Apple has no plans to refresh the iPhone SE

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iPhone SE
Don't hold your breath for an iPhone SE upgrade.
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

If you’re yet to adjust to a larger iPhone, it seems you’re going to get left behind. A new report claims Apple has no plans to refresh the iPhone SE, its smallest and most affordable handset, which hasn’t been properly updated since last March.

If you’re an iPhone SE owner, you have one of the best 4-inch smartphones money can buy right now. It’s likely still powerful enough to do everything you need it to do, and when iOS 11 makes its public debut this fall, you’ll have no problem upgrading to it.

But when your handset starts to feel slow, and you begin to yearn for newer features offered by more recent devices, you may have no choice but to upgrade to a larger screen. Respected Chinese analyst Pan Jiutang does not expect Apple to refresh its smallest handset.

There simply isn’t enough demand for smaller devices, Jiutang says. More and more of us want larger displays that are better for browsing the web, watching movies, and playing games. The vast majority are now accustomed to 5-inch screens and bigger.

Apple’s plans could change later, but there’s no denying the iPhone SE always felt like a temporary product. It carries exactly the same design as the iPhone 5, which launched in 2012, and offers the same specifications as a 2-year-old iPhone 6s.

Apple didn’t have to put a great deal of effort into it; it was a simple move to appease those who weren’t yet ready for its larger devices. Sure, it still sells, but it’s likely a large portion of that demand is due to its price tag, rather than its screen size.

We will continue to see more affordable iPhones in Apple’s lineup — it needs them to succeed in emerging markets like India — but it could be that the iPhone SE’s design is phased out in favor of the more recent form factor of the iPhone 6 or even the iPhone 7 later on.

For now, however, it doesn’t look like the current iPhone SE is going anywhere. Apple just launched a new manufacturing facility in India dedicated to the smaller handset.

Via: The Bitbag

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  • Pat Miller

    Actually, this sounds spot on for Apple 3.0. Milk its customers all it can. There’s not really much to feel passionate for Apple any longer. Slowly, Apple is devolving into Sony. And we know how that turns out. Who will be next?

    • David Kaplan

      Amazon.

    • racerhomie

      lol ,what a bunch of BS.
      People wanted a fast 4 inch phone.
      This is still the best option in 2017

  • David Kaplan

    so why ever make it…..

  • David Kaplan

    and yet there’s demand for an “iMac Pro” in addition to a refreshed Mac Pro that’s coming early next year…. gimme a break.

  • Baube19

    I hope they offer an alternative I manage a fleet of 100+ of theses phones and they are strictly business phones. people want to do simple stuff with them.

  • bearfilm

    according to an analyst…

  • Boltar

    This article should be entitled “Another analyst claims Apple has no plans …”. No real information here, in spite of the title. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t, but I don’t see how an analyst’s opinion is anything other than rank speculation.

  • animatedude

    iPhone mini will come out whether you like it or not.

    Because the low price point, Apple doesn’t want it to ruin the “main” line-ups, they will just update it every couple of years, same as the iPad mini.

    iPhone SE is the best reviewed iPhone in the UK/USA by several reports, Apple is not going to walk away from that anytime soon, there’s still a huge market for it in countries like India too.

    I expect an iPhone mini sometimes in mid-late 2018.

  • Apple is betting big on Augmented Reality, virtual content overlaid into the real world. Its much more impressive on larger screen phones. Looks pretty shocking on tiny 4 inch screens.

  • kskates

    The primary reason Apple made the SE wasn’t to serve a market of people looking for 4″ screens. Those people just happened to also benefit from having the SE as an option.

    The reason was to bring the cost down for areas of the world where iPhone was too costly even as a luxury item.

    The 6S was still the new iPhone at the time of release. So the specs of the SE were crazy good for the price because they matched most of what the 6S offered. It’s only 1 generation old until the 7S releases in Autumn.

    Maybe the “SE” is for Special Edition and this will be the only one. But I don’t believe that’s the case. The 5C could be considered the first try at this. It may just be a couple more years before we see the successor come about. Once the SE components are on the tail end or no longer supported by the latest iOS. Will it be called “SE 2”? Probably not. But it’d be weird for Apple to just drop out of that market when the SE has been a much bigger success that’s thy originally thought it would be.

  • If they stop making this phone,they’ll have to find another one to make in their brand-spankng-new factory in India.

  • TechFounder

    I hate phablets. They are as dumb today as when they were first introduced. I miss Steve Jibs more and more each year as he was arbiter of good taste. He would have never allowed the + models to see the light of day. He would rather turn iPads into phones than introduce a model like the + which is a bad phone AND a bad reading device at the same time. The worst of both worlds. The iPads could easily be turned into phones by including a wireless headset.