Affordable iPhone SE Could Make a Comeback in 2025 With iPhone 14’s Display

It has been almost two years since Apple launched its most recent affordable iPhone SE and although those phones come out every two years, it seems that the latest version will be skipping a year.

Display Upgrade

Korean news media reports that the next iPhone SE model could launch in 2025, likely alongside the iPhone 17 series. The new SE model will also come with a significant upgrade, an OLED panel borrowed from the iPhone 14. This would mark a notable upgrade from the previously used LCD panels. OLED panels not only offer better colors and contrast, but deeper blacks as well.

iPhone SE (2022): Apple's Cheaper Phone Brings 5G to a Classic Design - CNET

Display Suppliers Contested

According to a recent report, a competitive battle is underway among three display manufacturers vying for Apple’s business for the upcoming iPhone SE. Samsung has reportedly offered the lowest bid at $30 per panel, undercutting BOE’s $35 and Tianma’s $40. However, Apple has proposed a counteroffer of just $20 per panel, indicating that negotiations are still in progress.

As mentioned earlier, the display used for the iPhone SE will be similar to the iPhone 14 as well as the older iPhone 13. This means that the new iPhone SE could have a 6.1-inch display with a resolution of 1170 x 2532, a peak brightness of 1,200 nits, and potentially Ceramic Shield glass, although this latter feature remains unconfirmed and could be omitted as a cost-saving measure.

Samsung and BOE Ahead of Tianma

Samsung and BOE already have good yields for these panels, but Tianma is lagging behind the two industry giants as its technology is not as advanced as the other two, as per the Korean news report.

Samsung’s competitive pricing strategy, offering the lowest bid for the iPhone SE’s panels, is likely influenced by its existing production capabilities for the iPhone 14. The company is in a position to leverage the same manufacturing tools or even tap into surplus panel stock, should it exist.

Moreover, Samsung’s willingness to propose a lower price for the SE model could be a strategic move to outmaneuver BOE by securing a larger share of Apple’s business. Samsung stands to gain higher profits from supplying panels for the upcoming iPhone 15 and 16 series.

On the other hand, BOE is keen on securing as many orders as possible, especially after losing a significant chance to expand its OLED panel manufacturing capabilities. This setback occurred when BOE encountered challenges in producing panels for the iPhone 15, inadvertently shifting more business toward Samsung Display.

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