Is The iPhone SE Era Over?

Apple is reportedly cutting down the production target of its all-new iPhone SE 3 by as much as 20% in the next quarter. The news comes courtesy of Nikkei Asia, which cites sources that claim the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia is the reason for production cutbacks, as is inflation. Likewise, TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a tweet the iPhone SE (2022) is experiencing lower-than-expected demand.

Kuo, who is a reliable source of information regarding Apple's product strategies for the future, also lowered his shipment estimates for the iPhone SE 3 from 20-25 million down to 15-20 million units for the fiscal year 2022. The analyst notes the iPhone SE 3 is readily available to purchase, pointing toward the fact the phone is still in stock as a sign demand isn't terribly high. In comparison, the mainstream iPhone models usually see their shipments pushed back weeks owing to high demand following their release. But does this mean it's the end of the road for the "compact" iPhone SE in Apple's portfolio? Looking at history, it is plausible.

The iPhone SE has its own special appeal

Despite glowing reviews that claim small phones like the iPhone 13 mini offer the best of both worlds in terms of ergonomics and firepower, the practical reality is different. Battery life is terrible, and the small screen size is not ideal for content consumption. Try playing a game like "Call of Duty: Mobile" or "Genshin Impact" with cramped on-screen controls, and you'll soon find the appeal of a compact phone fading away. In fact, Apple is reportedly killing the "mini" iPhone for good this year owing to alleged sub-par sales and is reportedly replacing it with a Max model. If one were to look at the matter from a business perspective, though, it becomes clear the iPhone SE probably isn't riding into the sunset.

Yes, the model is compact, but it's the affordability aspect that makes it popular. A $430 price tag hooked to a flagship processor, 5G support, and the assurance of lengthy software support is what makes the iPhone SE 3 a compelling package. In fact, it is a huge driver for 5G adoption from within Apple's ranks, according to GlobalData. And in growing markets like India, the model is expected to fuel about 25% of the net iPhone sales in the country this year, reports Business Today.

Apple might eventually change the iPhone SE's design and up the screen real estate, thereby ditching its compact appeal in the years to come, but the iPhone SE lineup will most likely live on as the entry point into the company's smartphone ecosystem.