The invitations are out, the rumour mill is grinding and Tim Cook is no doubt filming a hilarious video. Yep, the Spring Apple Event is happening next week on March 8, and while we're really dubious that "peek performance" means anything other than a Face ID laptop or perhaps a preview of the Mac Pro, we do know that Apple will launch the third generation of its cheapest iPhone, the iPhone SE 3 5G.
I really like the current iPhone SE, and it is without doubt one of the best cheap phones on the market, but I'd like to see some changes this time around – and there's one change I'm torn about, because it's an upgrade that would introduce one of my least favourite iPhone things. So here are the three things I'd like to see in the iPhone SE 3, and the one thing I really don't.
Want: 5G connectivity
5G isn't just about sheer speed. It's about better quality connections too, and if like me you've gone all-in on streaming for everything from podcasts to TV programmes, music to movies, then that's a really big deal. It's also extremely useful if your broadband's down or you need to give the kids internet access via iOS's personal hotspot feature, as it delivers broadband-ish speeds fast enough that you can get stuff done without killing your phone battery.
Want: A killer price
This one' s a rumour but I hope it's right: the iPhone SE 3 5G price may be as little as $299/£299/AU$429. That is exceptionally cheap by Apple standards, making it easier and more affordable to have the very latest Apple software. If it also means the current iPhone SE sticks around for iPod touch money, the existing model could replace the excellent but awfully dated iPod touch as Apple's entry-level handset.
Want: A newer old design
The current iPhone SE is essentially an iPhone 8 with more up-to-date innards, and while those innards are excellent the screen is awfully small by today's standards. This would pretty much rule out my second hope, a lower price tag, but an iPhone SE 3 based on the iPhone 11 would be much more attractive and more useful too: I know there are many people who love the smaller screen on the iPhone SE, but it's starting to feel closer to the display in the Apple Watch Series 7 than any of Apple's other phones.
So that's the wish list. As for the hope-not list, there's only one entry...
Don't want: The dreaded Notch
If the iPhone SE 3 5G really does get a design based on the iPhone 11, that means SE owners will get to experience the joys of the dreaded Notch. It's either that or no Face ID, and no Face ID means no all-screen design. Given the choice I'd rather have no Touch ID button and a correspondingly bigger screen, but it does feel rather like choosing between being shot and being stabbed: while one is without a doubt better than the other, both are going to hurt.
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