We’re all expecting the third-generation iPhone SE to launch in just a few weeks, and there isn’t much we don’t know about it. We know what it’ll look like, how much faster it will be, and what the premier feature will be. But there might still be one surprise left.
Investor’s Business Daily reported late last week that Loop Capital Markets analyst John Donovan has “heard rumors” that the new iPhone SE could start at $300. That’s 25 percent lower than the current model and world represent a surprising price cut. But it also kind of makes sense.
We’ve read reports for months that the third-generation iPhone SE will gain 5G along with an upgraded A15 processor and better camera. A 5G iPhone SE—which will reportedly be called the iPhone SE Plus—would be a killer bargain at $399. But the current iPhone SE is also a killer handset without 5G.
In his latest Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman posits that “Apple continue to sell the older iPhone SE at a new, lower price—namely, $199.” While he says “it’s unclear” whether Apple would ever take this step, it certainly makes sense. Apple routinely cuts the price of older iPhone models by $100 or $200, so Gurman’s speculation coupled with Donovan’s report could mean that a price cut is in the cards.
An $199 or $299 iPhone would be a challenge to the most popular budget Android phones. Samsung’s A12, the second most popular phone of 2021, retails for $180, while the A13 5G sells for $250. We don’t know what Apple has in store for the 2022 iPhone SE, but even if it keeps selling the second-generation model at a discounted rate, it would definitely eat into some of those lower-end Android sales.
A $399 iPhone SE is a fantastic price for a 5G phone. But if Apple expands the SE lineup with an even cheaper model, Apple could kick off 2022 with a surprisingly affordable bang.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He’s still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.