Skip to main content

Apple reportedly slashing iPhone orders — 'dismal' results for these phones

iPhone SE 2022 in front of fountain
(Image credit: Future)

We were hugely impressed with Apple’s recent mini versions of the iPhone 12 and 13, but the writing has been on the wall for iPhone mini phones for some time, due to their limited sales appeal. Indeed, rumors point to Apple producing two ‘Max’ versions of the iPhone 14, with no mini option this year.

But surprisingly, public apathy towards smaller handsets seems to extend to the brand new iPhone SE 3, if a new analyst report from Loop Capital is to be believed.

As reported by Seeking Alpha, Loop Capital analyst John Donovan says that iPhone orders for 2022 have been cut by nine million to 254 million, with a drop of 20 million in iPhone SE orders. The difference in those figures will apparently be filled by regular iPhone 13 units, which continue to sell well.

“Citing several factors such as the Ukraine-Russia war, supply chain disruptions, and other usual rationale, digging deeper we are uncovering some additional insights,” Donavan wrote in a note to clients. Specifically, he added, the “dismal” sales figures of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini could explain the rapid pull back from the newly released iPhone SE 3. “The smaller form factor iPhones have a finite following,” he explained.

Apple, he continued, has accepted that small handsets have “limited appeal” and pivoted to the iPhone 13 instead. Given the two phones use the same A15 processor, this isn’t as big an undertaking as it could be.

The last small iPhone SE? Apple eyeing iPhone SE Plus

Assuming the figures are accurate, the reasoning is still up for debate. The iPhone SE 3 is, after all, just 17 days old, and it’s a bit early to begin writing its obituary. Additionally, it has a virtually unchanged design from the previous two generations of iPhone SE, released in 2016 and 2020 respectively, so if people have gone off the 4.7-inch form factor, Apple should have seen the trends emerging over the last six years.

Nonetheless, rumor has it that Apple was planning a change of design for the next member of the iPhone SE family anyway. We’ve long heard that an iPhone SE Plus with a screen size between 5.5- and 6.1-inches could be coming as soon as next year. Perhaps that means it’ll be the successor rather than just another size option. 

Whether that was always a reaction to the public’s thirst for larger phones, or just a happy coincidence given the desperate need for a design refresh is unclear. But we may well have seen the last Apple handset designed with small hands in mind for the foreseeable future.

Oh, and speaking of iPhones, Apple WWDC 2022 finally has a date, and we've got all the details on the annual event where the new iOS will be revealed.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.

  • sgodsell
    The iPhone SE (Same Edition) is a relic in 2022. It has the same look and feel as the iPhone 6 that was first released back in 2014. It belongs in a museum.
    Reply
  • Offbeat fringe
    The SE 1st generation made sense because of the return that original blocky shell,but now they're bringing back something that has no appeal. The Mini series should be the new SE with even cheaper prices, cause all the phones have bigger screens since iphone 6. Apple is just not taking any risks and being dumb about it, the people who would surely want a Mini iphone is not gonna pay this current amount.
    Reply
  • sagebrushfire
    There's nothing wrong with the form factor. I love the size of the iPhone SE and I have been extremely happy to be able to essentially keep the same phone shape since the iPhone 6 since I pretty much feel it was/is the perfect size and any bigger is a huge inconvenience for me. The problem is that they released a phone 2 years later that is not any real type of upgrade. I'm supposed to shell out $450-$600 for crappy 5G, a minor processor upgrade and allegedly slightly better battery life? No thanks.

    The form factor isn't the problem here. The problem is releasing the exact same phone and expecting people to pay full price for it. The whole appeal of the refreshed SE was accessible pricing so I assume most people did like me and just purchased it outright instead of leasing. With no option to trade in and continue/renew a lease, why would any of us want to let go of a big chunk of cash for such pitiful upgrades? Same camera, same guts, no noticeable performance change, you only get $150 for an SE 2020 trade-in.... what's the appeal?

    I got an iPhone 2022 SE for my S/O and it's perfect since it's replacing a 2016 SE but I had no desire to upgrade my 2020 SE because it felt like a waste of money. It feels like we have the same phone now. I don't even envy the 5G connectivity since 5G still pretty much sucks and the phone seems to be more reliable if you disable it and stick with LTE.
    Reply
  • Offbeat fringe
    sagebrushfire said:
    There's nothing wrong with the form factor. I love the size of the iPhone SE and I have been extremely happy to be able to essentially keep the same phone shape since the iPhone 6 since I pretty much feel it was/is the perfect size and any bigger is a huge inconvenience for me. The problem is that they released a phone 2 years later that is not any real type of upgrade. I'm supposed to shell out $450-$600 for crappy 5G, a minor processor upgrade and allegedly slightly better battery life? No thanks.

    The form factor isn't the problem here. The problem is releasing the exact same phone and expecting people to pay full price for it. The whole appeal of the refreshed SE was accessible pricing so I assume most people did like me and just purchased it outright instead of leasing. With no option to trade in and continue/renew a lease, why would any of us want to let go of a big chunk of cash for such pitiful upgrades? Same camera, same guts, no noticeable performance change, you only get $150 for an SE 2020 trade-in.... what's the appeal?

    I got an iPhone 2022 SE for my S/O and it's perfect since it's replacing a 2016 SE but I had no desire to upgrade my 2020 SE because it felt like a waste of money. It feels like we have the same phone now. I don't even envy the 5G connectivity since 5G still pretty much sucks and the phone seems to be more reliable if you disable it and stick with LTE.
    I get you, the SE series still is an excellent phone by it self. My wife has a 2nd generation SE and I was about to get the new one for myself, but the pricing really threw me off and forced me to leave the Apple ecosystem. My threshold is 500$ and I'm sticking with it for now.
    Reply