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iPhone SE fans will have to wait a bit longer as the fourth-generation iPhone SE isn’t coming in 2024. According to research, this is also a strong indication that Apple’s in-house 5G modem isn’t ready yet, which means even the iPhone 16 lineup will still employ Qualcomm modems.

MacRumors shared the news naming Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley, who reportedly had “‘multiple conversations’ with companies within Apple’s supply chain this week.” The two said it was unlikely for the company to push the release of the rumored fourth-gen model but didn’t specifically share the reason. Nonetheless, the report says it is an indication that Apple is still working on its own 5G modem, which it plans to include in the next iPhone SE.

While the news sounds huge, it is important to note that it only reiterates previous reports suggesting the same idea. In April, analyst Jeff Pu shared Apple’s plan to release it in 2025. However, the release in 2025 is not even certain. In April, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained the reason behind this, saying it would only be limited to prototypes.

“I previously predicted that the iPhone SE 4 would be a derivative model of the iPhone 14,” Kuo tweeted. “However, my latest research indicates that this derivative model will likely be an engineering prototype for Apple in-house 5G baseband chip technology and mass production validation, and there are no plans for mass production and sales.”

While Kuo said iPhone SE 4 wouldn’t hit the stores, the analyst said months ago that it would pave the way to the mass production of the Apple-designed 5G modem. “I believe that the mass production schedule for Apple in-house 5G baseband chip will largely hinge on the test results of this engineering prototype,” Kuo explained. “Consequently, mass production could commence as early as 2025. But if testing falls below expectations, the schedule may be pushed back to 2026 or later.”

The report of the two Barclays analysts negates Kuo’s statements, but it gives us new hope that Apple has more plans than using the iPhone SE 4 as a testing tool for its 5G modem. In case Apple chooses to pursue the production of the model, reports claim that aside from an Apple-designed 5G modem, the phone will have a 6.1-inch OLED display and a Face ID feature.


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