As reported by the well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company has informed component suppliers that it will not produce the fourth generation of its most affordable iPhone SE smartphone in 2024. In effect, this means that Apple has decided to cancel or at least delay the model indefinitely. According to Kuo, the smartphone was supposed to be Apple’s first device with its own 5G chip, and was supposed to serve as a testing ground for its refinement before appearing in the iPhone 16 and other models.
According to Kuo, the biggest beneficiary of this decision will be Qualcomm, which is currently the exclusive supplier of 5G modems for Apple smartphones and will likely continue to be such until at least 2024.
Kuo did not say why Apple delayed the fourth-generation iPhone SE indefinitely, or whether the performance of its own 5G chip had anything to do with the decision. For the better part of a decade, Apple has been trying to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm. In 2019, the companies ended their bitter patent feud and signed a “multi-year” agreement on wireless chips supply. However, a few months later, Apple bought most of Intel’s mobile modem business. Then, in late 2020, the company said it was working on its own data chip, but there’s been little news about the project since then.