Conflicting iPhone SE rumors about impending refresh, doom of line both probably wrong

Posted:
in iPhone
A pair of rumors in the last few days have totally conflicting reports on the future of the iPhone SE, and in all likelihood, neither of them are correct. AppleInsider explains why.




The first rumor originated from analyst and leaker Pan Jiutang, who mostly focuses on the Android market. The obtusely worded post on Weibo was interpreted to mean by a wide swath of media reports that the iPhone SE was doomed, and never to be upgraded again.




A new report published early Wednesday by iGeneration cites a new source claiming that the iPhone SE will get a hardware update at the end of August, and a lower price with it starting at 399 euro for a 32GB model, as opposed to the current 489 euro pricing.

The source reportedly had no specifics on the upgrade, and iGeneration urges caution. Neither report really has any substance.

The iPhone SE is here to stay, at least for now




The iPhone SE was more than an iPhone 5s with a new processor dropped in. Apple consciously designed the device to keep costs down, and aim it at people who didn't want a giant screen, developing markets, and the budget conscious who still wanted a new and modern device.

When the handset first launched in early 2016, Apple gave it the company's then-flagship A9 processor and 12-megapixel camera --moves that essentially future-proofed the device, ensuring it could stay on the market for a few years without the need for serious hardware upgrades.

Apple has also made it the focal point of its efforts in India. A Wistron plant in India has started delivering the iPhone SE, as part of Apple's effort to accommodate the the country's requirements for international businesses to source 30 percent of sold goods from the country.

But, an update this fall seems unlikely

While minor, Apple just updated the iPhone SE. In March, Apple doubled the storage capacity of the phone, boosting the low-end to 32GB for $399, and 128GB for $499.

Certainly an upgrade in the fall with a new processor would be possible, but a more likely scenario is a two-year cycle, with the device getting the A10 Fusion (or perhaps A11) processor in the spring of 2018, allowing it to smooth out seasonal income dips in much the same way that the iPhone SE did in 2016.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,044member
    The idea of a substantial upgrade seems much more likely to me.

    I have some skin in the game, as my girlfriend is not a fan of either of the larger phones and her 5c is beginning to show it's age.

    So was her iPad 2.

    She just jumped into the new entry level 10.5 inch iPad last weekend and it's great. I had advised her that between a new iPhone and iPad, the iPad was the best deal in Apple-land right now. It is, sin't it?

    I hope I wasn't giving her bad advice that the iPhone SE is due for some type of upgrade sooner than later.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 2 of 63
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,162member
    polymnia said:
    The idea of a substantial upgrade seems much more likely to me.

    I have some skin in the game, as my girlfriend is not a fan of either of the larger phones and her 5c is beginning to show it's age.

    So was her iPad 2.

    She just jumped into the new entry level 10.5 inch iPad last weekend and it's great. I had advised her that between a new iPhone and iPad, the iPad was the best deal in Apple-land right now. It is, sin't it?

    I hope I wasn't giving her bad advice that the iPhone SE is due for some type of upgrade sooner than later.
    Did you mean the 9.7 inch iPad update or the 10.5 inch iPad Pro?
    snype719
  • Reply 3 of 63
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,765member
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,162member
    avon b7 said:
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
    Apple doesn't need to provide an"affordable" large screen option in the SE lineup excepting possibly for the Indian market; there isn't enough demand. Plenty of cheap Android OS models, as you continually point out, for people that don't have the budget, or are personally adverse, to the iPhone.

    If anything, there's continues to be an unmet demand for a small form factor, similar to the iPhone 4, premium iPhone, but we're still aways off from that from a battery life to perfromance standpoint. Even then, the market wouldn't be large.
    StrangeDaysroadkill1953watto_cobrapscooter63[Deleted User]baconstang
  • Reply 5 of 63
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,635member
    avon b7 said:
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
    I would love to see some data as to the primary reason user's purchase an SE. In my limited sample size of about four people, all of them chose it for the screen size. If somebody really wanted the larger screen, the 6S is still available. The monthly cost difference is minimal when spread over the installment plans. 
    netmagetmaychiaEric_WVGGStrangeDayslostkiwiwatto_cobradesignrpscooter63[Deleted User]
  • Reply 6 of 63
    avon b7 said:
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
    I wouldn't bet on an update in the fall, no. More likely next spring. There are several reasons why next spring, instead of this fall.

    While Apple cares about the SE, it doesn't care enough to offer anything 'new' in this regard alongside its flagship phones during their critical holiday quarter. Apple isn't going to give someone the chance to buy a $400 SE when the $1000 iPhone 8 is what's new. Not a chance.

    Plus, by launch it at the start of Q2, it is able to boost Q2/Q3 iPhone sales above the normal dip, and carry it through to new iPhones launch at the end of Q3.
    netmagemike1watto_cobraradarthekatksec
  • Reply 7 of 63

    Was that post from the analyst/leaker passed through a very bad language translator or does he just speak in gibberish?  Is there another meaning of millet than "a fast-growing cereal plant that is widely grown in warm countries and regions with poor soils. The numerous small seeds are used to make flour or alcoholic drinks"?

    edited July 2017 StrangeDayspscooter63baconstang
  • Reply 8 of 63
    avon b7 said:
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
    Do you think there is a "NEED" for Apple to do it in 2017 or 2018, with all the talks of upcoming super-cycle? I think it is premature to talk about it. May be early 2019 would be a better time to talk about this. What do you think?
    radarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 63
    tmay said:
    avon b7 said:
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
    Apple doesn't need to provide an"affordable" large screen option in the SE lineup excepting possibly for the Indian market; there isn't enough demand. Plenty of cheap Android OS models, as you continually point out, for people that don't have the budget, or are personally adverse, to the iPhone.

    If anything, there's continues to be an unmet demand for a small form factor, similar to the iPhone 4, premium iPhone, but we're still aways off from that from a battery life to perfromance standpoint. Even then, the market wouldn't be large.
    While I largely agree with your comment, you never know when such an option is made available. Apple may not need to provide it in 2017/18, but when the iPhone sales slow down (in 2018-19) right after the super-cycle, this might be a better option to increase the sales.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,153administrator

    Was that post from the analyst/leaker passed through a very had language translator or does he just speak in gibberish?  Is there another meaning of millet than "a fast-growing cereal plant that is widely grown in warm countries and regions with poor soils. The numerous small seeds are used to make flour or alcoholic drinks"?

    The original post was in Chinese. After providing it to a native speaker, his assessment was that the leaker has very poor writing skills and that the translation was 90% of the way there.

    So, you're not wrong.
    chiabaconstang
  • Reply 11 of 63
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,162member
    tmay said:
    avon b7 said:
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
    Apple doesn't need to provide an"affordable" large screen option in the SE lineup excepting possibly for the Indian market; there isn't enough demand. Plenty of cheap Android OS models, as you continually point out, for people that don't have the budget, or are personally adverse, to the iPhone.

    If anything, there's continues to be an unmet demand for a small form factor, similar to the iPhone 4, premium iPhone, but we're still aways off from that from a battery life to perfromance standpoint. Even then, the market wouldn't be large.
    While I largely agree with your comment, you never know when such an option is made available. Apple may not need to provide it in 2017/18, but when the iPhone sales slow down (in 2018-19) right after the super-cycle, this might be a better option to increase the sales.
    You are spot on, and I'd like to think that this could happen in 2019, with the second generation of 7nm SOC, and first generation MicroLED screen production. I personally am not wedded to the large screens, but that's where premium features like cameras are.
  • Reply 12 of 63
    sandorsandor Posts: 588member
    mike1 said:
    avon b7 said:
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
    I would love to see some data as to the primary reason user's purchase an SE. In my limited sample size of about four people, all of them chose it for the screen size. If somebody really wanted the larger screen, the 6S is still available. The monthly cost difference is minimal when spread over the installment plans. 
    add a fifth to your sample.

    i have an iPhone SE specifically because of the physical size of the device.
    cgWerksdesignrpscooter63[Deleted User]baconstang
  • Reply 13 of 63
    robjnrobjn Posts: 263member
    The high price of the upcoming iPhone Edition (iPhone 8) is going to result in a lot of negative publicity.

    An iPhone SE upgrade at around the same time would balance this out and send a strong message that Apple cares about all of it's customers.

    An iPhone SE processor upgrade would be relatively easy to do - this would easily fly under the radar of the supply chain analysts.

    The current A9 powered SE is already capable of running ARKit - which means it is still a more or less up to date device in terms of running software.
    lostkiwibaconstang
  • Reply 14 of 63
    robjn said:
    The high price of the upcoming iPhone Edition (iPhone 8) is going to result in a lot of negative publicity.

    An iPhone SE upgrade at around the same time would balance this out and send a strong message that Apple cares about all of it's customers.

    An iPhone SE processor upgrade would be relatively easy to do - this would easily fly under the radar of the supply chain analysts.

    The current A9 powered SE is already capable of running ARKit - which means it is still a more or less up to date device in terms of running software.
    The current A9 powered SE is already capable of running ARKit - Which is why upgrading the SE this year does not make much sense to me. The A9 is still a damn fast processor, for a phone with sub-HD resolution (or for that matter even for a phone with FHD resolution). There is NOT much to be gained by putting A10 into it. Upgrading SE next year looks like a more logical option to me.
    edited July 2017 pscooter63radarthekatbaconstang
  • Reply 15 of 63
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,506member
    Doesn't make sense. iPhone SE upgrade should be between next Spring-Summer. In 2017, no one is looking upgrade to SE other than those who say they want SE upgrade and have no intention to buy.
    baconstang
  • Reply 16 of 63
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,153administrator
    robjn said:
    The high price of the upcoming iPhone Edition (iPhone 8) is going to result in a lot of negative publicity.

    An iPhone SE upgrade at around the same time would balance this out and send a strong message that Apple cares about all of it's customers.

    An iPhone SE processor upgrade would be relatively easy to do - this would easily fly under the radar of the supply chain analysts.

    The current A9 powered SE is already capable of running ARKit - which means it is still a more or less up to date device in terms of running software.
    The iPhone SE itself did not fly under the radar of the supply chain, despite being a 5s redesign.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    command_fcommand_f Posts: 341member
    sandor said:
    add a fifth to your sample.

    i have an iPhone SE specifically because of the physical size of the device.
    And a sixth.

    And I can live with a two year refresh cycle, I don't expect anything new that I can't wait a little while for. I was also content with the current model bringing technology that was effectively 6 months out of date, having been launched in the 'big' iPhones in the previous autumn: it's only like buying your phone mid-cycle.
    designrbaconstang
  • Reply 18 of 63
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 891member
    Everyone in my extended family has the SE. We can afford any damn phones we want. The only people who think folks buy iPhones because they're cheaper more affordable are folks who like book-sized phones.

    I have no doubt that the SE line will be refreshed next spring. I just hope that the design is bumped up to match the modern phones, the 5 series always looked like some Sharper Image bullcrap to me. 
    mike1designr
  • Reply 19 of 63
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 520member
    I really hope they keep a 4" phone. I have just got an SE as I wanted a more pocketable phone. I am loving this phone, it has all the power I need in a phone. If I wanted to be really critical, it ought to have the iPhone 6 front facing camera. Everything else is practically perfect. 
    tmaylostkiwidesignrbaconstang
  • Reply 20 of 63
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,765member
    tmay said:
    avon b7 said:
    The storage wasn't so much an 'upgrade' as a necessity. I'll bet on on a bigger upgrade this autumn although screen size will be a limiting factor. To have something is better than nothing. If they want to be courageous, then an affordable large screen option should be offered but it would cut into margins.
    Apple doesn't need to provide an"affordable" large screen option in the SE lineup excepting possibly for the Indian market; there isn't enough demand. Plenty of cheap Android OS models, as you continually point out, for people that don't have the budget, or are personally adverse, to the iPhone.

    If anything, there's continues to be an unmet demand for a small form factor, similar to the iPhone 4, premium iPhone, but we're still aways off from that from a battery life to perfromance standpoint. Even then, the market wouldn't be large.
    I think the exact same logic that led to the SE is applicable to those who have larger hands or simply need a bigger screen. 

    It's possible that there is also demand for a smaller premium device for those who dislike larger devices or who have smaller hands.

    The difference between the two is that I think it's easier for the second group to live with a larger phone than it is for the first group to live with a smaller phone.

    Yes, I switched basically for price reasons but had Apple offered an affordable larger screen device I would have hesitated before taking a final decision.

    So, in my case, I switched. That in itself isn't the story. The story is that when it came to upgrading, I chose another Android phone because I found much more to my liking on my first Android and then even more on my second. There lies the potential danger for Apple.

    I think few would dispute that we have reached 'peak phone' in the developed world and Apple has to do everything it can to retain current users and tempt switchers. Price is clearly a major factor here. Completely new users will come of age as others stop using smartphones due to death or old age. The market will not see true fresh growth and in the so called underdeveloped markets, where new growth may be found, price is an even bigger factor and competitors already have handsets at every price point.

    There is no easy way for Apple to handle this except for what it has done, so far tamely, to date. That is the SE line and reissuing the iPhone 6 in handsets and the new entry level iPad.

    A much more courageous move would be a large screen SE which obviously carries risks for its top end.

    Super cycle excepted, I think Apple is moving slowly in the direction of lower priced offerings.


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