In brief: Apple is reportedly having second thoughts about the next iPhone SE. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said he believes Apple will likely postpone or cancel mass production for the 2024 iPhone SE 4 due to consistently lower-than-expected shipments of entry-level iPhones like the iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone 14 Plus and the third generation iPhone SE.
Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) analyst Ross Young said back in October that the next iPhone SE could ship with a much larger 6.1-inch display. For comparison, the third-gen iPhone SE packs a 4.7-inch Retina HD display which is considered small by today’s standards.
Kuo seemingly corroborated the prediction, noting that the full-screen design of the iPhone SE 4 would lead to an increase in costs and selling price. This, Kuo added, could prompt Apple to reconsider the return on investment of the next SE. What’s more, reducing unnecessary new product development could help see Apple through economic uncertainties in 2023.
My latest survey indicates that Apple will likely cancel or postpone the mass production plan for the 2024 iPhone SE 4. I think this is due to the consistently lower-than-expected shipments of mid-to-low-end iPhones (e.g., SE 3, 13 mini, and 14 Plus),
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) December 21, 2022
Earlier rumors suggested the iPhone SE 4 could look a lot like the iPhone XR and forego the Touch ID-equipped Home button in favor of either Face ID or a side-mounted fingerprint sensor like on the iPad Air and iPad mini.
Apple has been willing to experiment with varying configurations of the iPhone over the years, but not all of them have been a hit with consumers. The iPhone 14 Plus, for example, reportedly got off to a slow start and prompted Apple to scale back production just a couple weeks after launch.
Another factor contributing to the success of certain iPhone models could be how they are sold. In the US, most Apple handsets are sold through wireless carriers that offer attractive promotions on select models to entice shoppers to do business with them instead of the competition. As such, it’s not uncommon to see higher-end models like the iPhone 14 Pro on sale for less than an entry-level model. Such is especially true during the holidays when consumers may be more willing to splurge on big ticket purchases.
Image credit: Filipe Alves