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Report: Apple is Back at Work on 4th Gen iPhone SE With In-House 5G Chip

Posted February 28, 2023 | Apple | iOS | iPhone SE | Mobile | Windows

Apple is reportedly back to work on a 4th gen iPhone SE that could use the body of the iPhone 14. Industry nalyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared that information in a series of tweets yesterday (via MacRumors), a little more than a month after reporting that Apple may have canceled or postponed this new iPhone SE.

“My latest survey indicates that Apple has recently restarted the iPhone SE 4, which will feature an OLED display instead of an LCD, as the biggest change. Overall, the SE 4 is a minor modification of the 6.1-inch iPhone 14,” Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted.

So far, previous iPhone SE models have re-used the design of previous iPhone models: The first iPhone SE released in 2016 used the body of the iPhone 5S, while the 2nd and 3rd gen iPhone SE are both using the design of the iPhone 8 with its 4.7-inch display. However, the iPhone 14 released last year comes with a borderless 6.1-inch OLED display with Face ID replacing the Touch ID sensor, so the 4th-gen iPhone SE using this same design would be quite an upgrade.

Ming-Chi Kuo added that the iPhone SE 4, which he expects to enter mass production in the first half of 2024, will use a new 5G chip from Apple instead of a Qualcomm one. The third-gen iPhone SE released last year added 5G support, but Apple would very much like to stop relying on Qualcomm’s 5G modems.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported last month that Apple’s first cellular modem may be ready to replace Qualcomm chips “by the end of 2024 or early 2025”. In the same report, Gurman said that Apple is also working on a combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip to replace a Broadcom component.

“The new iPhone SE 4 will equip with Apple’s 5G baseband chip produced by a 4nm process (similar to 5nm) and will only support Sub-6GHz as the current plan”, Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted. “It’s still being determined whether the iPhone 16 series will use Apple’s 5G baseband chip. The main challenge lies in whether Apple can overcome the technical obstacles related to mmWave and satellite communications,” the analyst continued.

While Ming-Chi Kuo said last month that Apple may have canceled its 4th gen iPhone SE due to “the consistently lower-than-expected shipments of mid-to-low-end iPhones,” there’s another source supporting his latest information about Apple having restarted work on the project. In a reply to Kuo’s Twitter thread, Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants tweeted that the 4th gen iPhone SE may use a display made Chinese manufacturer BOE.

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