An iPhone SE with an OLED display could be the ultimate cheap phone

Rumours suggest Apple is about to overhaul its budget model – and it sounds phenomenal

iPhone SE 4 phone in silver, red and gold
(Image credit: 4RMD)

If you want to buy an iPhone, but can't bring yourself to shell out for models like the iPhone 14 or the iPhone 14 Pro, the iPhone SE will be your best friend. It represents the entry door into the world of Apple phones, giving you everything you need and nothing you don't.

A single camera sensor takes care of shot-snapping duties – perfect for point-and-shoot photographers without the bells and whistles of more advanced camera systems. The battery will just see you through a day of use, as long as you don't use it too heavily. It has a smaller screen and is the only iPhone to retain a physical home button.

Now, rumours are flying about the next version of the iPhone SE. And, frankly, it sounds fantastic.

One of the hottest rumours is the inclusion of a 6.1-inch display, including the possibility of an OLED panel on the new model. That would mark a substantial change of pace for a device which has traditionally worn its value for money credentials on its sleeve. Other rumours include a bigger battery, a better processor and a USB-C port for charging and data transfer.

As a former iPhone SE user, I can confidently say that it needs this – previous generations of SE's have felt like cheap phones. In some cases, it's through no fault of their own. The case dimensions, for example, feel outdated.

But with a full suite of upgrades, the iPhone SE could be reborn as a value for money icon. If – and, granted, this is a big if – Apple can put out a phone with a modern processor, a decent battery and full-sized OLED panel for under the £500 mark, it would dominate the market.

Many have grumbled about the vanilla iPhone 14 this year, claiming that it doesn't offer good value for money. Whether that's true or not will come down to what you value most, but an iPhone SE with the configuration listed above would almost certainly cause another headache for the base-level iPhone. If you can do without the absolute latest processor and a multi-sensor camera array, the iPhone SE could be the one for you.

Of course, if Apple do opt for a 6.1-inch display, fans of smaller phones will be alienated. The current generation of SE is the only sub-6-inch iPhone on the market. I can't see that being too big of an issue though. The market for small iPhones isn't huge, as we know from the sales figures for the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone 13 Mini.

Plus, a 6.1-inch all screen handset would only be slightly larger than the current SE in terms of body size – certainly nowhere near as chunky as the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

There's still a great deal of time before we see these updates come to life. The new iPhone SE only came out a few months ago, and it usually gets a bi-annual update, which takes us to 2024. It's certainly worth keeping an eye on though. It might just save you some cash.

Sam Cross
Trainee Online Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.