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iPhone SE 2022 demand drops — what this means for Apple

iPhone SE 2022
iPhone SE 2022 (Image credit: Apple)

Apple overestimated consumer demand for the brand-spankin' new iPhone SE 2022, according to a new Nikkei Asia report. Consequently, the Cupertino-based tech giant is reducing production orders of the budget-friendly, 5G-capable phone by two to three million units.

Citing sources close to the matter, Nikkei Asia claims that the continual rise of inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war are to blame for consumers' waning interest in Apple's newest smartphone entry.

"The war has affected spending at the European markets. ... It is understandable [consumers will] save the money for food and for heating," an Apple supplier executive reportedly told Nikkei Asia. However, we suspect that other hindrances could be behind the drop in demand.

iPhone SE 2022 production gets slashed

Nikkei Asia's report points to the US' precarious economy and the Russia-Ukraine conflict as the culrpits behind consumers' dwindling demand for the new SE phone, and while that may be partially true, we suspect that other factors may be at play.

iPhone SE 2022

iPhone SE 2022 (Image credit: Future)

As we covered in our iPhone SE 2022: Why you shouldn't buy it feature, its selling points aren't compelling enough to captivate the masses. Its new updates include an A15 Bionic chip, 5G support and a bigger battery, however, we speculate that none of these are adequate enough to stir record-setting sales. On top of that, according to our testing, the iPhone SE 2022's battery runtime is shorter than its predecessor: the iPhone SE 2020.

You may be wondering, "What could this mean for Apple?" For the next-generation device in the iPhone SE series, the Cupertino-based tech giant must find a way to modernize the SE — without jeopardizing the allure of its flagship line, of course. After all, it seems that Apple doesn't want to imperil iPhone 13 sales by making the SE too attractive. As such, the iPhone SE is stuck inside an obsolete iPhone 8 chassis, its rear camera setup only consists of one 12MP wide-angle lens, and its battery endurance is middling.

Apple iPhone SE 2022

Apple iPhone SE 2022 (Image credit: Future)

While a budget-conscious consumer needing an entry-level iPhone device to join the Apple ecosystem may overlook these foibles, the average Joe won't. The iPhone SE 2022 costs less than $500, but there are numerous Android handsets among the best budget phones that offer more bang for your buck with the same price tag.

According to Nikkei Asia, Apple also overestimated consumer demand for its AirPods; the Cupertino-based tech giant slashed production for the earphones by more than 10 million. Apple also requested production cuts for the iPhone 13 line, but sources said that this was expected because it's based on "seasonal demand."

When the fourth-generation iPhone SE presumably launches in two years, we hope that Apple redeems its affordable phone and rolls out a device that has the mid-tier Android market shaking in its boots.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!