Does the new iPhone SE 3 come with AirPods? Here's the deal with included headphones.

Apple's iPhone SE Packaging Means You'll Have To Provide Your Own Headphones (Or AirPods)

The company made the switch in 2020.

Originally Published: 
Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images

ICYMI, Apple announced the release of the iPhone SE 3 at its first keynote of 2022 in Cupertino, California, on March 8. Fans learned the new phone comes with 5G and the toughest glass on an iPhone, but some were still looking to get answers on one feature in particular: headphones. New iPhones used come with a pair of wired headphones, but the company stopped including them in 2020. Since the headphone jack has been long gone, you might wonder if the iPhone SE 3 will come with AirPods, here’s what you need to know.

A week before the March 8 Apple event, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Greg Joswiak tweeted an intriguing 15-second promo with the caption, “Peek performance. March 8th. See you there.” But viewers got more than a peek. As was predicted, the event included the announcement of the third-generation iPhone SE, which hadn’t seen an update since the last version was released in April 2020.

There are a few new features that might have Apple fans looking for an upgrade when the third-gen iPhone SE hits store shelves on March 18. New to the third-generation iPhone SE has the A15 bionic chip, a 16-core neural engine for a faster phone, and an upgrade to the toughest glass on an iPhone. Absent from the list of features, though, was a pair of accompanying AirPods. Of course, there’s no precedent of Apple providing the wireless headphones with a new device, but fans can always dream.

Considering there was no mention of AirPods during the announcement or the iPhone SE 3 press release, it’s pretty clear the new iPhone will not include a pair of complimentary AirPods. (Maybe next time?) With the pipe dream of AirPods out of the way, you might wonder about wired headphones. When the company unveiled the iPhone 12 in October 2020, Apple announced they would no longer add headphones or power adapters with new iPhones to cut down on packaging and reduce waste — and the company has continued with that practice. In the new box with reduced packaging, you’ll get a third-generation iPhone SE 3 and a USB-C to Lightning cable.

Apple also removed the plastic outer packaging, a move the company started with the iPhone 13 lineup. According to the press release, it’ll help Apple get “closer to its goal of completely removing plastic from all packaging by 2025.” Complimentary headphones might be firmly in iPhone history, but at least it’s for a good cause?


Apple’s third-generation iPhone SE starts at $429 ($30 more than its predecessor), but it’s still $270 less than the next most affordable iPhone with 5G, the $699 iPhone 13 mini — so if you’re in it for the upgrade (and not the freebies) then the new iPhone SE could be a great option to consider. And if you have some cash leftover, go ahead and treat yourself to your own pair of AirPods — and keep those fingers crossed Apple surprises us at the next event.

This article was originally published on