Fans of affordable iPhones have been waiting patiently for a new model for well over a year and a half: it was back in April 2020 that the second-gen iPhone SE, a 4.7in budget model, replaced the old stalwart iPhone 8. And there's little indication that the wait will end before the year is out.

But there is hope in the medium term. According to a new report from the analyst firm TrendForce, the third-gen iPhone SE will be launched in the first quarter - the spring - of 2022. This is in line with earlier reports (such as these) and fits in with the company's previous plans.

"In terms of product development, Apple is staying with the plan to release its third-generation iPhone SE in 1Q22 and four models under a new series in 2H22," writes TrendForce. "The third-generation iPhone SE is expected to be a major instrument in helping Apple establish a presence in the market segment for mid-range 5G smartphones."

Few details are known at the moment, but most likely we can expect a more powerful processor (A15 Bionic) and 5G support. There is also talk, as usual, of improved cameras.

In the past there have been rumours of a full-screen design based on the iPhone XR or iPhone 11, but more and more indications are that Apple is sticking with the old Home button design based on the iPhone 8. It's likely that the third-generation iPhone SE will be the last Apple handset with an LCD screen.

You can catch up with the latest rumours with our regularly updated iPhone SE 3 news hub. If you don't want to wait until the spring, grab a bargain on the current range with our roundup of the best iPhone deals.

Separately, it's also rumoured that a larger model of the iPhone SE with a 6.1in screen is in development. It seems likely that this will be called the iPhone SE Plus, but what will happen with that remains to be seen.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.