Apple has reportedly resumed the development of the iPhone SE 4, which was previously reported to have been halted or delayed owing to low demands for the mid-to-low-end iPhone models. According to an analyst, this model is likely to feature an in-house 5G chip, developed by Apple, replacing the Qualcomm ones, and if it succeeds, the company may consider using similar in-house chips for the iPad and Apple Watch, which have “lower technical requirements.” The analyst also suggests a display update over its predecessors that the phone could feature.
According to tweets by well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, “the significant decline in Qualcomm’s Apple orders in the foreseeable future is a foregone conclusion.” This is due to Apple’s decision to develop its own 5G chips rather than fall back on Qualcomm for the element. He did not suggest any set date for the release of the iPhone SE 4 but tipped that it will not be available until at least 2024.
The iPhone SE 4 will include Apple’s 5G baseband chip manufactured using a 4nm process, Kuo said, that can only support Sub-6GHz as of now. It’s unclear if the iPhone 16 lineup will use Apple’s 5G baseband chip. The key obstacle, according to Kuo, is whether Apple can resolve the technical challenges associated with mmWave and satellite connectivity.
If the SE 4’s mass production flows smoothly in 1H24, the iPad and Apple Watch, which already have lesser technical requirements, will consider using Apple’s baseband chips as well, according to Kuo.
This step will benefit Apple’s hardware gross margin, whereas Qualcomm’s Apple business will decrease substantially over the next 2-3 years, according to the analyst.
Kuo had suggested earlier that Apple will probably cancel or postpone the 2024 iPhone SE 4 mass production plan. Reportedly, demand for mid-to-low-end iPhone models such as the iPhone SE (2022), iPhone 14 Plus, and iPhone 13 mini had been lower than anticipated.
The iPhone SE 4 is a “minor modification of the 6.1-inch iPhone 14,” according to Kuo. He says that the iPhone SE 4 will have an OLED display rather than the previously reported LCD display, which will be the “biggest change” in Apple’s plans for the device.
For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2023 hub.