In a big setback to Apple fans, the Cupertino-based giant has reportedly canceled the production and shipment plans of its next and most affordable iPhone model, the iPhone SE in 2024.
According to noted and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone maker has reportedly informed its supply chains that it has canceled plans to release the fourth-generation iPhone SE in 2024.
Apparently, the company was planning to test and bring its first in-house 5G baseband chip with iPhone SE 4 so that it could ditch Qualcomm chips for the future iPhone 16 flagship.
This latest development comes after Kuo’s last month forecast that Apple may either postpone or altogether cancel the mass production of the iPhone SE in 2024.
Back then, Kuo had speculated the reason behind the cancellation or postponement of the iPhone SE 4 due to the consistently lower-than-expected shipments of mid to low-end iPhones like the iPhone SE 3, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 14 Plus.
The analyst now believes that the iPhone SE 4 has been canceled for a 2024 release. With the phone now reportedly canceled, Qualcomm will continue to remain the exclusive supplier of 5G chips in 2024, including for the iPhone 16 series, he added.
“Due to concerns that the performance of the in-house baseband chip may not be up to par with Qualcomm’s, Apple initially planned to launch its baseband chip in 2024 and let the low-end iPhone SE 4 adopt it first, and decide whether to let the iPhone 16 use its baseband chip depending on the development status of iPhone SE 4,” Kuo writes in a Medium post.
“However, the cancelation of the iPhone SE 4 has significantly increased the chances of Qualcomm remaining the exclusive supplier of baseband chips for the 2H24 new iPhone 16 series, which is better than the market consensus that Qualcomm will start losing iPhone orders in 2024.”
With the decision to cancel iPhone SE 4, Qualcomm, which is currently the exclusive baseband chips supplier for the iPhone 14 series, is now expected to continue to rule the global high-end mobile phone RF (radio frequency) market well into 2023 and 2024, leading to higher profits than competitors.
“The company’s strong product mix, which confers competitive advantages, is expected to mitigate the negative impacts of the economic recession and allow Qualcomm to return to solid growth ahead of its competitors once the economy recovers,” the analyst noted.
Kuo doesn’t disclose as to why Apple canceled the fourth-generation iPhone SE or if it is the company’s concerns over the performance of its own modem that made them take the decision.
For those unaware, the iPhone SE 4 was supposed to look similar to the iPhone XR and come with a full-screen display, a top-notch, and thin bezels, as well as a 6.1-inch LCD screen. It was rumored to feature the A16 Bionic chip that can be found on the top-end models of the recently launched iPhone 14 series.
The third-generation iPhone SE (also known as the iPhone SE 3 or the iPhone SE 2022) was released in March 2022 two years after the second-generation iPhone SE. It features the Apple A15 Bionic chipset, a 4.7-inch LCD display, a Touch ID, and comes with support for 5G networks.
With the fourth iteration of the iPhone SE now canceled, it is difficult to predict when the next generation will be released, if at all it does happen.