Is the iPhone SE 4 Worth the Wait? A New Report Sheds Light On it

iPhone SE 4
Image source: MacRumors

We’ve started to get proper reports regarding the iPhone SE 4 since February of last year. A good number of them came from Ming Chi-Kuo, a well-known Apple analyst with a solid track record of offering concrete details. At the current stage, the phone is expected to debut in March 2025.

But there are a good number of affordable Android alternatives in the market right now. Of course, if you’re tied to the Apple ecosystem, you would not want to switch. In such cases, your current option is to score an iPhone 14 if you’re looking to upgrade from an old phone. Of course, you can get the standard iPhone 15, but the last-gen device would be a little more affordable. But why not wait for the iPhone SE 4?

The thing about the iPhone SE series is that the devices lose resale value quite fast. As a matter of fact, the SE 3 lost 65% of its value in the first 18 months of launch. This data comes from SellCell. The outlet researched the historical value data of SE 3, SE 2, iPhone 15, iPhone 14, and iPhone 13 devices. And from this analysis, we may have the answer to whether the next affordable SE 4 is worth the wait.

Methodology of the Research

As mentioned earlier, SellCell collected current and historical value data for several iPhone models. That includes the iPhone SE 3, SE2, 15, 14, and 13. They analyzed this data to identify trends relating to value depreciation across these models. Understanding these depreciation trends can give a solid suggestion. It can make it easier to understand whether the iPhone SE 4 will likely hold its value well or not.

iPhone SE 4

iPhone SE vs Regular iPhone – Which Phones Hold Better Value

Looking at historical data, iPhone SE models tend to depreciate faster than their standard iPhone counterparts. As the table below shows, the iPhone SE 3 lost a significant portion of its value even within the first month of launch.

Timeframe iPhone 13 iPhone 14 SE 3 iPhone 15
1 Month 18.7% 33.1% 42.6% 28.8%
3 Months No Change 29.9% 47.1% 27.9%
18 Months 50.0% 42.7% 64.7% N/A

For instance, after just one month, the iPhone SE 3 depreciated by 42.6% compared to only 18.7% for the iPhone 13. This trend continued throughout the first year and a half, with the iPhone SE 3 losing considerably more value than the iPhone 13 or even the iPhone 14.

Will the iPhone SE 4 Be Worth the Wait?

Looking strictly at resale value, the iPhone SE historically depreciates faster than standard iPhones. This means you might lose more money if you plan to resell your iPhone SE 4 later. For instance, the iPhone SE 3 lost 17.2% more value than the iPhone 14 after just 3 months.

However, there are reasons to believe the iPhone SE 4 might be different. Previously, the iPhone 13 mini held its value well, depreciating slower than even some flagship iPhones. With the mini discontinued and the SE 4 potentially the only budget option, there could be higher demand for the SE 4 specifically, driving resale values up.

iPhone SE 3

In the end, the decision depends on your priorities. If resale value is crucial, a standard iPhone might be a better option. But if you need a budget phone and are comfortable with the potential risk of faster depreciation, the iPhone SE 4 could be worth the wait, especially if it fills the gap left by the discontinued mini.

That said, if you want to learn more about the research that SellCell conducted, you can head over to the published report through this link.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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1 Comment

  1. March 13, 2024

    a whole article on resell value… because now we buy phones to resell them later. what a joke.

    Maybe would be smarter to involve tech, size, comfort, pricetag, etc.