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iPhone SE 4 loss is Qualcomm's gain, says top analyst

The SE 4 might have looked like this. (Source: FrontPageTech x Ian Zelbo)
The SE 4 might have looked like this. (Source: FrontPageTech x Ian Zelbo)
Apple is said to have scrapped plans for a successor to the current 2022 iPhone SE (or SE 3). However, Qualcomm may have reasons to rejoice at this rumored cancellation, as the Cupertino behemoth had also been thought to debut its own baseband for with the affordable-grade handset. Therefore, the market for mobile data hardware may continue as normal rather than shaken up with a new player.

Qualcomm is typically not one to celebrate the cancellation of a potential new mobile device, as it loses the smartphone silicon giant the chance to underpin its market dominance by competing with it, or to sell components to its maker (or, occasionally, both). However, according to the widely-regarded TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it might make an exception in the case of the iPhone "SE 4".

Kuo was also responsible for word that this successor to 2022's SE 3 is to represent Apple'e latest uncharacteristic failure to launch: it may now never see the light of day. If so, the '4' may have been particularly interesting, as it may have been the world's first smartphone with a proprietary baseband for its mobile data connectivity.

This, of course, would have threatened Qualcomm's leadership in this space, and also lost it business in the process. However, according to Kuo, Apple may have also abandoned plans to debut in-house RF hardware in the iPhone 16 line instead due to quality issues, meaning its rival in chip design is now "significantly" more likely to retain the contract to make basebands for these potential 2024 flagships as well.

Buy an iPhone SE 2 on Amazon

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2023-01- 8 (Update: 2023-01- 8)