Apple's Plans For The 2024 iPhone SE 4 May Have Changed Dramatically

Apple has been quite inconsistent with launching its budget iPhone SE devices. The iPhone SE product line made its debut in 2016, following which there was a long four-year hiatus before the second-gen iPhone SE launched in 2020. Then, it took Apple two more years to launch the third-generation iPhone SE, which arrived in March 2022. As a result of this inconsistent launch policy, Apple has only managed to release three iPhone SE models in the past six years. Making things even worse was the fact that the iPhone SE barely underwent a design overhaul during those six years. Take the case of the latest third-gen iPhone SE — which shares its external design cues from the iPhone 8 — while borrowing several of its internals from the iPhone 13.

While Apple has traditionally refrained from sharing the shipment figures for its budget iPhones, it is understood within industry circles that these devices do not bring in huge numbers for the company. While persistently low sales for cheaper iPhones did not bother Apple in the past, the company has been paying attention to this phenomenon of late. In 2022, the company, for the reasons mentioned above, canceled the iPhone 14 Mini, which did not sell in good enough numbers. Unfortunately for Apple, even its supposed replacement — the iPhone 14 Plus — which is essentially a larger iPhone 14, also failed to attract consumer interest.

Despite these setbacks, the company was reportedly on track to launch the fourth-gen iPhone SE in 2024. However, if we are to believe a fresh update from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is now reconsidering the prospect of launching an iPhone SE in 2024.

Redesigned iPhone SE (2024) would have been more expensive to make

Apple's upcoming iPhone SE (2024) was reportedly slated to receive a much-needed design update. Folks at FrontPageTech even leaked the renders of the new device a few months ago. Instead of going for a fresh, exclusive design, the company reportedly planned to make the device look like an iPhone XR. However, in a recent tweet thread, Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is on the fence regarding the future of the iPhone SE. He adds that the company could either postpone the launch or cancel the product altogether.

Kuo cites less than spectacular shipment figures for the iPhone SE (2022), iPhone 14 Plus, and iPhone 13 Mini as one of the reasons for this decision. In addition, Apple is also concerned about the increase in production cost and a resultant price hike for the iPhone SE (2024) if the phone adopts a fresh design. As outlined earlier, the iPhone SE (2024) was rumored to get a full-screen design identical to the iPhone XR, which would have been more expensive to make. Ming-Chi Kuo also adds that Apple is also wary of spending money on developing a product that may not sell in high numbers, especially with bleak prospects for the global economy in 2023.

All things considered, many things could change by the time the iPhone SE (2024) is finally due for launch which, as the name suggests isn't until early 2024 — well over a year from now.