Insiders: the iPhone SE is a safe buy this year and next

Apple's plans for a 2024 iPhone SE launch have apparently been postponed, so you can buy without fear

iPhone SE 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

One of the tricky things about buying a new phone is timing. Whether you’re an Apple or Android fan there’s always a nagging fear when you’re looking at the best phone deals. Sure, this looks like a nice price, but am I buying a phone that’s about to be replaced?

With some phones that’s an easy one to answer. The release schedules for the big flagships, the iPhone 15 and the Samsung Galaxy S24, are predictable now: you get new iPhones in September and new Galaxy devices in February. But what about the inbetweeners, like the iPhone SE

Thankfully , it looks like you can shop safely for that one. We understand a new one isn’t coming any time soon. The current model is here to stay for at least another year.

When will the iPhone SE be replaced?

According to MacRumors, multiple companies inside the Apple supply chain have spoken to industry analysts at Barclays. And, those analysts, Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley, believe that, based on those discussions, the fourth generation iPhone SE won’t be coming in 2024.

That’s partly because Apple’s in-house 5G modem, which was destined for the iPhone SE 4, is taking longer than anticipated. But, it’s also because the current model is still one of the best budget phones you can buy.

In fact, it’s our current favourite in our best cheap phones guide. SIM-free, the price starts at £419 / $429 / AU$719 for the 64GB version (although I’d recommend getting more storage; 64GB isn’t much these days).

I think the iPhone SE is a bit of a stealth smartphone. It looks ancient – from the outside, it’s an iPhone 8 – but inside it’s much more modern, with an A15 Bionic system on a chip and 3GB of RAM. It doesn’t have the complex cameras of the iPhone 14 and its Pro and Pro Max variants, but as a daily driver it’s a very good phone that costs a lot less than Apple’s more prestigious models.

It’s great for people with small hands, too, or for those who don’t want to lug massive phones around with them. 

So, if you’re thinking of buying one, go ahead: it’s going to be Apple’s best budget phone for at least another year.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (