Apple’s least expensive new smartphone, the ever-popular iPhone SE, is still selling well, but it may have been overshadowed by the release of the iPhone 7.
The iPhone SE was first released in March 2016, and it was a surprise commercial success. During Apple’s third quarter, the iPhone SE made up around 9 percent of the total share of iPhone sales. Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus held 43 percent of the share of sales, which is to be expected for a new flagship lineup — even one that featured mostly incremental updates. Despite that, the iPhone SE still ranked as Apple’s second most popular device in Q3, according to an October article published by Investor’s Daily Business.
As early as July, Apple analysts have been worried than the iPhone SE’s lower price point might steal some of the bottom line away from Cupertino’s more expensive flagships. That was before the iPhone 7 was launched, however. Still, since it launched in March, the iPhone SE gave Apple a sales bump in several key markets, including the UK — where it was the top selling smartphone in 2016’s second quarter, TechCrunch reported.
Post-iPhone 7, interest in the iPhone SE seems to be dropping off, according to AppleInsider. That doesn’t bode well for fans of the smaller and more inexpensive device, especially combined with the fact that the iPhone SE allegedly won’t see a refresh in 2017.
In November, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities cited Apple’s efforts to increase the margins on the aging components of the iPhone SE as a reason for the lack of an update. The decision to nix a 4-inch iPhone refresh might also help 2017’s premium iPhone 8 to avoid being overshadowed by a less expensive device.
Additionally, Kuo also predicted last month that the 4.7-inch, 2017 iPhone will likely become the de facto “budget” tier of Apple’s next lineup — which could be bad news for those who prefer the smaller Apple smartphone. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Apple won’t ever release a 4-inch iPhone again — it just means that we might not see one until 2018.