Apple's iPhone SE 3 Rumored To Make Early 2022 Splash With 5G Support And Faster CPU

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Apple's iPhone SE family of devices has long been an attractive way to enter the iOS ecosystem without forking over a lot of money (relatively speaking). The first-generation iPhone SE launched with the body of an iPhone 5s and the A9-based guts of the newer iPhone 6s. Likewise, the second-generation iPhone SE launched last year with the body of the iPhone 8 paired with a newer A13 Bionic SoC.

With this in mind, there's no question that Apple is working on a third-generation iPhone SE, and the latest rumors allege that the device could arrive as early as the first half of 2022, according to DigiTimes. The so-called iPhone SE 3 will reportedly launch with an A14 Bionic -- the SoC used in the flagship iPhone 12 family -- and retain the same body design as the current-generation iPhone SE (perhaps with some new colors added). That means that there would likely be no changes to the Touch ID biometric authentication or onboard cameras.

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It's also reported that the iPhone SE 3 will gain 5G support, which would make it the cheapest device in Apple's family to support the fastest cellular speeds. However, the 5G support brings with it two questions that are rattling around in our collective heads. For starters, will Apple keep the base price at $399 despite adding 5G support?

Secondly, sub-6GHz 5G support will be mandatory with the iPhone SE 3, but will Apple also include mmWave support like the iPhone 12 family? Our gut tells us that Apple would skip mmWave to minimize internal hardware design changes versus the second-generation iPhone SE and keep costs down. But then it'd have to explain to customers why the iPhone SE 3 is technically "inferior" to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 when it comes to 5G support.

Whatever the case, if the iPhone SE does indeed come with 5G support at the $399 price tag (or even slightly higher), it could be another big hit for Apple in the crowded smartphone market. The presence of the current-generation iPhone SE at the $399 price point is the reason why many people think that the iPhone 12 mini has been a [reported] sales failure in the market. Price-sensitive users have favored the iPhone SE's over the iPhone 12 mini's starting price of $699.