The iPhone SE's still a safe buy for 2023 and 2024

More confirmation that there won't be a new iPhone SE in 2023 or even 2024

iPhone SE 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

Following recent reports that the iPhone SE is no longer planned for a 2024 launch, there’s more conformation that the current SE is a safe buy: after speaking with multiple supply chain firms in Asia, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley have told their customers that the 2024 iPhone SE isn’t happening. The decision is apparently down to issues with developing an in-house 5G modem for the phone.

The report comes via MacRumors, who add that multiple other sources do not expect the next iPhone SE to launch until 2025 at the earliest.

Is the iPhone SE a good iPhone to buy?

The most recent iPhone SE was launched in 2022, so it’s still very much current. Inside there’s an Apple A15 processor, the same processor that you’ll find inside the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus. So power-wise it’s quite the performer.

The key difference between the SE and the other iPhones is the design. As we said in our review, “The 4.7-inch screen on the iPhone SE (2022) is, by the standards of basically any other phone being released today, itsy-bitsy. Teeny-weeny, even.” The standard iPhone display is just over six inches, and by comparison the SE feels impossibly small.

That was the key change expected in the next SE, which multiple reports said would get bigger – to a 6.1 inch display, the same as the iPhone 14 – and would also get a different external design with Face ID. The SE (2022) still has the big-chinned design to accommodate the Home button with Touch ID, something that’s no longer in the rest of the iPhone range. The next SE was also expected to get a better camera than the current single rear camera, which lacks Night Mode.

For now, the SE remains Apple’s best budget buy: here in the UK it’s £449 without contract, compared to £649 for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 mini. So provided you don’t mind the small size – which I know many people still prefer to larger-screened phones – and relatively lacklustre camera, it remains a good buy in 2023. 

Whether we can say the same next year I’m not so sure – the iPhone 12 is likely to drop out of the line-up when the iPhone 15 launches, so I’d expect the iPhone 13 to become Apple’s second most affordable iPhone. As you’ll see from our iPhone SE vs iPhone 13 comparison, the differences between the two iPhones go far beyond the price.

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 (