iPhone SE 3 leak claims the home button is on the chopping block — why we don't believe it

iPhone SE (2020)
iPhone SE 2020 (Image credit: Future)

The iPhone SE 2020 is a contentious phone among Laptop Mag's staff. Our writer Darragh Murphy swears it's one of the best iPhones, but I beg to differ. However, one aspect of the iPhone SE 2020 we both like is the home button. 

While reviewing the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13, the devices felt naked. Muscle memory often impelled me to find the trusty, centered button to initiate fingerprint unlocking or make quick getaways from apps, but the home button was absent. Unfortunately, according to a new leak, the home button may also be non-existent on the iPhone SE 3 (via ReviewGeek).

The iPhone SE 3 may not have a home button

Many leaks maintain that the iPhone SE 3 will be an uneventful update. As we reported in July, popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the budget-friendly phone will have the same design as the iPhone SE 2020: the ho-hum iPhone 8 form factor, a 4.7-inch LCD display and the Touch ID home button. The internals will be updated with either an A14 or A15 Bionic chip, according to reports.

iPhone SE (2020)

iPhone SE 2020 (Image credit: Future)

However, a new leak from Chinese platform MyDrivers posits that the iPhone SE 3 will not look like its predecessor. Instead, MyDrivers claims that it will look more like the iPhone XR, sans the home button, while adding a 6.1-inch display. The iPhone SE 3 will reportedly still feature Touch ID, but the fingerprint scanner will be moved up to the side of the phone. As for the processor, MyDrivers says the iPhone SE 2020 successor will be packed with the lightning-fast A15 Bionic chip.

We're skeptical of this rumor, however, because MyDrivers doesn't state its sources nor does it make sense for Apple to redesign its budget-friendly device to give it a more modern look that's reminiscent of its newer phones. The $400 iPhone SE 2020 is relatively inexpensive partly because it looks outdated and obsolete.

The au courant design of its newer devices (e.g. the iPhone 13) compels people to spend more, which is what Apple wants. As such, I'm not convinced Apple would swap the SE 3's iPhone 8 body for the XR's more modern chassis — and add a swanky new fingerprint scanner to boot. 

iPhone XR

iPhone XR (Image credit: Future)

The only aspect of MyDrivers' leak that seems true is the iPhone SE 3's usage of the A15 Bionic chip. When the iPhone SE 2020 came out, it, too, was packed with the latest processor. 

Who knows? I could be wrong. After all, a leak from Weibo also claims the iPhone SE 3 will have the XR's chassis. As always, these are all rumors and scuttlebutt, so take them with a grain of salt. We'll have to wait until 2023 to know which leaker (Kuo or MyDrivers) has the most accurate iPhone SE 3 information.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!