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In a recent report, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley have cast doubt on the possibility of Apple launching a fourth-generation iPhone SE in 2024. This conclusion follows their conversations with companies within Apple’s supply chain throughout the week. According to the analysts, this decision could indicate that Apple’s much-rumored in-house 5G modem might not be ready for deployment anytime soon, potentially benefiting the company’s existing iPhone modem supplier, Qualcomm.
It has been widely reported that Apple has been working on developing its own modem since 2018. In fact, the tech giant acquired a significant portion of Intel’s smartphone modem business back in 2019. However, the latest insights from Curtis and O’Malley suggest that Apple’s ambitious plans for an in-house modem might experience delays.
Earlier in April, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, had predicted that mass production of Apple’s modem would commence no earlier than 2025. This forecast implies that even upcoming models like the iPhone 16, expected to launch next year, will continue utilizing Qualcomm modems. If Kuo’s analysis holds true, it raises questions about the fate of the next iPhone SE and whether Apple will proceed with its launch featuring a Qualcomm modem at some point.
Kuo had previously shared details suggesting that the next iPhone SE would adopt a design similar to the standard iPhone 14, which debuted last year. This would mean equipping the device with a 6.1-inch OLED display and Face ID, offering users an upgraded experience. However, with the uncertainty surrounding Apple’s modem development, the release of this highly anticipated device remains in question.
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The current iteration of the iPhone SE, released in March 2022, boasts a 4.7-inch LCD display, Touch ID, 5G capability, a 12-megapixel rear camera, and the powerful A15 Bionic chip. Priced at $429 in the U.S., the iPhone SE stands out as one of Apple’s more affordable iPhone options. It follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, the first-generation and second-generation iPhone SE, released in 2016 and 2020, respectively.