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Apple could launch the next iPhone SE sooner than expected

Apple is expected to host its first virtual event of the year in the coming months and rumour has it the iPhone SE 3 will make an appearance. 

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman shared the prediction in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter.

According to Gurman, the event is scheduled to take place virtually in March or April of this year and is likely to see the much-anticipated iPhone SE 3 unveiled for the first time. 

The iPhone SE is Apple’s more affordable smartphone line, which has traditionally seen up-to-date internals packed into an older design. The iPhone SE 2, for example, looked like an iPhone 8 but delivered performance comparable to the iPhone 11 Pro. 

As of April, it will have been two full years since Apple last updated its mid-range iPhone back in 2020 and, while there was a longer four year gap between the first and second SE models, it wouldn’t be completely out of the question for the company to introduce the iPhone SE 3 in 2022. 

This time, Gurman anticipates the phone will feature the same iPhone 8-like design, but see the addition of 5G connectivity and more modern internals. This could mean we see an iPhone SE sporting the latest A15 Bionic, as opposed to 2019’s now-outdated A13 chipset. 

The A15 is currently found inside the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max and packs four CPU cores – two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores –, four GPU cores and a faster Neural Engine compared with previous Apple chipsets. 

The Pro and Pro Max also include an additional GPU core, making them even more adept at tasks like gaming and video editing, though it isn’t clear whether the extra core would make it into the budget-friendly SE 3. 

Of course, this isn’t the first we’ve heard of an iPhone SE 3 launch in early 2022. 

In December, analyst firm TrendForce stated that “Apple is staying with the plan to release its third-generation iPhone SE in 1Q22” and that the phone would include support for 5G.

Meanwhile, Chinese site ITHome previously reported that Apple is set to run a trial production of the SE 3, with the phone having a 4.7-inch display and a Touch ID Home button. This description matches closely with the SE 2, contradicting older rumours that the SE 3 would see an updated iPhone XR-like design.

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