iPhone SE 4 could debut next year with an OLED panel from the iPhone 14 — Apple's budget upgrade is still likely a year away

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A new report has revealed that Apple’s next budget iPhone, the iPhone SE 4, might finally arrive next year with an enticing OLED upgrade. 

The iPhone SE is the cheapest model in the iPhone lineup and for years has sported a legacy design replete with Home Button and Touch ID. Ever since Apple ditched both of the latter features for the futuristic FaceID, that design has looked out of place and dated alongside Apple’s best iPhones, including the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models, or even older models like the iPhone 13 or 14. To that end, we’re expecting a new “iPhone SE 4” with a complete redesign soon, and now another new report says 2025 will be the year Apple’s budget iPhone finally gets the upgrade it deserves. 

Over the weekend The Elec reported that suppliers of parts for the device “have proposed their prices to Apple for OLED panels aimed at iPhone SE 4 that will launch early in 2025.” As the report notes, Apple is planning a significant display upgrade that will see the iPhone SE adopt OLED technology for the first time, replacing the LCD display it inherited from the old iPhone 8. 

iPhone SE 4’s OLED upgrade 

While the negotiations for the price of these displays are still ongoing between Apple and suppliers, The Elec reports that “prices are considerably lower than those of iPhone 15,” because they use “recycled parts and legacy tech.” 

In fact, the report says it's likely that the OLED panel used in the iPhone SE 4 “will likely be the same one as those used in iPhone 14 back in 2022 as well as iPhone 13 a year earlier than that.” That means we can expect an iPhone SE 4 with a 6.1-inch display.

While it was previously leaked that the next iPhone SE might get a more futuristic design based on the iPhone XR, the most recent reports indicate Apple will instead base the device on the aforementioned iPhone 14. With that in mind, the device should also feature USB-C, Face ID, a complete design overhaul, and maybe even the Action Button introduced to the Pro model iPhones last year. 

Apple will, of course, have to strike a balance between an exciting new design and features, and retaining the much lower price of the iPhone SE range. It currently retails starting at just $429, the cheapest iPhone you can buy from Apple by some margin. All three iPhone SE models have been unveiled by Apple in either March or April previously, a timeline that fits nicely with this new “early 2025” window. 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9