The new iPhone SE doesn’t seem to be doing too well at carrier stores in the United States.
According to new data from analytics firm Wave7 (as reported by PCMag), over half of the carrier representatives said that demand is weaker this year for the iPhone model despite its recent update.
The firm surveys salespeople at US carrier stores to get a picture of the market, which is very carrier-dominated. In its latest survey, 56% of reps said that iPhone SE demand is weaker this year than it was for the previous iPhone SE; only 8% said demand is stronger.
As for why the new iPhone SE isn’t doing well, one representative said that “not many people know it came out.” Another said that customers seem to be opting more and more for larger phones even with a higher cost.
Apple doesn’t seem that enthusiastic about the phone either, the report says. “Wave7 Research is unaware of any TV, radio, outdoor or print advertising for the device,” it said, and one Verizon rep told the firm “not many people know it came out.”
Another store rep said the phone’s small size may be a factor in its slow sales. Apple seems to be getting that message company-wide: after an intense two-year experiment with smaller phones, Apple may be giving up on its iPhone mini line, reports have said, with the iPhone 14 not expected to have a “mini” model.
According to the report, Apple’s biggest opportunity with the low-cost iPhone, and the iPhone in general, might be in India more than in the United States.
The SE’s major markets may actually be outside the US. In India, the new SE will boost sales there from 5.4 million units in 2021 to 7.5 million in 2022, according to India’s Business Today publication.
Apple has a lot more room to grow in India than it does in the US. Wave7 says that Apple had a 60-62% market share at the three major US carriers in March 2022. But Apple has a mere 4.4% market share in India, Business Today says. Apple has been shifting some production to India in part to take advantage of “made in India” tariff discounts, and now makes models in both the SE and iPhone 13 lines in India, Reuters reports.
The new iPhone SE features the same design as the last model but was updated with support for 5G as well as the latest A15 processor that also powers the iPhone 13 lineup. Apple also claims that the new chip enables better battery life and camera performance.
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