Over the past few months, rumors about Apple's iPhone 14 and iPhone SE 3 have come thick and fast, and the latest report suggests that it's actually the latter of those that could be the most important for Apple.
A research report from JP Morgan quoted by Reuters suggests that if Apple does indeed come out with an iPhone SE 3 in 2022, it could lead as many as 1.4 billion Android users to switch to the iOS ecosystem, with the main losers being low-end and mid-range Android phone makers.
The report specifically mentions companies such as Samsung and Huawei, though they aren't the only ones battling it out for the lower half of the smartphone market. Xiaomi, Vivo, OnePlus, Realme and more could also become the losers in this Android versus iOS battle.
Here's how the math works...
So why are JP Morgan's analysts so bullish about the iPhone SE 3? Largely it seems to be about 5G, with this likely to be the first mid-range iPhone with 5G support. This feature could also make the iPhone SE 3 tempting to 300 million users of older iPhones, which lack the tech.
That's not the only thing JP Morgan points to though, as it also notes that trade-ins could make the iPhone SE 3 extra affordable.
Samik Chatterjee, (rated five stars on Refinitiv Eikon for his estimate accuracy), said that while "Apple's trade-in program for non-iPhones is admittedly not as attractive as the iPhone trade-in values, it could nonetheless lead to an average starting price range of $269 to $399 for the 5G iPhone SE, which is still very competitive," according to Reuters.
That price range works out at around £200 / AU$375 to £300 / AU$560 if you do an exact conversion - though prices in these regions are likely to vary in reality.
So by trading in an old device, buyers could get an iPhone with 5G for a low to mid-range price, if JP Morgan's predictions are right, which in turn could supposedly tempt a huge number of Android (and older iPhone) users.
Opinion: this won't happen
While Reuters and other publications have gone with sensationalist headlines for this story, it seems like they might have missed the crux of what JP Morgan was actually saying, because buried in the details it's added that JP Morgan predicts 30 million sales of iPhone SE units in 2022 - which is a far cry from 1.4 billion.
What the report (which we've only seen snippets of) is presumably actually saying then is that the iPhone SE 3 will open the iPhone range up to a wider potential audience - that's this 1.4 billion figure - (notably those who won't spend much on a phone), but that doesn't mean many of them will necessarily actually buy it.
Many, many users are perfectly happy with Android phones, even those at the low-end or mid-range, so having an affordable iPhone as an option wouldn't make a difference to them.
5G shouldn't be much of a sell either since it's still not that widely available, or frankly that essential, especially for those shopping on a budget, and it's something that a wide range of cheap Android phones already offer.
But it's this 5G support - plus potentially decent trade-in offers - that JP Morgan seems to be putting a lot of weight on, since this is the third iPhone SE, and other than a faster chipset not much else is likely changing from the iPhone SE (2020) if leaks are to be believed.
Still, while there's no chance that Apple is going to steal half of the 2.8 billion active Android users in the world, 2022 does look like it could be a good year for the company.
JP Morgan additionally predicts total iPhone sales of 250 million for the year, which is 10 million higher than its 2021 prediction. That could in large part be driven by the iPhone SE 3, but will also be helped by the iPhone 14, which is rumored to be a huge upgrade, complete with a totally new design for the Pro models.
Whether any of this will actually come to pass - and how well any of these phones will sell - remains to be seen though. But at least in the iPhone SE 3's case we might have a clearer idea soon, as some reports suggest it will land early next year.
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A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.