Apple to introduce iPhone SE 5G in 2022
Apple’s iPhone SE is on a different upgrade schedule to its other devices, and while it’s arguable the product took the steam out of iPhone 12 mini sales, there’s always going to be a market for a more affordable iPhone.
Apple will upgrade iPhone SE
Apple upgraded iPhone SE last year, and now intends a fresh upgrade in 2022, according to DisplaySearch analyst, Ross Young.
The update won’t bring biometric ID as this product will keep using the Home button.
It may also retain the same LCD screen and will measure 4.7-inches.
In other words, it will retain that iPhone 8 appearance it currently has (and I reckon be available in a different set of colors). It will also be a 5G iPhone – which will be the biggest change in contrast to the 2020 model.
In a Tweet, the analyst makes a couple more claims:
- The device may have Sub-6GHz connectivity.
- May also be available in a 6.1” version with “a punch hole rather than a notch”, but not until 2023.
Apple LCD iPhone leak, we now hear the next LCD iPhone SE will remain at 4.7" in 2022. Some rumors that it may have 5G with Sub-6 GHz as well. Also hearing about a 6.1" version in 2023 with punch hole rather than a notch.
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) April 1, 2021
Why this makes sense
These rumors seem quite credible. Young has 25 year’s experience in the display industry and is the founder and lead analyst at DisplaySearch, which has been around for decades.
Apple’s $399 iPhone SE 2020 proved a popular device. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners claimed the device accounted for 22% of all iPhone sales in Q3.
“In its first full quarter of sales, the $399 iPhone SE accounted for almost one-quarter of iPhone sales,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP Partner and Co-Founder.
“During a challenging quarter, with COVID-19 altering the retail landscape and delaying launch of new 2020 flagship models, the new SE model succeeded in attracting customers with old phones in need of an upgrade. Last fall’s iPhone 11 family of phones continued to sell well, with iPhone 11 remaining the biggest single model, and one-third of customers opting for the premium-priced iPhone Pro and Pro Max.”
The lack of 5G didn’t seem to be a problem at that time, but needs will change and by the time 2022 rolls along it seems possible we’ll be both more mobile and more network dependent than ever.
The 5G opportunity
China is seen as a living example of a highly mobile society, and 5G is becoming mandatory there, as across the APAC region. Apple knows it must pop 5G into these devices to keep the model fresh. And by 2022 network and service infrastructure should be sufficiently in place to support the move.
[Also read: UK government reaches 11,000 iPhone SE deal]
It’s also plausible to anticipate Apple may begin migrating devices to its own 5G radios by 2022. Though this work will be subject to patent sharing deals, it is clearly one of the company’s longer term objectives.
“The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price; the new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way — including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos — while still being very affordable,” says Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller when announcing the device in 2020.