iPhone SE 4 could be 'canceled or postponed' — here's why

Unofficial renders of the iPhone SE 4
(Image credit: Jon Prosser/Ian Zelbo)

Apple will "likely cancel or postpone" alleged plans to launch the iPhone SE 4 next year, according to a survey by analyst and leaker Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab).

In a new series of tweets, Kuo explains that Apple's potentially canceled or pushed back the next-gen iPhone SE in order to save on product development costs in a shrinking smartphone market and because of poor demand for cheaper iPhones over the past couple of years. As we've reported already, only the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max from Apple's current iPhone portfolio are selling well right now, to the point of frequent long delays in shipping dates for these two models.

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The second reason Kuo gives for the delay/cancelation is that an iPhone SE based on the XR would be too expensive for Apple to produce. Obviously swapping to a newer design, as the rumors have suggested, would mean lots of updated components, which in turn means a higher parts bill eating into Apple's profit margin on each phone or putting off potential customers in the form of a higher sticker price.

With the current iPhone SE launching this year, and the previous iPhone SE arriving in 2020, seeing the next SE in 2024 would make more sense with Apple's existing update cadence. However, we really think Apple needs to update the SE sooner rather than later since the new model's tipped to get some important upgrades.

More specifically, we've heard that Apple intends to swap the current SE's iPhone 8-based body, with its home button and large bezels, with a more modern iPhone XR-based frame including a Face ID notch on the front. However, it's also been claimed that Apple could be looking at a different-sized display for the SE, or swapping the XR's LCD panel for an OLED one. Perhaps it's this purported indecision that's contributed to Apple's apparent decision to hold off on the iPhone SE for now.

The iPhone SE 2022 is a great phone, but it is one with a couple of obvious flaws that other handsets on our best cheap phones list don't suffer with. That's why we can't wait for the next generation with all these rumored upgrades to appear. And we hope either Kuo's wrong somehow or that Apple reconsiders its position on delaying or calling off new iPhone SE production.

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.