In a note to clients — as noted by MacRumors — KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn’t think we’ll see a second generation iPhone SE this year, as Apple puts its resources into three new smartphones in the pipeline that he’s forecasting. He writes:
The announcement of three new iPhone models in the same quarter in the second half of 2017 was the first time Apple made such a major endeavor, and we believe the delay of iPhone X, which had the most complicated design yet, shows that Apple doesn’t have enough resources available for development. […]
With three new models in the pipeline for the second half of 2018, we believe Apple may have used up its development resources. Also, we think the firm will do all it can to avoid repeating the mistake of a shipment delay for the three new models. As such, we believe Apple is unlikely to have enough spare resources to develop a new iPhone model for launch in 2Q18.
Kuo notes that if Apple does update the iPhone SE, the design will be the same, but the smartphone will sport a faster processor and a lower price. The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) feels this scenario is the likely one as Apple will want to keep a lower priced iPhone in the mix for the budget conscious.