The iPhone SE 4 lives…maybe. In a recent Twitter thread, reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that the tech giant has restarted development on the iPhone SE 4 – two months after it was reportedly canceled.
The reason the project was axed in the first place, according to Kuo’s post on Medium (opens in new tab), was because Apple wanted its mid-range device to house its first in-house 5G baseband chip so the company wouldn’t have to rely on Qualcomm. However, the hardware just wasn’t “up to par with Qualcomm’s [tech]” so the whole thing got scrapped back in early January. But now it appears Apple has a solution (opens in new tab). Instead of making everything from scratch, the iPhone SE 4 will now reportedly be a modified version of the 6.1-inch iPhone 14.
Kuo claims the device will come equipped with the aforementioned “baseband chip produced by a 4nm process”; however, it will only support sub-6GHz 5G and not the faster mmWave spectrum, just like the previous model. The biggest change as Kuo points out is the phone will sport an “OLED display instead of an LCD”. Ross Young (opens in new tab), another reputable industry analyst, claims the screen will be provided by Chinese manufacturer BOE Technology. Mass production, assuming development goes smoothly, will begin sometime in the first half of 2024.
Apple’s future plans
The rest of the Twitter thread hints at Apple’s future endeavors. He goes on to say it’s still up in the air whether or not the inevitable iPhone 16 line will utilize the new chipset. Apparently, the company is dealing with some “technical obstacles [relating] to mmWave and satellite communications.” But if it manages to pull it off, Kuo predicts the gulf between Apple and Qualcomm will grow as the latter’s hardware will no longer be necessary. He even speculates, that if mass production goes well, we could see iPads and Apple Watches ditching Qualcomm chipsets in favor of the baseband one.
And that’s pretty much all that can be gleaned from the thread as it directly pertains to the iPhone SE 4 or Apple’s plans. It’s unknown just how much of the iPhone 14’s features, like Emergency SOS via Satellite, or hardware will be present in the upcoming phone. Price also remains a mystery. For the sake of comparison, the iPhone SE 3 launched back in March 2022 with a starting price tag of $429 in the United States.
If you’re in the market for a new phone, be sure to check out TechRadar’s latest round-up of the best iPhone deals before the month ends.