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It seems that the iPhone SE isn't very popular

Apple
(Image credit: Apple)

The third-generation Apple iPhone SE 3 was unveiled earlier this month, to considerable fanfare at the company's 'Peek Performance' event. According to two reliable sources however, it seems any real desire for an iPhone 8-esque form factor, albeit beefed up with Apple's A15 bionic chip (as seen in the latest iPhone 13) and 5G connectivity may have, ahem, peaked right after the announcement.

Two independent and trusted analysts have reported that iPhone SE 3 demand is lower than Apple anticipated following the launch of the latest iteration of its most affordable iPhone.

As reported by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), Apple is said to have told suppliers to reduce production by "millions of units". 

In the US and Australia, the latest model costs $30 (or AU$30) more than its predecessor, at $429. Prices for the iPhone SE (2022) start at £419 / $429 / AU$719 for the 64GB version. For reference, the older model – the iPhone SE (2020) – starts at £419 / $399 / AU$749. 

So who has said what? The huge financial publication, Nikkei Asia (opens in new tab), has reported that Apple is significantly cutting production – though the bulletin suggests factors other than the popularity of the phone are to blame:

"Apple plans to make about 20% fewer iPhone SEs next quarter than originally planned, in one of the first signs that the Ukraine war and looming inflation have started to dent consumer electronics demand, sources briefed on the matter told Nikkei Asia."

Trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab) echoes the low demand report:

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Kuo states, "Shanghai lockdown doesn’t affect the iPhone SE production. However, the new iPhone SE demand is lower than expected (the delivery status “in stock” as one of the proofs), and I cut my shipment estimation in 2022 to 15-20M (vs. 25-30M previously)".

Whatever the reason for the disappointing sales, if these estimations play out, it could see the 2022 iPhone SE sell fewer units than the 2020 model. Is it time Apple dropped its cheapest 4.7-in HD Retina LCD display iPhone design – the one that still sports the Home button not seen on the standard iPhone lineup since the 2017 iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus? In the end, the consumer's wallet always decides... 

MORE: 

We called it: Want the best cheap iPhone deal? It isn’t the new iPhone SE 3 (2022)

Compare Apple's cheapest options iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs iPhone SE 2 (2020): which will be better?

...and also iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs iPhone 12 Mini (2020): which is the best cheap iPhone?

Becky Scarrott

Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.