Apple cancels major 2024 iPhone upgrade — and it'll hit those on a budget hardest

iPhone XR
(Image credit: Apple)

According to a prolific insider, Apple is likely to cancel or postpone the iPhone SE 4 overhaul reportedly tipped for 2024. 

Ming-Chi Kuo stated Wednesday "my latest survey indicates that Apple will likely cancel or postpone the mass production plan for the 2024 iPhone SE 4." 

Kuo says that this is likely due to "the consistently lower-than-expected shipments of mid-to-low-end iPhones (e.g., SE 3, 13 mini, and iPhone 14 Plus)."

Cost-cutting

Kuo also says that Apple is likely concerned that the new full-screen design of the iPhone SE 4 will lead to higher costs and selling prices for what has historical been Apple's 'budget' offering, with Apple needing to reconsider the product positioning and return on investment. Kuo further notes that reducing unnecessary new product development expenses will help Apple navigate the 2023 recession.

This is hugely disappointing news considering the iPhone SE 4 was expected to be a major overhaul on the previous model, adopting the full-screen notch design of the iPhone XR. 

That would have seen an end to the ageing chin and forehead design as well as the death of the Home Button on Apple's iPhones for good. 

We can only hope that Apple is just indeed delaying this rather than canning it altogether, although Kuo doesn't sound optimistic. 

Kuo's survey is also interesting in that it indicates sales of the iPhone SE 3, unveiled earlier this year, may also have been underwhelming. As the cost of living crisis bites, you might have expected customers to turn to cheaper iPhone upgrade options.

Kuo Ming-Chi is an extremely reliable insider with a long track record of accurately revealing Apple's upcoming plans. 

As such, the news all-but confirms the iPhone SE 4 was slated for 2024, which means we aren't likely to see an upgrade in 2023. Instead, next year should herald the iPhone 15, which could adopt USB-C to fall in line with upcoming new EU regulations.

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