iPhone SE 4 allegedly canceled, perhaps over Apple's 5G modem failures

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 6
Apple wanted to release an iPhone SE 4 in 2024 as a test bed for its in-house modem chip, but development failures may have led to the cancellation of the budget iPhone.

The Starlight iPhone SE
Starlight iPhone SE


The rumored iPhone SE 4 was expected to be released within a few years, and would resemble the iPhone XR. However, a new report casts doubt on the next iPhone SE making it through the production pipeline.

A new report from supply chain analyst and leaker Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple has canceled the iPhone SE 4 rather than just delayed it. The new iPhone SE was allegedly going to use Apple's in-house baseband chip first, but now Qualcomm will likely continue to be Apple's sole supplier.

Apple has been reportedly working on its own 5G modem, or baseband chip, for its iPhone lineup. It was meant to go in the iPhone 15, but failed to reach the necessary specs in time for consideration.

The iPhone SE 4 cancellation could be a direct result of a failure in Apple's modem development. Kuo says Apple was concerned that the in-house baseband chip would not be up to par with Qualcomm's.

[Update] Qualcomm is the biggest winner of Apple's cancelation of 2024 iPhone SE 4 / QualcommApple2024 iPhone SE 4https://t.co/5gSCGT7dAK

-- (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo)


Ultimately, it seems Qualcomm will be the 5G modem supplier for the next two generations of iPhone. Market consensus says otherwise, however, and expected Qualcomm to start losing orders to Apple by 2024.

It isn't clear why Apple would base the iPhone SE 4's development on the success of its in-house modem. The current iPhone SE is a popular product thanks to its low price and retention of the Home Button, so it seems Apple would benefit from having a refreshed budget option at some point.

Even if the iPhone SE 4 that looks like an iPhone XR might be canceled, a budget option could still be announced in the next few years. At the least, Apple could update the internal processor in the existing iPhone SE to keep a Touch ID model modern.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 857member
    Why would the chip manufacturer decision lead to the phone cancellation?

    i’d expect that to be about market analysis, not a component sourcing decision. 
    edited January 6 watto_cobraqwerty52
  • Reply 2 of 22
    red oakred oak Posts: 986member
    That is NOT what Kuo’s report says.   Read it again.  Cancellation of the SE is not because of the modem 
    tenthousandthingsjas99n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,038member
    JFC_PA said:
    Why would the chip manufacturer decision lead to the phone cancellation?

    i’d expect that to be about market analysis, not a component sourcing decision. 
    It does seem odd.  Was that the only improvement over the SE 3?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    While it's all in the 'rumor' territory. It does makes sense that apple would want to use an in-house modem in its budget option precisely to keep the costs down.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,248member
    I think the current Home Button design should remain as SE model. Older smaller iPhones should remain in the $450-600 range. The current design should be in the $350-450 range like before 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 857member
    bala1234 said:
    While it's all in the 'rumor' territory. It does makes sense that apple would want to use an in-house modem in its budget option precisely to keep the costs down.
    I suppose cost point could be the factor: if it’s not low enough to differentiate from the more powerful iPhones it’d be a sales failure right out the gate. An in-house chip might have made enough of difference I suppose…
    edited January 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    What are the odds that 2 weeks from now this “allegation” wlil be forgotten and a new rumor will be exactly the opposite.  Someone should keep track of their batting average.  I doubt it is even as good as your average national league pitcher 
    muthuk_vanalingamdanoxJFC_PAwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 388member
    BirderGuy said:
    What are the odds that 2 weeks from now this “allegation” wlil be forgotten and a new rumor will be exactly the opposite.  Someone should keep track of their batting average.  I doubt it is even as good as your average national league pitcher 
    I would also dismiss this as "just a rumor" if Kuo wasn't behind it. He's a very well respected Apple analyst--arguably the most respected--and his batting average is pretty damn good. I also don't see him forecasting the cancellation of an iPhone model unless he was certain of his sources--this isn't like predicting whether a given feature will or won't make it into the next iPhone revision. 

    HOWEVER... Kuo doesn't actually say that issues with Apple's modem are the reason for the cancellation--this article directly connects the two in a way that Kuo doesn't support.

    So that leaves us to consider why the iPhone SE revision for 2024 has been cancelled. Does it mean the SE 3 is the end of the line for that model or that the revision will come in a future model year, TBD? It makes no sense to me that Apple would abandon an iPhone price point that's a gateway into the Apple ecosystem. If there's one thing I'm sure Apple's data shows, it's that once buyers get into the ecosystem, they mostly don't leave. A "budget" priced iPhone would also be important for the international market, which is now the bulk of iPhone sales. 

    I could argue that in 2024, it would be difficult to improve on the SE in ways that would be meaningful to buyers of the lowest priced iPhone. The main reason to do it would be marketing it as "the new" iPhone SE 4. (Which is often reason enough to stay competitive.) OR... does Apple have something other than the SE in mind for its lowest priced iPhone? I dunno... the SE is such a solid phone, it's hard to imagine what that would be. 
    tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,315member
    I think the current Home Button design should remain as SE model. Older smaller iPhones should remain in the $450-600 range. The current design should be in the $350-450 range like before 
    Why? Have you done the market research or is this just your personal wants, a home button, Touch ID, and cheap?
    edited January 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    JP234JP234 Posts: 758member
    Well, I'll just have to keep my 2020 SE then. Works just fine, and does everything I need it to do.
    And it fits sideways in my bike jersey pocket, so it doesn't fall out if I hit a bump. (and I hit bumps). Don't want a bigger phone.
    scout6900watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,494member
    If true, only Apple knows the 14 Pro flagship smartphone, was the big seller. The cheaper version evidently was not a best seller. Most people it seems wanted the grand Pooh Bah the 14 Pro so much so that Apple had to order more of the pro and less of the 14. (a good position to be in)

    It took Apple 13 years to replace Intel if Apple wants to replace Qualcomm’s modem and if they’re working on it, Apple will just do whatever it takes no matter how long it takes. Rumors come up from time to time about Apple’s modem division. Most of the time it is to say/imply, that Apple is doomed or can’t innovate.
    edited January 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    danox said:
    If true, only Apple knows the 14 Pro flagship smartphone, was the big seller. The cheaper version evidently was not a best seller. Most people it seems wanted the grand Pooh Bah the 14 Pro so much so that Apple had to order more of the pro and less of the 14. (a good position to be in)

    It took Apple 13 years to replace Intel if Apple wants to replace Qualcomm’s modem and if they’re working on it, Apple will just do whatever it takes no matter how long it takes. Rumors come up from time to time about Apple’s modem division. Most of the time it is to say/imply, that Apple is doomed or can’t innovate.
    No matter how much money they waste?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    red oak said:
    That is NOT what Kuo’s report says.   Read it again.  Cancellation of the SE is not because of the modem 
    I took your advice and read it. You are correct, no actual reason is given for the SE cancelation. Poor writing on the part of AI. 
    red oakwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,248member
    lkrupp said:
    I think the current Home Button design should remain as SE model. Older smaller iPhones should remain in the $450-600 range. The current design should be in the $350-450 range like before 
    Why? Have you done the market research or is this just your personal wants, a home button, Touch ID, and cheap?
    I don’t know. But it looks like a good strategy 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    I think the current Home Button design should remain as SE model. Older smaller iPhones should remain in the $450-600 range. The current design should be in the $350-450 range like before 
    I don’t think the home button design is correlated to iPhone production cost. In fact, by now it might be cheaper for Apple to make them ‘button less’ across the board. The true reason for a home button design for the SE model is marketing. They suggest that ‘home button’ equals ‘non-premium’, so they can differentiate their product offerings across the board accordingly. 
  • Reply 16 of 22
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,815member
    Apple should focus on in-house Advanced 5G or 6G then current 5G spec.
    edited January 7 danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,500member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple should focus on in-house Advanced 5G or 6G then current 5G spec.
    Apple can't ship a modem that isn't backwards compatible with earlier specifications unless it were to add another modem to the soup.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    wood1208 said:
    Apple should focus on in-house Advanced 5G or 6G then current 5G spec.
    Maybe they can skip ahead to 10G or to subspace communications like the starship Enterprise.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,494member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple should focus on in-house Advanced 5G or 6G then current 5G spec.
    Maybe they can skip ahead to 10G or to subspace communications like the starship Enterprise.


    That’s what Intel said when they said no to building a CPU for the Apple iPhone and then they said no again when Apple wanted a better CPU for their Mac computers what happened then? Apple rolled up at sleeves and got busy and now Intel and AMD are disrupted, don’t unplug any laptop of theirs from the wall you might get maybe 45 minutes to 2 hours at maximum stress.

    Qualcomm modems will be replaced it’s just a question of when so what if it takes time, Apple’s done it before.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,494member
    avon b7 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Apple should focus on in-house Advanced 5G or 6G then current 5G spec.
    Apple can't ship a modem that isn't backwards compatible with earlier specifications unless it were to add another modem to the soup.

    With the way, all the regulatory agencies are acting around the world regional Apple devices are probably going to be coming into style for Apple the EU, China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, India, and Russia, or any other place you care name the politicians are just never going to stop, so Apple may need to build a different phone or device for several regions of the world. Politicians of course don’t care it’s free money to them.

    A new modem is coming from Apple at some point Qualcomm is going to be out of the Apple system no different than Intel and AMD are out in processors, or Google being out with their mapping system, Apple over the years, has had to build various devices, programs, open physical and digital stores, to support their ecosystems because no one else would.

    Since they were in the in the minority position (still are), the same condition applies today. Most people support Windows/Android, and Apple is always faced with building something to support their ecosystems, but when they become successful? Hmm…

    No one was worried about Apple Pay, Apple Watch or iMessage when they were first introduced as a matter fact, most of the tech/analysts laughed them off, now that they became successful the laughing stopped but the crying ensued me too me too let me in…….
    watto_cobra
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