Tech: Apple quietly killed off 4 older versions of the iPhone — including the last versions that had a headphone jack (AAPL)

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Phil Schiller, Apple's head of worldwide marketing, shows off the company's updated iPhone lineup on Wednesday.

In addition to unveiling the new iPhone XS and XR models, Apple seems to have dropped three older models from its lineup, including one that was a hit among those looking for a smaller or inexpensive device.

  • Apple announced three new iPhone models on Wednesday, but it also seems to have discontinued four older models.
  • The company is no longer selling the iPhone X, 6S, 6S Plus, or SE through its website.
  • The apparent discontinuation of the SE is unexpected; the model was popular with consumers looking for a smaller or inexpensive iPhone.
  • The iPhone X only launched last November.

In addition to unveiling some new models, Apple looks as if it just pruned its collection of iPhones.

And the discontinuation of one of those models may irk some longtime iPhone fans.

Soon after announcing the new iPhone XR and XS models at its press event on Wednesday, Apple showed off its current lineup of iPhones. Notably missing: the iPhone X, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and the iPhone SE.

Those four models are also no longer available through Apple's website.

Notably, the 6S line and the SE were the last iPhone models that had a headphone jack — the newer models sport only Apple's own Lightning connector. Starting with the iPhone 7, launched in late 2016, Apple ditched the headphone jack, infamously citing the "courage" to move forward with new audio technology.

Company representatives did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

It's no surprise that Apple would drop the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. The company typically discontinues older models each year when it launches new ones. It started offering those phones in 2015, and they've since been replaced by the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models, both of which Apple still sells.

But Apple's apparent decision to drop the iPhone SE is somewhat unexpected. The company introduced that model in 2016 and updated it last year with increased storage.

The SE, the last phone the company made in the style of its iPhone 5 and earlier models, was popular among consumers who were looking for a relatively inexpensive and small iPhone.

The SE started at $350. The least expensive phone in Apple's lineup now is the iPhone 7, which starts at $450. But that phone has a 4.7-inch screen, compared with the 4-inch one on the SE.

As for the iPhone X, introduced in November, it's notable that Apple would discontinue a product less than a year after its introduction, especially one as generally well-received as the X. However, the new iPhone XS has the same starting price of $999 and better specs overall, perhaps making the X redundant.

In addition to dropping those iPhone models, Apple also appears to be backing away from AirPower, the wireless-charging product it announced last year — it seems to have removed nearly all mentions of AirPower from its site.

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