Next iPhone SE may look like the iPhone XR — what this means for the iPhone 14

iPhone XR
iPhone XR (Image credit: Future)

YouTuber Jon Prosser, a popular leaker who boasts about having sources that know the inner workings of Apple, claims that the iPhone 8 chassis, revived for the iPhone SE series, is getting dumped for a more recent design: the iPhone XR.

The iPhone SE 2022 update was a bit of a snoozefest, wearing the same five-year-old chassis as its predecessor. Yawn! However, if Apple does repackage the iPhone SE series with iPhone XR armor, the Cupertino-based tech giant may reignite the masses' excitement for Apple's antique revivals.

The iPhone SE 4 is reportedly dumping the iPhone 8 for the iPhone XR

On the Geared Up podcast, Prosser reported that the next-gen iPhone SE will be wrapped in the iPhone XR's body. 

iPhone XR (Image credit: Apple)

Say goodbye to the home button, Touch ID, and thick bezels. The iPhone XR brings more screen real estate, Face ID, and slimmer bezels. In other words, the iPhone SE 4 will reportedly drop the 4.7-inch HD display for a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina beauty. However, the iPhone XR also brings another questionable feature: the controversial notch.

iPhone XR (Image credit: Apple)

Some people dig the notch; they feel that it is a trait, somewhat like a beauty mark, that is an insignia of the modern iPhone. I suspect this is why Apple chose to envelop the sub-$500 iPhone SE 2022 with the iPhone 8's chassis — and not the XR. It's passé enough to deter its core fanbase from purchasing it, but solid enough to win budget consumers over. 

The XR's notch and home button-absent display make it too close to the au courant flagship iPhone line. Apple likely feared that it would eclipse the sales of its newest, pricier iPhones. The trick with the iPhone SE series is that it must be attractive to penny pinchers, but repulsive to luxury lovers who'd prefer to splurge on the Pro Max.

Why the iPhone SE 4's design change speaks volumes about the iPhone 14

Apple is well aware that there are folks who wouldn't touch the iPhone SE 2022 with a 10-foot pole, even if it features the same chipset as the iPhone 13, because it's too far removed from the current glorious Pro Max design (i.e. a massive candy bar-esque chassis and triple-camera array that screams, "I've got the latest and greatest iPhone, so give me my cool points!").

Now that Apple is reportedly stuffing the next-gen iPhone SE into the iPhone XR, this tells me that the Cupertino-based tech giant, for the first time, feels "safe" using the 2018 chassis because it's now more distant, design-wise, from the current-gen iPhone, which is poised to be the iPhone 14.

According to the rumor mill, the iPhone 14 is retiring the controversial notch in favor of a pill-and-hole design. Apple's decision to embrace the iPhone XR for the iPhone SE series indicates that the iPhone 14 will be conspicuously different from the XR in a way that the iPhone 13 can't boast.

Today, a single-camera setup, thick bezels, home button, and a pocketable chassis are "tells" that you own an obsolete iPhone. Once the iPhone 14 is revealed, however, the notch will join this list, making the iPhone XR the perfect candidate for the antique-embracing iPhone SE series.

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!