Famous tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested in a new note to investors that Apple may not refresh the 4-inch iPhone SE model in March next year. Apparently, the Cupertino-based firm doesn’t plan on going with an annual refresh cycle for its most affordable iPhone, in order to boost gross margins.
While Kuo hasn’t mentioned any specific timeframe in his note, it could be possible that the iPhone SE refresh might arrive along with the iPhone 8 models in Autumn 2017. The analyst believes Apple could boost gross margins by delaying the iPhone SE successor, as well as pressurizing component manufacturers to reduce prices. Apple expects gross margins between 38 to 38.5 percent for the quarter ending in December, which is slightly below the consensus of more than 39 percent.
The analyst expects Apple to ship between 40 to 50 million iPhone units in the current quarter, down from 51.2 million units a year back. In the second quarter of 2017, Kuo believes Apple might be able to ship between 35 million to 40 million iPhone units, down from 40.4 million units year-over-year. These numbers aren’t as bad as what some analysts had predicted earlier this year, but they are not very encouraging either. Until the iPhone 8 models arrive in September next year, Apple may find it very difficult to arrest the continuously dropping iPhone sales.