Apple’s Surprising Decision To Delay New iPhone Update

This years release of the iPhone SE allowed Apple to keep overall sales of the iPhone family high as other manufacturers saw falling sales due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a success for Apple, which is why not releasing an update in 2021 is a good idea.

Various details on Apple’s 2021 handsets have been popping upper the last few months. The latest information come from Mizuho Securities (with a hat tip to Ross Young). Daniel Deakin takes a closer look at the reporting for NotebookCheck:

“As for the Apple iPhone SE 3, it seems fans of the smaller form will have to wait until spring 2022 before the third-generation SE makes an appearance. Apparently, it will have a 6.06-inch LCD screen, dual rear camera system, and a fingerprint sensor. While the iPhone 13 smartphones will be treated with integrated touch panels based on Samsung’s Y-OCTA technology, the third-generation Apple iPhone SE 3 will have to make do with an in-cell touch solution for its screen.”

The report details four iPhone 13 handsets, echoing the expectations of 2020’s upcoming iPhone 12 portfolio, but it’s the iPhone SE news that has caught my attention.

The second-generation of the iPhone SE launched earlier this year, leaning heavily into specifications that broadly matched the iPhone 11 family, including the matching system on chip in the A13 Bionic. While the styling of the iPhone SE harked back to the design introduced by the iPhone 6, the SE could stand shoulder to shoulder with the iPhone 11 for most users.

The same was true of the original iPhone SE when it was launched just after the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

The initial advertising that compared the SE to its compatriots illustrated a portfolio that had very little separation at the lower rung of new handsets. Was the iPhone 11 worth the price premium over the iPhone SE if you just needed a modern and up to date iPhone? Given the sales of the SE, the market answer from many looks to be ‘the SE is enough’.

Now Apple has the iPhone 12 family approaching on the horizon, the decision over what happens to the iPhone SE has been addressed. Would it pick up annual updates allowing a similar marketing message to be pushed? Or would it be left to slowly slide down the portfolio and create some clear water between the SE brand and the presumptively named iPhone Mini brand?

The report from Mizuho Securities suggests that the latter. The next generation of the iPhone SE is not starting a new spring cycle of iPhone launches, instead those waiting for a third generation of the SE are going to have to manage their expectations for another year.

Delaying the update to the iPhone SE is a smart move from Apple.

Now read about the three problems the new iPhone SE has faced…

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