iPhone SE stock dwindles ahead of rumored March event and 5G replacement

Iphone Se 2020 Hero
Iphone Se 2020 Hero (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple reportedly has a new iPhone SE with 5G in the pipeline for March.
  • Stock is dwindling at multiple stores in the U.S., UK, and Canada.
  • Availability of many models is low or even non-existent in multiple Apple retail stores and the carrier Verizon.

Ahead of a rumored Apple event on March 9 where the company may unveil a brand new iPhone SE for 2022 featuring 5G, stock levels of Apple's current iPhone SE are dwindling at multiple retail locations, iMore can confirm.

According to multiple reports including the well-connected Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, a new iPhone SE is set to be unveiled at a March Apple event later this month featuring 5G and other possible internal upgrades that could see it supplant the iPhone 13 mini as the best small iPhone. Research conducted by iMore across multiple retail locations in the U.S., UK, and Canada reveal that stock is low or even non-existent at multiple brick-and-mortar Apple stores, as well as carriers and third-party resellers, and one retail source has confirmed a dearth of iPhone SE stock since early February.

According to Apple's website, in the UK the lead times for delivery of the iPhone SE in most configurations are now pushing more than two weeks, with deliveries currently tipped starting March 9 but as late as March 16. Similarly, in-store pickup options at Apple locations are severely limited. At the time of publication, Apple's Manchester Arndale store is only stocking one color and size (Black 64GB), and multiple options including the iPhone SE 128GB in both White and (PRODUCT) RED are not available for collection at any of the 12 nearest store locations including stores over 100 miles away in Cambridge, Milton Keynes, or Newcastle. Similarly, for customers in Leeds, stock of the 128GB iPhone SE is nowhere to be found.

Iphone Se Stock

Iphone Se Stock (Image credit: iMore)

Apple's Meadowhall store does not have a single iPhone SE color available for pickup in either storage size. Likewise, in London delivery lead times are listed as late as March 16, and the Regent Street store in London is the only place within 50 miles of the capital you can buy a 128GB model. The most widely available model is the 64GB in black, available in just five London stores.

Iphone Se John Lewis

Iphone Se John Lewis (Image credit: iMore)

As pictured above, popular reseller John Lewis is also showing no stock of several models, with other resellers like Argos also feeling the pinch. One Apple retail source in the UK confirmed to iMore that there had been a notable drop off in stock of the iPhone SE arriving at their store since early February with shortages across the range and dwindling stockpiles, however, confirmed that other products (not affected by supply constraints) have not been impacted, indicating it is not part of a wider supply issue.

Across the pond, similar shortages are evident in key U.S. cities. In New York, only one store appears to have stock of the 64GB Black iPhone SE, and only four have the 128GB model in the same color. The red and white options are only available at three stores but stock remains inconsistent and mostly absent. Apple SoHo, for instance, only has one iPhone SE configuration available.

Iphone Se La

Iphone Se La (Image credit: iMore)

A similar picture presents in LA where at least one model of iPhone SE (Black 64GB) is nowhere to be found for in-store pickup. The (PRODUCT) RED version is only available in three different stores and only one has any stock of the 64GB model. Down in Austin, TX, not a single local store has any iPhone SE stock for collection. Chicago paints a slightly less bleak picture and was the only city we checked showing some models available in numerous locations. Still, some configurations only remain in stock at just two or three locations.

Away from Apple, U.S. Carrier Verizon does not have a single configuration of iPhone SE in stock according to its website.

Verizon Iphone Se

Verizon Iphone Se (Image credit: iMore)

In Canada, stores in Vancouver and Montreal also have very limited iPhone supplies. Both white iPhone SE models in the former cannot be found anywhere to collect, and one Vancouver store (Apple Richmond Centre) has no stock whatsoever. Stock in Toronto, ON, is better but some models, like the 64GB Black version, remain scarce and can't be found in any of the city's 10 closest stores.

While this is by no means an exhaustive picture of iPhone SE stock in the aforementioned countries or indeed worldwide, even limited investigation seems to indicate that iPhone SE suppliers are dwindling rapidly ahead of a prospective launch next week. Apple could announce its event as early as Tuesday, March 1 if the rumored March 8 date is correct. As noted, falling stock levels do not automatically indicate a product refresh is on the way, however, the scale of iPhone SE scarcity combined with multiple reports of an impending launch gives us plenty of cause to assume a new low-cost iPhone is just around the corner.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9