In a note to investors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple is planning an updated iPhone SE with 5G for the first half of 2022. Kuo said in the past the design will be “roughly the same” as the existing SE which is based on the iPhone 8, which is based on the iPhone 7, which is based on the iPhone 6. What is likely meant to be a splashy headline, Apple’s 2022 iPhone SE to be “cheapest 5G iPhone ever,” is actually quite alarming. Apple’s current iPhone SE sells for $399 which is equipped with 4G LTE. Apple’s cheapest 5G iPhone right now is the iPhone 12 mini that sells for $699. So, is Apple about to raise the price of the cheapest iPhone to above $399 and somewhere below $699?
First of all, the iPhone 12 mini costs way more than it should and perhaps that was intentional so that in its second year the on the market they could just sell it as the 2022 iPhone SE and sell it for $50 cheaper. That is of course just speculation, but this is Apple we are talking about.
The other possibility is that Apple will upgrade internals of the current iPhone SE with the latest Apple Silicon and 5G and sell it for more than $399 and less than $699. My opinion is that while I personally like the design of the iPhone SE, single camera sensor and Touch ID, but the design is not consistent with any other iPhone models dating all the way back to the pivotal iPhone X.
Kuo has also said that the SE family would expand by adding a model based on the iPhone 8 Plus, feature everything that it did plus the latest Apple Silicon and 5G. This rumor could be accurate but I think it’s time to let the old iPhone 8 designs die and embrace the current full screen designs.
As we have previously said, we think five iPhone models is one too many and perhaps Apple agrees and plans to axe the iPhone 12 mini and current iPhone SE by just renaming the iPhone 12 mini as the 2022 iPhone SE.