The iPhone SE 4 could have an OLED display but will it finally get a design update?

iPhone SE 4
The iPhone SE 4 could have an OLED display and a new design (Image credit: Jon Prosser/Ian Zelbo)

Apple’s budget-friendly iPhone SE 4 could get a major upgrade over previous models: an OLED display. Rumors hint at a display similar to the panels in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14. This begs the question, is the iPhone SE finally getting a design refresh? 

Here’s what we know so far.

iPhone SE 4 rumored to feature an OLED display 

iPhone SE 2022

It's time for Apple to retire this LCD display (Image credit: Future)

According to a report from The Elec, Apple’s next iPhone SE is rumored to have an OLED display. The rumor stems from price proposals from three possible suppliers for the panel: Samsung Display, Tianma, and BOE. 

Apple has not yet confirmed the display specs on the iPhone SE 4, but the OLED panel will likely be lower quality than the display on the iPhone 15, as you’d expect for Apple’s budget line-up. However, this is still a major upgrade for the iPhone SE. 

The 2020 and 2022 models both had LCD displays, which simply can’t compete with OLED. Plus, there are other phones in this same price range that already have OLED displays, like the Google Pixel 7a. So, it makes sense that Apple would want to update the screen on the SE to keep up with competing budget phones. 

Will Apple ever ditch the iPhone 8 design on the iPhone SE? 

iPhone SE 4 in Blue renders by LaptopMag.com

Could the iPhone SE 4 look like this?  (Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

The report from The Elec highlighted 2025 as a potential release date for the iPhone SE 4. So, it’s still a bit early to speculate about the new model’s design. However, the upgraded screen does make me wonder if Apple is finally going to retire the antiquated iPhone 8 form factor. 

Apple tends to trickle down tech improvements and design updates into its budget line-up from a generation or two behind its flagship devices. If the OLED display on the iPhone SE 4 is on par with the display on the iPhone 13, could it also adopt the modern form factor of the iPhone 13? For a peek at what that might look like, check out our renderings of a fully redesigned iPhone SE 4. 

The iPhone SE is currently one of the only mainstream smartphones that still has a home button. Even in the budget market, those thick top and bottom bezels are tough to look past. There are a couple of reasons it might make sense for Apple to finally move on from this design with the 2025 iPhone SE. 

Retaining the bezels but tagging in an OLED display seems like a strange move, especially if Apple is planning on recycling the screen design from previous flagship iPhones. 

Also, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported in November 2023 that Apple is planning to retire the 9th gen iPad this year. That’s the budget model that still has bezels and a home button like the current iPhone SE. If this rumor pans out, it would make sense for Apple to retire the bezel-and-home-button design on its budget phone at the same time. 

We won’t know for sure until we get an official iPhone SE4 announcement from Apple. So, stay tuned for more news and rumors about the next iPhone SE and further upcoming Apple releases.

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