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…