Will Apple Keep the Old iPhone SE Around at a Lower Cost?

Apple is rumored to be introducing an upgraded version of the iPhone SE as soon as March 8, the prospective date of the company's first event of 2022. The new ‌iPhone SE‌ is expected to be priced at $399 and it will be replacing the current ‌iPhone SE‌, but will Apple keep the older model around and drop the price as it sometimes does when new iPhones come out?

iphone se 2020 top
In his most recent "Power On" newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman suggested that Apple could potentially keep the 2020 ‌iPhone SE‌ around, dropping the price to somewhere around $199. At this price point, Apple would be able to capture market share in places like Africa, India, and South America, where people gravitate toward lower-cost Android devices.

Apple has never had a sub-$200 iPhone before, with the entry-level $399 ‌iPhone SE‌ positioned as the cheapest ‌iPhone‌ that's been released to date, but as Gurman suggests, component costs are low enough that Apple might be willing to consider an even more affordable ‌iPhone‌ option.

Bill-of-material estimates from two years ago pegged the hardware cost of the iPhone SE at around $200, meaning a $199 price tag would be a money-loser. But time and economies of scale have probably made that cost much lower by now. Would the cost be low enough for Apple to earn its typical profit margins? No, but the chance to sell services and other products to big new markets could make up for that.

Most of Apple's focus is on its flagship devices, with Apple never seriously targeting the low-end smartphone market, but Apple is known for keeping older iPhones around and offering them at more affordable price points when introducing new devices. With the iPhone 13, for example, Apple dropped the price of the iPhone 12 and kept it around. 2019's ‌iPhone‌ 11 is also still available for purchase, and at $499, is Apple's most affordable device next to the ‌iPhone SE‌.

Gurman argues that if Apple does end up keeping the old ‌iPhone SE‌ around and selling it for a ~$199 price point, Apple could see notable sales in developing markets and create long-term services revenue while growing the iOS ecosystem.

Such a device would also allow Apple to replace the long outdated iPod touch, which has gone several years without an update. The iPod touch has seen no updates since 2019 and is still using an A10 Fusion chip. Apple sells the 32GB iPod touch for $199, so a $199 ‌iPhone SE‌ would be a solid replacement.

Gurman has confirmed that there is no sign that Apple actually plans to keep the older ‌iPhone SE‌ around as a lower cost alternative, but it's clear there's incentive. Either way, Apple is poised to bring us a new ‌iPhone SE‌ that features the same general design but chip upgrades and 5G connectivity.

Well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that the 2022 iPhone SE will be Apple's cheapest 5G iPhone to date, bringing faster connectivity to millions of people at an affordable price point.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Neutral)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Shanghaichica Avatar
10 months ago
If Apple have a £199 iPhone I feel sorry for Android.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lounge vibes 05 Avatar
10 months ago
It would be really cool.
A $199 iPhone would be truly a fantastic product.
Even a $299 iPhone SE would be absolutely fantastic, and could still easily replace the old aging iPod touch.
But this is Apple.
What’s more likely is that they completely discontinue the 2020 SE, and the new one just replaces it.
Another very likely possibility is that they keep around the current SE at $399, and just price the 5G model at $499. I think that’s also very likely, and it would just replace the 11.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
10 months ago
My guess: previous SE goes bye-bye after the new one drops.
It’s getting too cheap for the board of directors.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
10 months ago
Personally, I don’t believe an iPhone costing $199 will ever happen. I don't see Apple offering 5G on a $199 iPhone device.

That is the iPod Touch price range.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shanghaichica Avatar
10 months ago

Umm, no. That's just wishful thinking. Two separate platforms. There are some who don't want anything to do with Android and there are some who don't want anything to do with iOS. I personally would like to try an iPhone but can't because it doesn't have a Call Screener with Google Assistant. Most the Apps I use, I prefer Google's, they just do a much better job.
The $199 android phones don't have call screener on there. Isn't that a pixel exclusive feature? Yes at the high end those that chose an android phone prefer it over iOS. However at the budget end they pick whatever they can afford. The price is the determining factor.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
one more Avatar
10 months ago

Personally, I don’t believe an iPhone costing $199 will ever happen. I don't see Apple offering 5G on a $199 iPhone device.

That is the iPod Touch price range.
That article suggests that the current 2020 iPhone SE (4G) might drop to $199, while its 2022 5G refresh will still sell for $399, as usual. We should know for sure in about a week.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Inches Closer to Launch as Suppliers Begin Preparing for Shipments

Thursday December 9, 2021 7:22 am PST by
Multiple component suppliers in Apple's supply chain are gearing up for shipments of a third-generation iPhone SE, slated for launch in the first half of 2022, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. The full report has yet to be released, but a paywalled preview reads as follows:VCM suppliers see no cutback in orders for new iPhones: VCM (voice coil motor)...
iPhone SE 2022 Red Feature

Last-Minute 5G iPhone SE Details Leaked By Reliable Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo

Friday March 4, 2022 5:19 am PST by
Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared six "predictions" for the third-generation iPhone SE, providing several new insights into details about the device. Repeating information from previous rumors, Kuo claims that the third-generation iPhone SE will feature the same design as the current model, the A15 Bionic chip, and 5G connectivity, but there are several new details. Some ...
iPhone SE 2022 Red Feature

Buyer's Guide: Don't Buy an iPhone SE Right Now – New Model Imminent

Friday February 25, 2022 2:06 am PST by
The third-generation iPhone SE is expected to arrive in less than a week with a number of notable features and improvements, so prospective customers should now hold off on buying an iPhone SE until the new model arrives. Based on reports from reliable sources over the past two years, the third-generation iPhone SE is currently expected to bring at least three main improvements: A15...
iPhone SE 3 stacked

New iPhone SE Offers Improved Battery Life Compared to Previous Model

Tuesday March 8, 2022 12:33 pm PST by
Compared to the second-generation iPhone SE, the new 5G-enabled iPhone SE offers improved battery life thanks to the efficiency of the A15 Bionic chip. Compared to the previous model, Apple claims the new iPhone SE can last up to two hours longer during both video playback and streamed video playback for a total of 15 hours and 10 hours, respectively. Audio playback sees the most significant ...
iphone se 3 teardown pbkreviews

Third-Generation iPhone SE Teardown Reveals Larger Battery Capacity and Snapdragon X57 Modem

Monday March 21, 2022 6:38 am PDT by
The first teardowns of the third-generation iPhone SE have surfaced on YouTube, providing a look at components inside the device. iPhone SE 2 on top vs. iPhone SE 3 on bottom via PBKreviews The teardowns reveal the new iPhone SE has a larger 2,018 mAh battery compared to 1,821 mAh for the previous-generation model. The new iPhone SE offers up to an extra two hours of video playback and up to...
iphone se 2020 top

iPhone SE 2 Discontinued, iPhone SE 3 From $429 Now Apple's Cheapest iPhone

Tuesday March 8, 2022 11:48 am PST by
With Apple's debut of the new third-generation iPhone SE at its spring "Peek Performance" event, Apple has dropped the previous second-generation iPhone SE from its lineup on the online Apple Store, which means the cheapest new iPhone Apple offers has gone up in price. The old iPhone SE 2 featured an A13 Bionic chip, 3GB RAM, and a low starting price of $399. It came in white, black, and...
iPhone SE 3 stacked

Geekbench Scores of New iPhone SE Show On-Par Performance With iPhone 13

Thursday March 10, 2022 3:27 am PST by
Geekbench scores for the new third-generation iPhone SE shows that Apple's most affordable iPhone features performance on par with the company's flagship iPhone 13, as they both feature the same A15 Bionic chip. Geekbench scores for an "iPhone 14,6," the model identifier for the new iPhone SE, show a single-core score of 1695 and a multi-core score of 4021. For reference, the iPhone 13 has a ...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...

Popular Stories

Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

FBI Calls End-to-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' as Privacy Groups Hail Apple's Advanced Data Protection as a Victory for Users

Thursday December 8, 2022 2:45 am PST by
Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection,"...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features

Thursday December 8, 2022 7:05 am PST by
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone. Below, we've recapped many of the new features coming with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the...
maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple Music Sing in iOS 16.2

Wednesday December 7, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
With the iOS 16.2 release candidate that came out today, Apple added the new Apple Music Sing feature that was announced earlier this week. We thought we'd check out the new karaoke feature to see how it works. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Music Sing is available on modern iPhones and iPads, as well as the newest Apple TV 4K. It's built in to the Apple...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
Apple Accessories Deals 2022 Anker

Deals: Amazon's New Anker Sale Has Savings on USB-C Chargers, Portable Batteries, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 8:10 am PST by
Anker this week has introduced a new sale across its most popular accessories on Amazon, including savings on USB-C cables, wall chargers, portable batteries, wireless chargers, and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Many of these sales...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories on an opt-in basis for enhanced security. iCloud already protects 14 data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including the Messages app when backups are disabled, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain, Health data, Apple Maps search history, Apple Card transactions, and more,...
Twitter Feature

Twitter to Charge $11 Per Month for Twitter Blue on iPhone, $7 on Website

Wednesday December 7, 2022 6:47 pm PST by
Twitter plans to charge $11 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription on the iPhone in order to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app purchases, reports The Information. On the web, Twitter Blue will be priced at $7 per month. Prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According ...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...