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Apple is asking Target to send back iPhone SE, could a refresh be underway?

Why it matters to you

Apple has asked Target to return its iPhone SEs, which could herald big news for the 2016 phone ... or none at all.

An Apple request has the rumor mill churning once again, and this time, it’s all about the iPhone SE. While some more exciting handsets have emerged from Apple since the SE’s debut last March, it was still a commendable phone. If you need a refresher, the SE was effectively an iPhone 5 on the outside, and an iPhone 6 on the inside. Of course, now that we’re on iPhone 7, nothing about that seems all that … new.

But according to MacRumors, Target has begun returning its remaining iPhone SE handsets to Apple this week at the tech company’s request, which may suggest some big things to come. As per a company memo obtained by MacRumors, “Target this week instructed its stores to return a number of iPhone SE models to Apple by … March 1,” including six unlocked 16GB and 64GB models in Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, and Space Gray, and two Sprint models.

While it could just be a coincidence that Target is being asked to send back iPhone SEs, it could also be the case that Apple is planning some sort of revamp on its 2016 phone. After all, Apple is rumored to be hosting an event later this March where the firm could reveal the existence of a 128GB iPhone SE, which could feature other improvements like a better camera or Touch ID sensor. Or, Apple could be looking to sell iPhone SEs with improved memory across the board, replacing the company’s 16GB and 64GB models with 32GB and 128GB models.

But don’t get too excited too quickly. It’s also completely possible that Apple doesn’t want old SEs on the shelves anymore because they’re simply not selling well, and the company doesn’t want to make lack of demand too apparent. As KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted, a refresh of the iPhone is unlikely in the near future. Either way, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.