While high-end products like the PlayStation 5 and graphics cards are still in high demand, the same cannot be said for lower-cost alternatives that are easier to manufacture. Nikkei Asia reports that Apple will be making 20% fewer iPhone SEs in the next quarter and 10 million fewer AirPods for the entire year of 2022 than originally planned. According to noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a note, Apple is expected to ship 15 to 20 million SEs in 2022 instead of his previous estimate of 25 to 30 million (a decrease of 22 to 66 percent for the year), according to noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a note.
Apple’s decision to scale back its production isn’t being blamed on supply chain problems or chip shortages, which have bedevilled much of the electronics industry. This is because demand for Apple’s latest low-cost phone has been weaker than expected, according to the analysts.
For a variety of reasons, it is possible that the iPhone SE will be less appealing to consumers than the iPhone SE. Concerns about the Ukraine conflict and inflation are cited by Nikkei, while COVID lockdowns in China are brought up by CNBC, making it more difficult for Chinese consumers to get a new phone. Based on my personal experience, people who buy iPhone SEs aren’t necessarily the types to upgrade as soon as a new model is released. Even when gas is $4 to $6 a gallon, they may be significantly less likely to do so.
The phone itself is also more expensive — the new SE costs $30 more than the previous generation, apparently due to 5G. That reduces the price gap between it and, for example, an iPhone 12 or 13 Mini (and the Mini lineup is already what the iPhone SE should be).
However, when it comes to monthly payments, the Mini is significantly more expensive than the regular model. According to Verizon, the 64GB SE costs $11.94 a month. The 128GB iPhone 13 Mini costs $19.44 per month, while the 64GB model costs $16.66. It may matter to some people, but there are probably others who think, “What the heck, it’s just $5 a month extra.” And consumers who are more price-conscious may see the higher price and decide to keep what they have for a few more months.
As a result of all of this, it doesn’t mean that the new SE is a failure. In spite of this, a 20 percent reduction in production could serve as a benchmark for the SE’s overall sales trajectory over its (likely multi-year) expected lifespan. This could have implications for future generations of the SE, but it’s too early to tell. If I’m being optimistic, I think Apple is already debating whether or not to go with a Mini/Max design for the next SE.
Also read: WhatsApp tests transfer of files up to 2GB