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Populus

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
5,116
7,443
Spain, Europe
Hello, dear forum.

I’ve been thinking about getting a third gen SE for a long time. On one hand, I don’t feel appealed by the old design, exactly the same as my iPhone 8. But on the other hand, if new OLED iPhones keep bothering my eyes, the SE 3 is the only device that could allow me to stay on the Apple ecosystem for years to come. Also, I tend to drop my phone every once in a while, and this iPhone 8 design has proven to be very, very tough.

My initial decision was to wait until the unveiling of the new iPhone 15 Pro in September, and see if 1) it is light enough, 2) if I can tolerate the new screen PWM, and finally 3) if it isn’t exorbitantly expensive here on Europe (remember, the euro is now stronger than a year ago when Apple rose prices an average of a 20%). But I might have to change my plan.

However, it seems like waiting for the iPhone 15 pro unveiling might be a bit risky, because I’m seeing signals of Apple discontinuing the third gen SE. Why? First, on Amazon Germany, Amazon Spain, Amazon France and Amazon Italy this model is no longer available. On other retailers, the supply is uncertain as well. On Apple they are available, but I’m not sure they will keep selling them after September 12th. There are too many signals of discontinuation if we take into account the alleged low sales of this model.

In case I had to buy it, I don’t know which one to choose, either the 128GB or the 64GB because at least in the 64GB model, the screen is less bright, has a lower peak brightness, as my iPhone 8, and I don’t know if the 128GB model would have a better screen or not. But I don’t want to purchase and return too many times on the Apple Store.

I really don’t know what to do. If I get this SE 3 and then I get the iPhone 15 pro or next years iPhone 16, a family member could inherit the SE 3. However, I think my iPhone 8 could suffice, so I don’t know what to do.

So, if you were in my shoes, would you buy one just in case? Which one?
 

snipr125

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2015
1,823
2,864
UK
If I recall, the low sales of the SE3 were when it was initially released, but sales picked up and has sold fairly well with its budget pricing. The unavailability could be because Apple are converting them to USB C perhaps. Their has always been an SE model in the line up since 2016, so I don't think this will change. The PWM sensitivity is not likely to change on the OLED iphones, so if I were you I would just grab one from Apple now.

I suffer from PWM also on the OLED iphones, but i found that keeping the brightness just above 50% works for me, no blinding headaches. If I put auto brightness on however, the head aches return, as it generally stays around the 30% mark where the flickering is at its worst.
 

Populus

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
5,116
7,443
Spain, Europe
If I recall, the low sales of the SE3 were when it was initially released, but sales picked up and has sold fairly well with its budget pricing. The unavailability could be because Apple are converting them to USB C perhaps. Their has always been an SE model in the line up since 2016, so I don't think this will change. The PWM sensitivity is not likely to change on the OLED iphones, so if I were you I would just grab one from Apple now.

I suffer from PWM also on the OLED iphones, but i found that keeping the brightness just above 50% works for me, no blinding headaches. If I put auto brightness on however, the head aches return, as it generally stays around the 30% mark where the flickering is at its worst.
Thank you for your point of view.

Yes, I’ve also thought that they could be changing it to USB-C and that would explain the unavailability of this model. However, I look at my iPhone 8 and don’t see a USB-C fitting well on the bottom. USB-C port is bigger than Lightning port so I’m not sure how would it fit. Also, the SE line is usually designed with minimum changes to cut the cost at maximum, and if Apple is releasing a new SE next year, I don’t think they would make such investment on the SE design/production right now. I guess it is not as easy as just changing a port.

Anyway, as you suggested, it would be a good idea to pick one up the day before the announcement of the new iPhones, or just the day after.
 
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snipr125

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2015
1,823
2,864
UK
Thank you for your point of view.

Yes, I’ve also thought that they could be changing it to USB-C and that would explain the unavailability of this model. However, I look at my iPhone 8 and don’t see a USB-C fitting well on the bottom. USB-C port is bigger than Lightning port so I’m not sure how would it fit. Also, the SE line is usually designed with minimum changes to cut the cost at maximum, and if Apple is releasing a new SE next year, I don’t think they would make such investment on the SE design/production right now. I guess it is not as easy as just changing a port.

Anyway, as you suggested, it would be a good idea to pick one up the day before the announcement of the new iPhones, or just the day after.
I just checked Amazon UK, and your right no stock on the 128 GB version, although they have like 16 units of the 256 GB available so not sure what's going on here. Even if they stop selling the SE3, it wont just disappear though, third part retailers will still have some even when the Iphone 15's are announced, just have to scout around. Hopefully you get what you makes you happy Populous.
 

FeliApple

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2015
3,676
2,078
PWM has been there since the beginning, I haven’t seen any indication of it being removed, and I don’t think that’s a feasible expectation. If it is intolerable for you, I’d just get an iPhone SE 3 now.
 
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Expos of 1969

Contributor
Aug 25, 2013
4,741
9,257
I suggest that you get the SE 3 now. Your 8 is not getting any younger and I doubt very much that the displays on the upcoming 15 will do anything to reduce or eliminate the PWM issues. I have an SE 3 and I very happy with it. Decent size for pocketability, not heavy and does everything I need it to do. I have the 128 GB but am only using about 60 GB. I use Google Photos and iCloud. However, I would not to only have 64 GB available. And it is quite sturdy. Maybe not as sturdy as the SE 1 but still pretty good.
 

JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,833
24,260
Don’t worry. It’s normal to see low stock during this time of the year.

The SE gets deprioritized each August-September to focus on assembly of the new models. It’ll be here until the next model is released.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
5,931
4,529
Just asking: looking on Amazon a good indicator?

I just did a quick scan of US Amazon and SEs they are showing tend to be renewed models, little/few new (unlocked especially, a few more that are carrier locked).

If renewed models, yeah, can see availability being hit/miss.
 

headlessmike

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2017
1,310
2,613
PWM has been there since the beginning, I haven’t seen any indication of it being removed, and I don’t think that’s a feasible expectation. If it is intolerable for you, I’d just get an iPhone SE 3 now.
PWM has been used on every iPhone ever made, OLED or LCD. It's how almost every dimmable light source is modulated.
 

Paddle1

macrumors 601
May 1, 2013
4,926
3,289
The funny thing is Apple still has the SE labeled as new alongside the 14 series on their website:
 

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Flav

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2023
27
24
I think it is unlikely the iPhone SE 3 gets a redesign or USB-C port. It's tricky to add USB-C on a curved side, just think about it, the iPad that has USB-C went to flat sides at the same time.

Likely Apple would just add USB-C to iPhone 13 mini and call it iPhone SE 4 but I don't expect this before spring of 2025 as they would have to stop selling non USB-C devices end of 2024.
 

Populus

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
5,116
7,443
Spain, Europe
I think it is unlikely the iPhone SE 3 gets a redesign or USB-C port. It's tricky to add USB-C on a curved side, just think about it, the iPad that has USB-C went to flat sides at the same time.
Yes, I think the same, I find it unlikely that they “just change the port”, it’s not that easy.

By the way, now that the thread is pinned on the front page, I am expecting all sorts of comments, including disrespectful ones. So far, my original post has a couple of laughing reactions. If Apple does indeed discontinue the SE as I suspect (not that I agree or disagree with that decision), I will mention everyone who’s laughing at me right now.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,596
2,015
UK
Amazon stock levels may not be a good indicator.
iPad models 12.9/11.0/Air etc show many models/sizes out of stock or about 5 left in UK store.....;)

Maybe Apple are just keeping stock for themselves.
 
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Populus

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
5,116
7,443
Spain, Europe
Amazon stock levels may not be a good indicator.
iPad models 12.9/11.0/Air etc show many models/sizes out of stock or about 5 left in UK store.....;)

Maybe Apple are just keeping stock for themselves.
I wish you’re right mate!

Of course my guess can be wrong, but I was simply thinking of that scenario, because there’s a chance of it happening.
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,833
24,260
I think it is unlikely the iPhone SE 3 gets a redesign or USB-C port. It's tricky to add USB-C on a curved side, just think about it, the iPad that has USB-C went to flat sides at the same time.

Likely Apple would just add USB-C to iPhone 13 mini and call it iPhone SE 4 but I don't expect this before spring of 2025 as they would have to stop selling non USB-C devices end of 2024.

Nothing difficult about adding a USB-C port to a curved surface. Just like Lightning, the USB-C port connector doesn't sit flush with the chassis, meaning the chassis surface can be curved or flat. When AirPods change to USB-C, they aren't going to make the case a square brick.

The iPhone 13 mini has been proven to be unpopular, so why would Apple take such a shortcut? It also lacks economies of scale required to be an SE.

Apple doesn't need to stop selling Lightning devices by end of 2024. The rules do not apply to existing devices launched prior to December 28, 2024.
 
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4087258

Cancelled
Mar 1, 2021
158
422
The new SE will likely have the iPhone 11 or 12 design.
16:9 is getting really outdated; some apps already don’t work properly on 16:9.

LCD (non mini-led) screens simply aren’t worth anymore, sadly 🤷‍♂️

And of course the SE will continue to exist.
 

iSwift5

macrumors member
Aug 31, 2022
31
41
Italy
Hello, dear forum.

I’ve been thinking about getting a third gen SE for a long time. On one hand, I don’t feel appealed by the old design, exactly the same as my iPhone 8. But on the other hand, if new OLED iPhones keep bothering my eyes, the SE 3 is the only device that could allow me to stay on the Apple ecosystem for years to come. Also, I tend to drop my phone every once in a while, and this iPhone 8 design has proven to be very, very tough.

My initial decision was to wait until the unveiling of the new iPhone 15 Pro in September, and see if 1) it is light enough, 2) if I can tolerate the new screen PWM, and finally 3) if it isn’t exorbitantly expensive here on Europe (remember, the euro is now stronger than a year ago when Apple rose prices an average of a 20%). But I might have to change my plan.

However, it seems like waiting for the iPhone 15 pro unveiling might be a bit risky, because I’m seeing signals of Apple discontinuing the third gen SE. Why? First, on Amazon Germany, Amazon Spain, Amazon France and Amazon Italy this model is no longer available. On other retailers, the supply is uncertain as well. On Apple they are available, but I’m not sure they will keep selling them after September 12th. There are too many signals of discontinuation if we take into account the alleged low sales of this model.

In case I had to buy it, I don’t know which one to choose, either the 128GB or the 64GB because at least in the 64GB model, the screen is less bright, has a lower peak brightness, as my iPhone 8, and I don’t know if the 128GB model would have a better screen or not. But I don’t want to purchase and return too many times on the Apple Store.

I really don’t know what to do. If I get this SE 3 and then I get the iPhone 15 pro or next years iPhone 16, a family member could inherit the SE 3. However, I think my iPhone 8 could suffice, so I don’t know what to do.

So, if you were in my shoes, would you buy one just in case? Which one?
Just to clarify a thing: whatever memory you choose, the screen brightness/specs is the same 👍
 

sublunar

macrumors 68020
Jun 23, 2007
2,115
1,433
I wouldn’t worry about SE at this time of year, might be a temporary supply shortage. The usb-c thing will probably only apply to new models as of the 2024 EU deadline.

In effect the entire range would not need to be re-examined but any new models would need to have that USB-c port. That’s my interpretation.

I’m other words as long as the SE3 continues to be sold the EU should allow it. If Apple release an SE4 before the deadline it could come with lightning if it’s a retread of the iPhone XR or 11 for example, but a new port suggests some engineering costs will be incurred.

The cheap solution for Apple would be to make the SE4 a pure retread of the 11 but with a16 cpu and launch it before the EU cut off point for usb-c.

Any kind of re-engineering (for example going to 1 camera or usb-c) could end up being costly, but it could be the kind of platform where apple test their in house cellular modem.
 

erikkfi

macrumors 68000
May 19, 2017
1,726
8,090
I don't buy it that there'll be no SE or OLED phones in the entire lineup soon. More likely they're switching to a new low-end device that has USB-C. It might not even be in the September "keynote" but announced via press release afterward, to keep from distracting from the 15 launches.
 

Populus

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 24, 2012
5,116
7,443
Spain, Europe
And of course the SE will continue to exist.

I don't buy it that there'll be no SE or OLED phones in the entire lineup soon. More likely they're switching to a new low-end device that has USB-C. It might not even be in the September "keynote" but announced via press release afterward, to keep from distracting from the 15 launches.

I hope you're not replying to my original post because, in that case, I think you misread it (and even the title).

I am not saying or implying there won't be an SE in the future, actually, Apple will probably release a new one next spring. I was just talking about the 2022 iPhone SE third generation. That's the one I'm seeing shortages of, and that's what lead me to suspect (not state) that it might be discontinued next month with the release of the new lineup.

I hope the SE 3 still exists, at least for a bit more, not for me, but for other people, usually older people, who find the use of an iPhone with a home button more intuitive than the new layout. But I guess the industry keeps advancing and people will need to adapt.
 
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SpotOnT

macrumors 6502a
Dec 7, 2016
903
1,876
PWM will probably be the same on the 15 as on the 14, so if the 14 bothers you, I don’t see much point waiting for the 15.

I too have noticed significant stock constraints (some of the major carriers in the US are sold out of some sizes/colors of the SE), but I don’t think Apple is discontinuing the SE on Sep. 12. I have noticed stock shortage with the SE before and I think Apple just keeps a tight supply line and the SE tends to get deprioritized.

So all in all, yes I would go ahead and get the 2022 SE. The iPhone 8 will stop receiving software updates, so it makes sense to upgrade. I would get the 128GB version, since everything is always taking up more space and having some room to grow is nice. The 128 GB and 64 GB version will be identical other than the storage size. If you notice a difference in the screen between two different iPhones of the same model, that is down to production variability. Apple makes stuff across multiple different factories, uses different suppliers for parts etc. and there does tend to be a bit of variation from one to the next.

Hopefully the SE3 will last you long enough for Apple to come up with a better solution than PWM for dimming.
 
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4087258

Cancelled
Mar 1, 2021
158
422
I hope you're not replying to my original post because, in that case, I think you misread it (and even the title).

I am not saying or implying there won't be an SE in the future, actually, Apple will probably release a new one next spring. I was just talking about the 2022 iPhone SE third generation. That's the one I'm seeing shortages of, and that's what lead me to suspect (not state) that it might be discontinued next month with the release of the new lineup.

I hope the SE 3 still exists, at least for a bit more, not for me, but for other people, usually older people, who find the use of an iPhone with a home button more intuitive than the new layout. But I guess the industry keeps advancing and people will need to adapt.

Oh, I was not replying specifically to you, relax! But apologize me anyways.
Long life to LCD!
 
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