Amidst the rumors and excitement about the upcoming iPhone 8 with OLED display, iPhone SE owners are left wondering if Apple is going to refresh the low-end smartphone. A top analyst has speculated that the tech company may be focusing more on its high-end iPhones.
KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple will not upgrade the iPhone SE in the second quarter of 2017. He also forecasted that Apple will suffer a decline of total shipment volume for iPhones in the first half of next year, according to Mac Rumors. The reason being that iPhone demand in the Chinese market is low. The tech company would want to address this. There may also be a slow shipment volume of 4.7-inch iPhones. It will be a disappointment if Apple will indeed not refresh the iPhone SE. This is considering the fact that iPhone shipment volume had actually risen in the first half of 2016 caused by the "upbeat demand for the iPhone SE", according to Kuo.
Kuo added that the company will try to "exert pressure on iPhone component makers to drop prices in an effort to maintain its margins". It seems that Apple might be more concerned of their suppliers to cut prices. However, Kuo noted that it will be hard for Apple to achieve that since most of them "have weak bargaining positions with Apple". This is driven by fierce competition among suppliers. Samsung, Apple's biggest rival in the smartphone market, is one of its main suppliers. The Korean-based company will likely raise its prices. It also does not help that Samsung "have stronger bargaining positions than Apple".
To put it simply, Apple's attempt to maintain the high margins on its high-end iPhones might cost the lack of upgrade for iPhone SE. Other iPhone owners who prefer the larger iPhones will be looking forward to the release of iPhone 8 next year along with the 5.5-inch iPhone 7S Plus and the 4.7-inch iPhone 7S. According to Apple Insider, the iPhone 7S could be a new midrange or low-end model.
On the other hand, those who prefer the smaller and cheaper iPhone will have to wait until Apple does roll out an upgrade. The iPhone SE costs only $399 compared to the next cheapest iPhone that has a starting price of $549, according to the Investors. It was introduced back in March and has the features of the iPhone 6S.
Though the phone is probably going to survive for the next few years, iPhone SE owners would still want an upgrade since the high-end ones will receive the traditional annual upgrade. CIO reports that iPhone owners might resent that scenario as the "lesser model" of the iPhone will lag behind with the lack of upgrade.