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iPhone SE 5G could skip 2021 entirely – report

The reborn iPhone SE arrived last year to great acclaim but, unlike the iPhone 12 mini, isn’t future-proofed with a 5G modem. Will we see an updated iPhone SE 5G in 2021?

The iPhone SE remains a really popular handset, but it can be a little hard to recommend as a long-term buy given the lack of a 5G modem. If you want the latest speeds in a compact handset it’s hard to look past the iPhone 12 mini, which is much more expensive option.

It’s not clear whether Apple plans to update the iPhone SE again with 5G technology, or whether it plans to use the feature as a gatekeeper for its flagship range moving forward. Let’s have a look at the latest rumours.

New iPhone SE – will it have 5G?

According to the respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), Apple does have plans to launch an iPhone SE 5G, but not until 2022. That contradicts earlier rumours that the third-generation Apple iPhone SE would arrive before the summer of 2021.

Related: Best iPhone

He writes: “Apple will release the new ‌iPhone SE‌ model in 1H22. The exterior design and most specifications are similar to the existing 4.7-inch ‌iPhone SE‌. The biggest change is to support 5G and processor upgrades.”

iPhone SE 5G specs and features

According to Kuo the next-generation iPhone SE won’t see many external changes. It’ll still have the iPhone 8 design language, including the home button rocking the Touch ID sensor.

That’s been a selling point for the new iPhone SE, with many legacy users preferring the familiarity of the Home button to the near-full-screen Face ID experience. It’s also easier to unlock while wearing a mask.

We can also expect an upgraded processor, according to Kuo. The current model includes the A13 chip, which arrived alongside the iPhone 11 range in 2019. Any 2022 iPhone SE 5G would likely include the chip used in the iPhone 13, which will probably be called the A15 Bionic.

iPhone SE release date

Remember it took Apple four years to update the first iPhone SE, so we’re not banking on an annual release cycle for the device moving forward. Kuo seems to think it’ll arrive in the first half of 2022. Surely by then 5G will be a feature that comes as standards in most mobile releases.

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