Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple has killed its next-generation iPhone SE, which was once set for a 2024 release and would have used the old iPhone XR form factor.
“Apple will likely cancel or postpone the mass production plan for the 2024 iPhone SE 4,” he tweeted. “I think this is due to the consistently lower-than-expected shipments of mid-to-low-end iPhones—iPhone SE 3, 13 mini, and 14 Plus—as well as concerns that the full-screen design of the SE 4 will lead to an increase in higher costs/selling prices.”
To date, the iPhone SE lineup has served as a way to offer customers old-fashioned, smaller form factor devices with modern internals at a lower price than Apple’s mainstream iPhones. But the iPhone SE 4 would have included two firsts: it would have broken from the tiny design of previous iPhone SE models, and it would have included Apple’s first in-house 5G modem.
Apple has wanted to push Qualcomm chipsets out of its handsets for years, but Kuo suggests that the iPhone SE 4 delay/cancelation signals it’s nowhere close to being ready to do so. “Qualcomm is the biggest winner of Apple’s cancelation of 2024 iPhone SE 4,” he wrote separately. “Qualcomm will likely remain the exclusive supplier of baseband chips for 2H24 new iPhone 16 series vs. market expectations that Qualcomm will start losing iPhone orders in 2024.”
As for the form factor shift, with Apple’s non-Pro iPhone models selling poorly in each of the past two years—the iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 14 Plus, in particular—multiple rumors suggest that the company will now lower prices on the non-Pro iPhone 15 models it ships in late 2023. This would be an issue for a new iPhone SE, since the price differential between it and the base iPhone 15 would be minimal. (That said, Apple offers a confusing array of iPad models, each with various price differences and functional overlaps.)