It might be time to say goodbye to Apple’s cheapest iPhone

It might be time to say goodbye to Apple's cheapest iPhone


An iPhone that offers almost the same performance as theiPhone 14
for about half the price sounds like a great idea, right? Apparently not. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple could scrap the next version of its low-cost iPhone SE, which was supposed to arrive next year.


“Supply Chain Received Instructions from Apple That 2024 iPhone SE 4 Production and Shipment Plans Have Been Canceled Rather Than Delayed”Kuo wrote in a
Post Medium
January 6th.

Priority to more expensive iPhones

If Kuo’s predictions are correct, only Apple knows the reason for this cancellation. But research and media reports suggest there could be a very simple answer. The more expensive iPhone models tend to be most popularwhich may not be an incentive for Apple to continue to market cheaper phones like the iPhone SE.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET.com’s request for comment.

The third-generation iPhone SE, which debuted in March, is starting to 529 euros and is essentially an iPhone 8 filled with the innards of an iPhone 13. CNET’s Patrick Holland called it “mindblowing value” in his
iPhone SE (2022) review. But he also pointed out the missing elements that make it look outdated, like the lack of a full screen design or a night mode for the camera.

Previous generations of the iPhone SE took a similar approach; the
2020 release
had essentially the same design, but had the chip from the iPhone 11.
model 2016
had the body of an iPhone 5S with the processor of an iPhone 6S. Rumored fourth-gen iPhone SE was to adopt a new one design similar to iPhone XRaccording to Jon Prosserleaker and YouTube personality.

A change initiated with the iPhone 14

To understand why Apple may have canceled its next iPhone SE, consider the changes Apple recently made to its iPhone 14 lineup. Unlike the previous two years, Apple did not release a “Mini” version. cheaper of its new flagship iPhone in 2022. Instead, it launched a larger version of the iPhone 14 base, called iPhone 14 Plus, which is 150 € more expensive than the standard iPhone 14 at €1019, which increases the barrier of entry for buyers.

This change follows reports from
Nikkei Asian Review
and Kuo (via
MacRumors) that Apple would phase out the iPhone Mini in 2022, with the former adding that the Mini model didn’t resonate with consumers. The removal of the iPhone Mini and reports that next year’s iPhone SE has been removed may indicate that Apple is moving away from the marketing ofSmaller and cheaper iPhones.

But longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster doesn’t see it that way. He believes the iPhone SE still plays an important role in Apple’s lineup due to its low price.


“I think it’s still the best value for an iPhone”did he declare.

Apple is rumored to be scrapping next year’s iPhone SE due to high demand for more expensive smartphones like the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max (pictured). (Credit – James Martin/CNET)

More expensive iPhones sell better

It would seem that the Most Expensive iPhones generally be best selling, which could help explain this change. The average selling price of an iPhone has increased by 7% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2022, according to
Counterpoint Research. The market research firm also reported in June thatApple dominated the global market
high-end smartphones with a share of 62% in the first quarter of 2022. It is important to note that Counterpoint defines high-end smartphones as devices costing $400 or more, which means that the third-generation iPhone SE would fall into this category since it starts at 429 dollars (529 euros). The report, however, indicates that Apple’s growth in the high-end category comes mainly from the range iPhone 13.

The (more expensive) iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max also seem to be the stars of Apple’s new line of smartphones so far.
The Information
reported that Apple has cut production of iPhone 14 Plus within two weeks of its launch, while the research firm
trendforce
claims that Apple has increased production of iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Kuo also has
said on Twitter
in September that the iPhone 14 Pro Max was responsible for approximately 60% of increased orders from Apple for the Pro line, suggesting that Apple’s most expensive new iPhone is also its most popular. A report published in November 2022 by Wave7 Research further indicates that 38 of 39 operator service representativesrespondents said they do not have stock in store for the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max.

The iPhone SE, meanwhile, accounted for only about 5-8% of quarterly sales iPhones in the United States over the past two years, said Josh Lowitz of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Looking at the total volumes of newer iPhone models in any given year, Pro versions typically account for 35-40% of saleswhile the iPhone SE represents around 20 %according to Munster.

A role played by operators

The discounts granted by operatorshave also made it easier to obtain high-end smartphones at cheaper prices, in particular by exchanging an old device, as has
underlined our colleague Eli Blumenthal
after the launch of the iPhone 13. Many American buyers additionally pay for their smartphones by monthly installments from operators, which can make higher prices easier to swallow. These two factors can make it even harder to buy a cheaper iPhone with fewer features.


“Because you’re paying over such a long period of time…the price difference of $100, or even $200, isn’t that big a month”Lowitz said.

At the same time, Samsung has been successful in the low cost smartphone market. Its Galaxy A phones, which typically cost hundreds of dollars less than its flagship Galaxy S models, accounted for 58% of unit salessmartphones from Samsung in 2021, according to data from Counterpoint Research previously provided to CNET. Samsung’s Galaxy A’s have modern features not found on the iPhone SE, such as a camera with multiple lenses and larger screens, although they often run on less powerful processors than Samsung’s more expensive models.

What future for other SE products?

The idea that Apple could cancel 2024 iPhone SE raises questions about the future of the SE range in general. Apple extended the SE brand to the Apple Watch in 2020 for the first time and launched a
following this product
in September.

The fact that Apple ported the SE line to another product had made it seem like a more permanent part of Apple’s lineup. But if Kuo’s hunch turns out to be right, the days of the iPhone SE could be numbered. And once you take a closer look at how Apple’s smartphone lineup has changed and the data around phone shipments, it’s easy to see why.

But Munster isn’t convinced that cheaper iPhones like the SE are going away for good. Having a more affordable option allows Apple easier to reach your goalbroader, which is to attract more customers into its web of products and services.

CNET.com article adapted by CNET France

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