What? Nobody is buying the new iPhone SE…

The rumor: Apple is selling fewer new iPhone SE models than they expected, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate) and Nikkei Asia (rating pending, source).

  • “Apple plans to make about 20% fewer iPhone SEs next quarter than originally planned, in one of the first signs that the Ukraine war and looming inflation have started to dent consumer electronics demand” Nikkei Asia says
  • Ming-Chi Kuo has also lowered his shipment estimations for all of 2022, down to 15-20 million units (versus 25-30 million before)

Sam’s take: To be clear, even on the low-end, selling 15 million phones is still good. Sure, it’s not out of this world or explosive sales, but it’s still a metric ton of $429 iPhones that people will get and love. Nikkei Asia specifically points to the war in Ukraine and inflation as reasons for why the phone isn’t selling as well as expected: I think this is reasonable short term, but couldn’t these exact pressures also push customers to buy this low-end model instead of a higher-end phone longer-term?

I also really think it’s possible that folks might be moving on from this dated 4.7-inch design that we’ve had since 2014. Nobody, other than the carriers, really cares about 5G, and the better battery life on this model is not a big leap. Aside from that…it’s identical to the previous version. Even my mom, who has long been a base iPhone user, moved up to a larger iPhone 13 this cycle. Again, this is purely speculation, but a design this old has to stop selling well at some point, right? Regardless of how “affordable” it is…

2022 iPhone SE tidbits: What Apple didn’t tell you

The news: At a busy Apple event on March 8, Apple announced a new, third-generation iPhone SE. Here are the deep cuts that Apple didn’t highlight.

  • According to MacRumors, there is now 4GB RAM (was 3GB prior)
  • The flagship feature is 5G…but it only supports the slower sub-6 GHz standard (not the ultra-fast mmWave)
  • Apple promises an extra 2 hours of battery life thanks to the efficient A15 Bionic chip: they claim 15 hours of video playback compared to 13 on the iPhone SE 2
  • While the camera hardware hasn’t improved at all, there are new computational photography features like Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4 and Photographic Styles like on iPhone 13
  • There’s no Ceramic Shield here…but Apple does say this iPhone SE has “the toughest glass in a smartphone on the front and back”
  • This iPhone SE now starts at $429, which is $30 more expensive than the iPhone SE 2
  • IP67 water (maximum depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes) and dust resistance is identical to the previous model
  • The new iPhone SE is lighter than the last generation: it weighs just 5.09 ounces, which is 0.13 ounces lighter than the iPhone SE 2

Sam’s take: There’s actually quite a lot here that surprised me. The new iPhone SE doesn’t support the fastest 5G, has the exact same camera hardware as before and is more expensive…but they made it weigh less. I guess that’s a fair trade off, right? Joking aside, this will still be an incredibly good value for most people. My only concern here remains the battery life, of which I’m still not convinced will be good enough.

New iPhone SE & iPads revealed in Indian import data

The leak: Apple is preparing to release new products soon, according to import data seen by 91mobiles.

Here’s what has reportedly been imported to India for testing…

  • A budget iPhone with a price of around ~$300 (models A2595, A2783 and A2784)
  • A new iPad with a price between $500-700 (models A2588 and A2589)
  • A budget iPad priced at ~$300 (models A2757 and A2761)

Apple is said to hold an event to announce these new products in March or April.

Our take: Even more confirmation that a new iPhone SE and iPad Air are getting ready to launch. Curiously, 91mobiles also cites a new budget iPad, too. Considering that Apple just updated it in September, would we really see a new one this soon? I doubt it.

New iPhone SE may be called ‘SE+ 5G’

The rumor: Apple is going to adopt a new naming structure for the next iPhone SE, according to Ross Young (100% accurate).

  • “SE+ 5G” will be the name of the next iPhone SE that is set to launch in March or April
  • The fourth-generation iPhone SE, coming in 2023/2024, is now said to have a larger 5.7-inch display

Our take: This is an odd rumor. Does “SE+ 5G” remind anyone else of Samsung? I don’t want to believe this, but Young’s track record is still undefeated…

iPhone SE 3 could start at $269 as trial production begins soon

The rumor: Apple’s next-generation iPhone SE is set to begin trial production soon, according to MyDrivers (44.4% accurate).

Here’s the report…

  • Trial production is set to begin soon, which is the step before mass production and ultimately the product’s launch
  • Design will be identical to the current model, with the same 4.7-inch display, home button with Touch ID and 12MP camera…but new A15 and 5G chips will be added and RAM could increase from 3 ⮕ 4GB
  • Pricing is said to be between $269 and $399, making this phone competitive with other lower-end Android options

Our take: $269 would be ludicrous pricing for this phone, and I just don’t see that happening…I think something closer to $399 sounds more realistic especially considering MyDrivers’ track record.

iPhone SE 4 coming in 2023 with larger display and more RAM

The rumor: Apple is already working on a fourth-generation lower-cost iPhone, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (75.9% accurate).

  • In the new note obtained by AppleTrack, Kuo describes an ‘iPhone SE 4’ model set to launch in 2023, with a screen larger than the current 4.7-inch version and 4GB RAM
  • Apple is rumored to launch a minor iPhone SE 3 update in the first half of 2022 with a faster processor and 5G

Our take: More and more, next year’s iPhone SE is sounding like a placeholder update that will buy Apple some time to release a more significant SE in 2023. While I’m still perplexed as to how Apple is going to pack 5G into this tiny 4.7-inch phone, I’m glad the device will at least be getting some attention for the next two years in a row.

iPhone SE 3 likely coming in first half of 2022 with A14 chip & 5G

The rumor: Apple’s next iPhone SE won’t be debuting until the first half of next year, according to DigiTimes (63.5% accurate).

  • According to the report, ‘iPhone SE 3’ will include the A14 processor and support for 5G connectivity
  • This story echoes prior rumors also pointing to a launch in the first half of 2022

Our take: If every source in the game is saying that a new SE is coming in the first half of 2022, I’m inclined to believe it. And feature-wise, it sounds like it’ll be just as minimal as the 2020 iPhone SE.

Next iPhone SE to release in first half of 2022

The rumor: The next-generation iPhone SE is coming in the first half of 2022, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (76.6% accurate).

  • The new iPhone SE is said to look similar to the current version, but with a faster processor and 5G connectivity
  • No specific dates/months were mentioned, just that a new iPhone SE will launch in the first half of next year

Our take: This is just a reiteration of an earlier report from March. Takeaway here is that Apple has no plans for a new SE this year, which previous rumors from other sources had indicated.

iPhone SE 3 coming in 2022, radical redesign in 2023

The leak: Apple’s next iPhone SE will be coming sometime in 2022, according to Ross Young (100% accurate).

  • What’s happening on next year’s SE: 4.7-inch LCD display & 5G connectivity
  • And the one coming in 2023: 6.1-inch LCD display with a punch hole design, rather than a notch

Our take: Considering that the 2023 iPhone is supposed to go all-screen with no interruptions, it seems possible that the lower-cost iPhone SE that year could get something wild like a punch hole. But seeing that the punch hole design is relatively premium right now, it will be interesting to see how Apple markets it.

iPhone SE 3 likely coming in 2022 with 5G & similar design

The rumor: We won’t be seeing a new iPhone SE model this year, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (78.2% accurate).

  • Here’s what Kuo says to expect on the third-generation iPhone SE:
    • 4.7-inch display
    • Similar design
    • Faster processor
    • 5G
  • Apple may launch this new iPhone SE in the first half of 2022

Our take: Kuo is in disagreement with Macotakara (68.6% accurate) who believes a new iPhone SE is launching within the next couple of months. Going to believe Kuo here, who is 10% more accurate.