Tag Archive for ‘iPhone SE’

Apple Announces the New iPhone SE ➝

Same chassis as the iPhone 8 with improved internals and stellar price points — 64GB for $399, 128GB for $449, or 256GB for $549. I have a feeling the 64GB model is going to be very popular.

My wife has traditionally preferred an iPhone with a smaller display. She used the original iPhone SE up until last summer when she finally gave in and upgraded to the iPhone 8. But interestingly, she doesn’t find the new SE appealing at all.

The camera is so important to her now that she won’t even consider an iPhone unless it offers the same (or better) camera arrangement as the 11 Pro. The iPhone 8 camera looks good, but without the extra lenses and dark mode, it just isn’t good enough.

➝ Source: apple.com

Apple Rumored to Release iPhone SE 2 Next Year ➝

Benjamin Mayo, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Apple is set to launch the next version of the iPhone SE 2 in the first quarter of 2020, according to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The new phone will be more affordable than the rest of the Apple iPhone lineup and feature newer internals, like an A13 processor with 3 GB RAM, in a familiar iPhone 8 chassis.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a new 4-inch iPhone in the lineup, which would allow Apple to serve a segment of the market that practically been abandoned by smartphone manufacturers. But I suppose a replacement for the iPhone 8 will have to do. I just hope they improve the camera system — it really is a massive leap forward compared to the iPhone 8.

➝ Source: 9to5mac.com

Pondering an iPhone SE 2 ➝

Stephen Hackett:

I don’t think the market for the iPhone SE is very big, but I bet it’s bigger than Apple thought it would be a couple of years ago. I know many SE users are devoted to having the most compact smartphone they can, and I think Apple should continue to serve that market.

If Apple does announce an iPhone SE 2 this spring, my wife will be first in line to purchase on day one. She’s a huge fan of the compact form factor and prefers the less-slippery, harder edges of the 5S-era design. And of course, having a smartphone that actually fits in her jeans pocket is a plus.

In terms of what to expect in such a device, I’m thinking an A10 Fusion chip, a glass back for wireless charging, and the single-lens camera system from the iPhone 7.

The Ideal iPhone Lineup

Over the past several weeks, the discussion among Apple enthusiasts has shifted from opinions on iPhone Pro pricing to a conversation about how Apple will design around the notch and what will be placed in the Home Button area. I can certainly understand why this shift has taken place, the leaked HomePod firmware has provided a treasure trove of details about the bezel-less iPhone and none of it has anything to do with price points. But I wanted to take a step back and bring iPhone pricing back into the conversation.

Most of the speculation I’ve read on the topic has targeted $1,000 as their ballpark estimate for the iPhone Pro’s starting price point. And I agree. Apple has to walk a fine line with this device. It must be priced in such a way that it is both attainable for a reasonable percentage of customers and expensive enough to keep the masses from buying in droves. My gut tells me that $1,000, give or take $100 is the sweet spot.

I haven’t seen much out-of-the-box discussion regarding the starting price points of the rest of the iPhone lineup, though. Everyone seems to assume that the upcoming 4.7- and 5.5-inch models will be introduced at the same price points as the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with last year’s models dropping in price by $100. But I’m not too sure.

All of the interest coming out of the event is going to be around the bezel-less model and, there’s certainly going to be a fair amount of grumbling about how expensive it is. Even if Apple finds the “perfect price point”, that price point is designed to keep a large number of people from being able to buy it. Apple’s manufacturing partners can’t manufacture enough parts to sell the iPhone Pro for $649, it has to be expensive. And that’s going to piss a lot of people off.

But what if, alongside the introduction of the most expensive iPhone ever made, Apple lowers the introductory price on the rest of the lineup? Here’s the starting price points I’ve sketched out with that in mind:

  • 4-inch iPhone SE at $349
  • 4.7-inch iPhone 7S at $549
  • 5.5-inch iPhone 7S Plus at $749
  • 5.8-inch iPhone Pro at $949

This would lower the introductory price of the latest iPhone models at every display size — $50 less for the 4-inch model, $100 less for the 4.7-inch model, and $20 less for the 5.5-inch model. If Apple wants to prevent a severe backlash coming out of this event, selling the rest of the lineup at a lower cost is a great way to do that.

This leads me to my pie-in-the-sky, it’ll probably never happen but wouldn’t it be cool if it did theory — what if Apple discontinued all of last year’s iPhone models and only sold the iPhone SE, iPhone 7S, 7S Plus, and iPhone Pro going forward? This type of broad-strokes lineup replacement happened with the iPod during its peak, why couldn’t Apple do it today for the iPhone?

The only downside I see with this proposal would be the higher cost of entry for the 5.5-inch iPhone. The iPhone 6S Plus is currently priced at $649, replacing their entire lineup with the aforementioned prices would increase the starting price of 5.5-inch iPhones to $749. Which doesn’t exactly fit with the whole iPhones are cheaper than they were last year narrative.

One solution would be to keep the 7 Plus around for a few months, at $649. And if Apple went this direction — starting from scratch with an all new lineup, keeping one model around to fill a price slot for a short while seems likely. The only other option would be to just live through the grief and point frustrated customers toward the incredibly affordable 4.7-inch iPhone. It might be too risky, but that’s the solution I’d advocate for.

An obvious criticism of my proposed price points is the gaps in between each of model. I suppose this could give competitors room to come in and steal some market share from Apple, but that’s what each model’s storage tier is for. Here’s another rough sketch with potential storage options:

  • iPhone SE: 32GB for $349, 64GB for $449, and 128GB for $549
  • iPhone 7S: 64GB for $549, 128GB for $649, and 128GB for $749
  • iPhone 7S Plus: 64GB for $749, 128GB for $849, and 256GB for $949
  • iPhone Pro: 128GB for $949, 256GB for $1,049, 512GB for $1,149

For each model, an additional $100 gets you more storage and an additional $200 gets you either a lot more storage or a larger display. This seems like the kind of value propositions that Apple likes to give their customers. And I think most buyers would find it easy to narrow down their options to find the right device for them.

The likelihood of Apple discontinuing all previous iPhone models is nearly zero, there’s no historical precedent for this beyond the release of the iPhone 3G, which discontinued the original iPhone. But I think it would further strengthen Apple’s brand as the premier smartphone maker — no matter what iPhone you buy, you’re buying the latest and greatest.

As for my pricing suggestions, I could certainly see Apple releasing the new iPhone lineup and setting their pricing as I’ve outlined above. It would help to shift everyone’s focus away from the sticker shock of the iPhone Pro and potentially lean the Apple community’s conversation toward the idea of iPhones being more affordable options compared to their previous lineup. And with the introduction of the far more expensive iPhone Pro, they might be able to change public perception without taking too much of a hit to their average selling price metric.

Eric Schwarz Reviews the iPhone SE ➝

While I’m waiting for my wife’s iPhone SE to arrive this afternoon, I’ll be reading Eric Schwarz’s review of the device. And if you’re curious, she ordered a 64GB model in rose gold.

Demand for iPhone SE Is ‘Very Strong,’ Exceeds Available Supply ➝

Tim Cook, from yesterday’s earnings call:

We’re thrilled with the response that we’ve seen on it. It is clear that there is a demand there even much beyond what we thought. That is really why we have the constraint that we have.

I called a few local AT&T stores yesterday to see if they had any iPhone SEs in stock. My wife planned on purchasing a 64GB model in rose gold if any were available. Unfortunately, none of the stores had any SEs at all. One of the employees I talked to noted that his store had only ever received one single iPhone SE since launch — a 16GB model in space gray.

John Gruber on the iPhone SE ➝

John Gruber:

If you’ve already upgraded to an iPhone 6 or 6S and have made peace with the trade-offs of a larger, heavier, less-grippy-because-of-the-round-edges form factor, the appeal is less clear. Me, I talk the talk about preferring the smaller form factor, but ultimately I’m a sucker for top-of-the-line CPU/GPU performance and camera quality. For the next six months or so, the iPhone SE stands on the top tier. After that, it won’t — I think — and it’ll be back to the 4.7-inch display form factor for me. So why bother switching back for just a few months? I keep asking myself.

And then I pick up the iPhone SE, and hold it in my hand.

John Moltz Reviews the iPhone SE ➝

John Moltz:

Literally every drawback in feature set is mitigated by being one I don’t care about. The front-facing camera isn’t as good. Don’t care. There’s one fewer row of icons on the home screen. But all that meant for me was moving some apps I don’t use that much anyway to the second page. (To paraphrase Bill Gates, 24 apps should be enough for anyone.) It doesn’t have 3D Touch, which I kind of like. But neither does my iPad and switching back and forth was annoying. I’ll rather both have it or both not. The Touch ID sensor is the slower, first generation one. Yeah, that just means it’s fast instead of insanely fast. The screen size is smaller. That’s what I wanted.

For all the hemming and hawing I did when Apple first introduced the 4.7-inch form factor, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that the larger size is better for me.

I still love the iPhone 5s — because of its angular edges, the flush camera lense, the ability to reach all four corners of the display without straining my thumb, and more— but I use my iPhone for writing too often.

That’s not to say that you can’t write on a 4-inch display. In fact, my fiancée wrote a great deal of her master’s thesis on her iPhone 5s. But I find my iPhone 6s’ 4.7-inch display to be much more comfortable for writing than the iPhone 5s ever was.

I’m glad that Apple released the iPhone SE and hope they continue releasing 4-inch device’s indefinitely. At this point, I don’t think I’d ever go back to the smaller form factor, but I’m glad that it’s available for those who prefer it.