Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Shares Big Last-Minute iPhone SE Predictions

When your everyday average consumer wants an iPhone but does not care about having a top-tier set of features, Apple is happy to present the iPhone SE. First released in 2016, the device offered the company's popular smartphone functionality at a budget-friendly price. Apple followed it up by releasing the second generation iPhone SE in 2020, which has led to widespread speculation as to when the model would receive its next upgrade. 

Analyst 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) tweeted a last-minute set of predictions about the likely launch of the iPhone SE's third generation device in 2022 on Friday, March 4. Kuo's predictions makes the next iPhone SE seem like a value proposition not unlike each of the iPhone SE models that've been released in past years. With an expected "similar form factor design" to the otherwise most-current iPhone SE, this device will likely be aimed at users looking to upgrade with the only the most essential of iPhone/iOS features. 

iPhone SE, generation by generation

As Apple's had its tried-and-true hardware parts in production for a significant amount of time, the company is able to avoid the costs that come with designing new parts and having new parts produced. The iPhone SE's design is effectively recycled, and the manufacturing process is already set in place. The low cost of creating a new phone with a manufacturing process that's already in place is then passed on to the end user. This methodology has proven successful enough for Apple to continue to create new iterations of the iPhone SE line. The first iPhone SE was released in 2016, the 2nd Gen iPhone SE was released in 2020.

Since the first iteration of this phone, the iPhone SE has taken a tried-and-true hardware design from a past iPhone generation and fit it with only the most essential specifications and features. In this new iPhone SE, that "essential" bit seems to include relatively new features too, like 5G coverage and the latest A15 chip.

The next iPhone SE looks to be another affordable essential

It would seem, according to Kuo's tweet, that the differences in industrial design between the first two iPhone SE generations will have been greater than the short hop between the iPhone SE 2nd Generation and the 3rd. The third generation is likely appearing at the next Apple event with news of a release in the first half of the year 2022. 

Kuo's last-minute predictions also included three different hardware versions of the iPhone SE 3rd Generation — including 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB internal storage — and three different case colors: white, black, and red. It's not clear at the moment if that'll be Product Red or not. Kuo also listed an A15 chip and 5G support among the device's likely features. It's likely the new iPhone SE will have both mmWave 5G (wide band) and Sub-6 support so that it'll be compatible with all carriers inside the USA.

Kuo suggests that we'll see "mass production in Mar'22," which would mean we're not necessarily going to get an instant release. It could also mean that production has already begun in part, and Apple will really ramp up production throughout the month. It would not be shocking to see Apple keep the same pricing structure with the new iPhone SE that is already in place with the otherwise most-current iPhone SE.