhone 15 flagship, there’s plenty to be excited about down at the mid-range phone end of the line-up. The less expensive iPhone SE has long been a top pick among customers, for both its price and smaller screen size; it’s had multiple refreshes since it first arrived back in 2016, and is now set for another update.

The iPhone SE (4th gen) is currently in the works over at Apple HQ in Cupertino. Various rumours point to it landing either in early 2024 or early 2025. But what exactly should you expect from the device, and how much will it cost?

We’ve gathered together all the latest iPhone SE (4th gen) leaks and rumours, and have nailed down what’s really important. Here’s everything we know so far.

iPhone SE (4th gen) rumored design

The design for the iPhone SE (4th gen) has been somewhat of a hot topic over at the rumour mill. Initially, FrontPageTech’s Jon Prosser showed off a design similar to that of the iPhone XR, based on leaked information. But this was back in October 2022, and it looks like things have changed since then.

More recently than that, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the fourth-generation SE would take after the iPhone 14 series instead. Kuo explained that Apple is planning to use a 6.1-inch OLED panel on the device, just like the iPhone 14. He went as far as to say the new iPhone SE will be a “minor modification” to the iPhone 14.

Since the new budget smartphone is using the newer display, it’ll need a redesigned body to fit it. The curved edges of the third-generation SE‘s body or the XR won’t house the newer and larger displays. So, it looks like Apple will need to switch to the flat-edge design of more recent iPhones.

iPhone 14 vs Galaxy S22 verdict

We’ve heard that this is even more likely to be the case from leaker Unknownz21. The Twitter user mentioned that the iPhone SE (4th gen) will opt for a design based on the iPhone 14, alongside a list of expected features. Since then, MacRumors has shared that an anonymous source revealed the SE 4 would use a slightly modified version of the iPhone 14 chassis. The back, however, will look more like the iPhone XR thanks to a singular camera. Early in 2024, 91Mobiles leaked CAD images that reportedly show the device’s design. As expected, it’s a handset with the same dimensions as the iPhone 14.

As for the back of the device, expect a single camera and flash, as I mentioned above. It’s just like the current SE 3, but there are different designs in testing. In 91Mobiles’ leaked CAD designs, we saw the single camera on the back. However, the camera sensor may get a bump to 48MP, just like the recent iPhone 15 series. MacRumors’ source also expects an OLED panel for the display, like other sources. This would make sense given that more and more devices are moving to OLED.

Twitter tipster Majin Bu also shared images of what are allegedly cases for the upcoming iPhone SE 4. These images show a device that looks just like the iPhone 14, as expected.

Although, interestingly, relatively unknown Twitter tipster Nguyen Phi Hung shared that the new handset will be more like the iPhone 13 in terms of dimensions. The 13 and 14 are very similar size-wise, and both pack the notch rather the Dynamic Island. So if this slightly different report turns out to be correct, it won’t change much. This report still says the device will have a 6.1-inch screen with a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

iPhone SE (4th gen) expected specs and features

Since the iPhone SE (4th gen) is borrowing the iPhone 14’s design, we can expect the notch to make its way across. This begs the question of whether Face ID will move across as well. Apple uses fingerprint readers embedded into the power button on iPads, so Touch ID could stick around on the new budget smartphone. However, in Unknownz21’s list of expected features, the leaker mentions that Face ID will make its way to the new SE. MacRumors also reports a switch to Face ID from a Touch ID button.

All previous iPhone SE models have only shipped with one rear camera – a noticeable distinction from the two or more on every other iPhone model. It would make sense for Apple to keep the current trend, and Unknownz21 seems to agree in the leaker’s report. However, one benefit of the iPhone SE is that it allows the tech giant to reuse old chassis designs. If Apple is using the same body as the iPhone 14, then we might end up with two camera lenses. Nguyen Phi Hung’s tweet mentions AI photography features, but no further information. He also believes the device will be capable of 1080p Cinematic Mode, but not Night Mode.

Unknownz21 also mentions some other features in the leak. The new iPhone SE (4th gen) will reportedly receive the rumoured new Action Button that’s on the iPhone 15. On top of this, the new budget iPhone will definitely get a USB-C port. This makes sense given the EU’s USB-C legislation that comes into force in 2024. In leaked CAD renders, we’ve seen the USB-C port appear, so are pretty certain it’ll turn up. MacRumors’ source also reckons the Action Button from iPhone 15 Pro, which seems more unlikely, since this is a Pro-only feature.

iPhone 15 USB-C

Aside from leaks, there are a few other features we expect on the new SE. Depending on the release date, the iPhone SE (4th gen) will run either the A15 Bionic or A16 Bionic chipset from the current series of iPhones. Apple could opt to use the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max A17 Pro chipset if we see the device launch in 2025, but it’s more likely to use an older version to save on cost.

We might also see the new handset bump its base storage to 128GB. While the current SE starts at 64GB, the iPhone 13 series switched the starting storage to 128GB. Apple might follow suit with its cheapest smartphone. Nguyen Phi Hung reports that the new SE device might jump to 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB, but this seems unlikely.

One other big addition to the iPhone SE will be Apple’s own 5G modem. While the current model already includes support for 5G connectivity, Apple uses third-party modem parts inside the device. Could it be the first product to switch to Apple’s custom-made modem?

And in terms of the all-important battery life? There could be good news. According to AppleInsider sources, prototypes of the new iPhone SE are being developed with some internals from the iPhone 14, which include a 3279mAh battery. That doesn’t seem like much compared to premium flagships with 5-6000mAh batteries, but it’s still a substantial 60% increase in capacity compared to the previous iPhone SE generation.

iPhone SE (4th gen) rumored price

Each iPhone SE release has brought an increased price with it. The first generation launched at $399/£379, the second gen at $399/£419, and the third at $429/£449. As component prices increase and the device receives newer features, the higher manufacturing costs get passed on to customers. Given the new features expected on the fourth generation device, we wouldn’t be surprised to see another price jump.

The good news is that the iPhone SE is firmly positioned as Apple’s budget device. As such, we wouldn’t expect the device to cross over £500. Since the tech giant still sells the iPhone 13 from $599/£649, the cheapest offering would have to be significantly less than this. For the iPhone SE (4th gen), a launch price of $449/£479 seems most likely given Apple’s recent pricing strategy.

When is the expected iPhone SE (4th gen) release date?

While the flagship iPhone series follows a typical annual launch schedule in September, the same can’t be said for the budget iPhone. So far, Apple has stuck to releasing the iPhone SE in March, but the frequency of launches has been unpredictable. The first generation arrived in 2016, the second in 2020, and the third in 2022. At first guess, it might look like Apple would release the fourth generation in 2024, but that’s likely not the case.

As we mentioned, it looks like Apple will include its first self-designed 5G antenna in the new iPhone SE. Referencing the modem, Apple analyst Jeff Pu explained he expects the device to appear in 2025. Similar analysts have also pegged 2025 as the release date for the new smartphone. Barclays’ analysts Curtis and O’Malley explained that a 2024 release “seems unlikely”, while Ming-Chi Kuo also referenced 2025 for the device and 5G antenna.

As such, it looks like 2025 is the most likely release for the iPhone SE (4th gen). We’d expect the device to make its appearance in March, just as Apple has done before.

Profile image of Connor Jewiss Connor Jewiss


Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

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