4.7-inch iPhone SE 3 said to get A15 Bionic and 5G, but keep antiquated Home button

Apple’s rumored-to-be-forthcoming 4.7-inch iPhone SE 3 will reportedly get the A15 Bionic and 5G, but keep its antiquated Home button.

Image: iPhone SE (2020)
Apple’s current A13 Bionic-powered 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2020) starts at just US$399

Benjamin Mayo for 9to5Mac:

Japanese Apple blog Macotakara today reported that the iPhone SE 3rd-generation will not feature a design change and instead will look like the current iPhone SE. This means it will keep the same 4.7-inch LCD display and Touch ID Home Button. Some earlier rumors had suggested a more significant design overhaul was on the way.

However, the new iPhone SE will pack in Apple’s latest A15 chip with support for 5G cellular networking. Macotakara expects production of the new iPhone SE to begin in December and start shipping to customers in spring 2022.

A spring launch lines up with Apple’s usual schedule for the iPhone SE. The first iPhone SE debuted in March 2016 and the second-generation model arrived in April 2020.

MacDailyNews Take: As we exclaimed back in June:

The antiquated Home button must die!

Look like we’ll have to wait awhile longer for all of Apple’s iPhones and iPads to modernize.

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    1. Oh, puleeze, ageist.

      Both my parents and father-in-law are pushing 80 and it took them all of a five minutes to forget about the Home button on their iPhone X units years ago.

      If they need a Home button, they can’t use a smartphone anyway.

      A little gesture is way easier and faster than pushing a button (button area) constantly all day long.

    1. Yes, I had to explain that same point to a chronic Apple apologist/fanboy: one can be thumbing the button during the draw so that its already woken up by the time that its arrived at yon eyes. Been doing this for years.

  1. Yeay, SE2022!!

    Now I can replace rather long in the teeth SE2016 currently used as a dedicated wireless CarPlay phone (left in my car), with my SE2020.
    Can’t wait! In the meantime, I ordered IP13 Pro for my daughter.
    What gives?!?! 🙂

  2. Yay for “antiquated” Home button, also still in use on current SE, iPod touch, and iPad. The one on current SE is actually not a button that moves. It uses haptics to convey being pressed without moving. Also useful to have “handles” (made possible by presence of Home button) that make holding iPhone horizontally easier and more secure, less likely to touch edge of screen by mistake. And no ugly screen notch!

    1. Yay for “handles” too. Much better than useless “horns”, I mean “notch”. I was waiting for Apple to implement touch ID in 13 which did not materialize. But come to think of it, in-screen touch ID might actually be inconvenient in certain situations. Home button in chin with no horns is more useful (to me). Now, if SE2022 has the same touch ID configuration as the current one, that’s certainly my next phone. My SE2016 is small (heck, I am nostalgic to pocket sized 3.5 inch original iPhone, as a novelty, lol) but the current SE2020 is “8” size, a perfect size for today.

    2. Good point on noting that the iPad still has a model with the home button: Apple is (perhaps reluctantly?) acknowledging a product feature that delights some of their customers.

      Given that the “base” iPad is probably Apple’s biggest seller – – and the SE’s sales haven’t been shabby either – – Apple has an interesting quandary to try to square with Tim “less choice is better” Cook.

      1. I’d like to think Apple is considering NOT phasing out the Home button with Touch ID… But probably not NOT. It’s more like Apple not letting great design work go to waste. This rumored new iPhone SE is another refresh of iPhone 7 ➔ 8 ➔ SE (2020) ➔ SE (2022). The brand new iPad goes way back too. It’s like the design of 2017 iPad Pro, last Pro with Home button. It became iPad Air 3rd gen, last Air with Home button. Then iPad 7th, 8th, and now 9th gen. The quietly continuing iPod touch (with Home button) design goes back to 2012 model (5th gen with A5), currently still sold as new (7th gen with A10).

        So, I don’t think there’ll be any completely new design with Home button, but Apple may continue using these existing designs (with Home button) in new refreshed generations. Why not? The Home button makes devices lower cost and easier to understand. It’s obvious you press it to get started, no need to tell novice user to “swipe up.” I’ll bet another 4-inch iPod touch (with Home button) also slips into the picture in 2022 (or 2023), the fun little $199 entry device into iOS world.

        1. I suspect that the factors are pretty self-evident:

          Reuse of mature designs = cheaper new product development, lower manufacturing costs, lower technical risks.
          Obvious feature for “Low End / High End” product differentiation for upselling … and also for being able to offer a less expensive product with a straight face.


          “One more product in the product line” is something that manufacturing optimization dweebs hate. As such, we can expect ongoing pressure from Tim Cook to kill it off.

          The overall problem that he has with that is the button falls into the “it just works” category, and thus invokes the old expression:

          “If its stupid but it works … its not so stupid”.

  3. Food for thought: Under the table in our boardroom meetings DISCRETELY touch the home button and open the phone much FASTER in a nanosecond.

    Try that with FaceID akwardly lifting your phone to your face all meeting long and everybody knows instantly what you are doing and distracting others, not good.

    FaceID is an overhyped full blown innovation that recognizes your face that changes with age. Doubt my fingerprint will change anytime soon. Both methods use natural body parts to unlock your iPhone, all good there.

    While MDN consistently throws fingerprint ID under the bus as dinosaur tech, while I disagree, respect their point of view.

    Do agree with MDN the small area that houses the Home button on my SE2016 could be better utilized for full screen.

    Seem to recall Apple working on bringing back Fingerprint ID underlying modern phone screens because of mask wearing in the pandemic era. Certainly, Apple can incorporate into the smaller SE form factor, keeping down unnecessary costs for FaceTime that small phones NEVER RELIED on and still work like a champ.

    Bottom Line: Fingerprint ID is a tiny footprint powerhouse, unlike the Goliath size FaceID with awkward elbow tipping. Fingerprint ID is faster and more discreet and IMHO absolutely, unequivocally, RULES!

    SE forever…

    1. Apple could just as easily placed the home button within a notch at the bottom of the screen and taken up the same amount of space as the Face ID. The ridiculous thing is that you have to unlock the phone with your face and then swipe up, why can’t the phone unlock and open to the home screen immediately? With Touch ID you are unlocking the device straight to the home screen with one push. Four years after it was introduced, Face ID is STILL slower on the draw than Touch ID and it will be as long as the latter exists, as a button or under the screen.

  4. I am on the keep the button. My parents in their 80’s do not like technology and I’ve got them doing the basic’s. Please remember if you did not follow technology as we do. There are lots of parents out there that have trouble with it. My dad butt dials me every day and can’t figure it out. I see their Struggles and one day we will be that person.

  5. I don’t think this rumor is true.

    It would make no sense to update SE 2 for just one year. Not even for two years, as that’s just not the way SE works. There’s no reason to upgrade it performance wise while it’s cheaper and lower end than 11, which is still sold too – why not upgrade both or 11 first? But that doesn’t make any sense either (unless the upgraded 11 is the SE 3 – which it will be).

    There’s a clear pattern for SE already:
    SE 1 was released 1/2 years after X replaced 6-based design and 5S was discontinued.

    SE 2 was released 1/2 years after 12 replaced X-based design and 8 was discontinued.

    SE 3 will be released 1/2 years after 14 (15, if 14 is based on current desing) replaces 12-based design and 11 is discontinued.

    If current 14 rumors are to be trusted, it would be a new desing (no notch, no camera bumb). That would mean an iPhone 11 based SE 3 with A16 and maybe Touch ID in the power button, like the iPads (that may save some money and drop the notch – but after the top of the line models drop it first.)

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