Multiple leaks had pointed to the iPhone SE 3 being unveiled in March or April, with at least one specifically saying it would land by March. So March was our best guess for the announcement date, but the latest leak points to April or May.
Ross Young (a reputable leaker with particular insights into the display industry), claimed in a Tweet that the iPhone SE 3 (referred to by him as the ‘Apple 5G SE model’) is starting panel production this month, with the phone itself likely to enter production from March.
Based on that he predicts an announcement in either the second half of April or early May, with the iPhone SE 3 shipping in either late April or early May.
Apple 5G SE model starting panel production this month. Phone production likely from March. This means a launch is likely for 2H April/early May with shipments from late April or early May.January 19, 2022
This is of course just one source, so we’d take it with a pinch of salt, but Young has contacts in the display industry, so there’s a good chance he has the right information when it comes to panel production at least.
Plus, some earlier leaks didn’t get as specific as March or April. Some just said to expect it the iPhone SE 3 in the first half of the year, or between March and May, so there’s definitely some uncertainty.
It sounds like even Young is using a bit of guesswork to predict when the iPhone SE 3 might actually be announced and shipped, based on the information he has. So we can’t be sure of anything yet, but an April (or even May) announcement is now looking more likely than it was.
Analysis: a later launch gives the iPhone 13 mini more space
If the iPhone SE 3 really is launching in April or May then that could benefit the iPhone 13 mini – Apple’s only particularly recent small screen phone.
Reports suggest this has struggled to sell compared to the rest of the iPhone 13 range, and when the iPhone SE 3 arrives it’s likely to struggle even more, since the latter phone is rumored to have the same chipset and 5G, along with a similarly small (if more dated) design, and a likely much lower price.
The iPhone SE 3 could therefore be a more tempting phone for lots of buyers, and leave the iPhone 13 mini looking all the more unappealing. So this way the iPhone 13 mini gets a little more time to shine before there’s a new compact champion on the block.