In March, Apple dropped the third generation of its entry-level smartphone -- the iPhone SE. The fourth generation of the iPhone SE has been rumored to be released in 2024; however, Apple might postpone or even entirely cancel the mass production of the iPhone SE 4, according to an influential Apple analyst.
The iPhone SE's appeal relies on its simplicity and low cost, which is perfect for people who don't need all the extra bells and whistles. Its current design resembles the iPhone 8, sporting a 4.7-inch Retina display and a home button.
The new iPhone SE 4, initially projected to drop in 2024, is supposed to have a modern, full-screen display that does away with the home button and resembles the iPhone XR. But according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, this is one of the reasons production might have to be postponed.
The production costs on a phone that has a full-screen display are higher than those of the current iPhone SE model. This would translate into a higher selling price for customers and, since the model's appeal relies on the low cost of the phone, the return on investment of production might be underwhelming for Apple.
According to Kuo, lower-than-expected shipments of Apple's lower to mid-tier phone models -- such as the iPhone SE 3, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 14 Plus -- will contribute towards the postponing or canceling of the iPhone SE 4.
Apple has entirely retired the iPhone Mini line because the 5.4-inch device continuously made up for the smallest sliver of Apple's sales compared to flagship phones. The iPhone Mini 12 made up for only 5% of overall sales of its new phones, according to Reuters. It is possible that the iPhone SE will have the same fate.
Reducing unnecessary product development would also help Apple navigate the economic hardships affecting companies worldwide, according to Kuo.