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.