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TL;DR: Are people done with the iPhone SE's aging design and comparatively small size? According to a new report, Apple has slashed production for the third-generation SE handset in the face of low demand, which is being partly blamed on rising inflation and uncertainty following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
According to a report from Nikkei Asia (via MacRumors), Apple has asked its suppliers to cut production of the iPhone SE 2022 for this quarter by as much as two to three million units, a reduction of around 20%.
Seemingly backing up the report is Ming-Cho Kuo. The renowned Apple analyst tweeted that while the Shanghai Covid lockdowns (read more about those here) won't impact iPhone SE production, demand is lower than expected. Kuo has also cut his shipment estimation for 2022 from 25 million - 30 million to 15 million - 30 million.
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).— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 28, 2022
Kuo notes that one sign people aren't rushing out to buy the new iPhone SE is that the handset is in stock on Apple's website. Whether you purchase one in Midnight, Starlight, or (Product) Red colors and with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage, all are available to pick up today or for delivery tomorrow, suggesting an abundance of units.
The 3rd-gen iPhone SE uses the same iPhone 8-style 4.7-inch form factor as the previous models but offers 5G connectivity and an A15 Bionic SoC. It's also the only modern iPhone to still use a physical Home Button and Touch ID. Apple added $30 to the price of the base model, bringing it to $430.
The iPhone SE reviews have been good—it averages a score of 81—though that small and outdated design has been a point of contention among many.