Apple’s got millions of reasons to make the smaller iPhone SE

“After weeks of rumors, no one was surprised when Apple revealed its latest iPhone,” Davey Alba reports for Wired. “The 4-inch iPhone SE is essentially an iPhone 5s on the outside but with the more advanced guts of the iPhone 6S on the inside. What is surprising is that, after going all-in on bigger phones, Apple decided to go smaller again at all.”

“Turns out, Apple has plenty of good reasons for pushing a smaller phone,” Alba reports. “Not least among those reasons: a lot of people still want to buy them. At a time when sales growth for the iPhone is leveling off, Apple looks like it’s aiming to squeeze as many sales out of the market for its phones as possible.”

“To be sure, Apple has explored a similar path in the past,” Alba reports. “But Apple’s strategy with the iPhone SE looks markedly different. ‘The iPhone 5c slapped on a plastic exterior that telegraphed cheapness,’ says Mark Hibben, a contributor to equity research service Seeking Alpha. By contrast, the iPhone SE’s anodized aluminum case, which mimics the color and styling of more expensive models, doesn’t send the same message, Hibben says.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our polls on the issue has been very clear. Here are the results from our most recent one from last November:

4-inch iPhone MacDailyNews poll

The new iPhone SE finally makes a small phone feel powerful – March 21, 2016
Apple unveils iPhone SE, the most powerful phone with a four-inch display – March 21, 2016


  1. I personally don’t think the plastic shell was the problem with the 5C – I really liked it. I think the problem was the 5S that came out at the same time for not much more $ with a year-newer technical specs and touch ID – with the SE, the form factor is old (which is not a problem for me – I’ve always liked it since it first came out and no reason to change a form factor just for the sake of it) but the tech specs are all pretty much current absent the 3D touch – I have had a 6S from day one and I can certainly live without the 3D touch and with my watch, I want the smaller phone since it stays in my pocket virtually all the time. And for $250 less than the 64GB 6S – the SE 64GB is perfect to me!

  2. Davey Alba seems surprised that Apple would bring out a smaller sized iPhone. Some of us have felt that it was inevitable. People are using additional mobile devices, such as watches and tablets. If you use an Apple watch for receiving alerts, you keep your iPhone in your pocket. If you use a tablet to view videos or work on large documents, you keep your iPhone in your pocket. If your iPhone is mostly in your pocket, then a smaller one can be much more desirable.

    Alba is also convinced that iPhone sales are levelling off, but seems to be unaware of recent reports suggesting that sales of smartphones in China are higher than previously predicted. When you bear in mind those new sales in China and the initial demand for the iPhone SE, I think that the iPhone sales figures for this quarter could be much better than Apple guided and considerably higher than the figures that analysts have talked about.

  3. Apple now has even more ducks in a row. How expensive is it to keep the 5s form factor production and just change out the innards? No 3D touch because it would add an extra layer inside an older form factor. People complain that once a year isn’t soon enough, even in a pretty saturated market with iPhones that can last easily several years. A cheaper model makes sense in mid year and keeps the big drama on September. Like the iPad…upgrades just aren’t as necessary as they used to, yet Apple is declared doomed when the number don’t grow. As much as I want version 2 of Apple Watch, it makes more sense to have it in full scale production before Christmas rather than during spring break.
    My Apple TV upgrade is wonderful with iCloud photos and videos and speak to search for Youtube. I won’t be watching much Youtube on my iPad any more.

  4. If they make an iPhone 7 SE with the same features as the “Normal” model I’ll definitely have a tough choice…

    I really liked the size of my iPhone 5s and when I upgraded to the 6 I had/have a difficult time reaching the top corners without reachability and that’s just plain annoying…

    For me 3D touch doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal honestly…

    Or the barometer…

  5. And yet with all this technology and raw power, they only release a 16GB & 64GB model.

    Fucking hell Apple… please, please please provide more onboard storage, this is getting ridiculous.

    16GB model is junk to most public. I agree it’s good for enterprise, so why not make an enterprise model with 16GB and give the public what they want – MORE STORAGE.

    1. It’s just barely possible that Apple might have, I don’t know, maybe actual numbers of which configurations sell better than others. If there are peaks in the distribution at 16GB (for the most cost-conscious) and at 64GB, with perhaps 32GB being ordered at lower rates…

      Nah. Not possible. There’s no way they could tell.

    2. I think Apple needs to up their storage too. I take a lot of videos and photos, those take up a lot of memory. I got a 16GB once and hated it. However not everyone is like me, and probably you. I have a friend who deletes his photos soon after he takes them, this has nothing to do with storage size. Makes no sense to me, but a lot of things I do is crazy to him. There is Apple’s want for everything to go to iCloud and basically turning the phone into something we used to call dumb thermals. I can see a need in enterprises for small storage. It’s easier to control what’s on an employees phone when there is not a lot to work with. Of course there is the price factor.

  6. Does anybody know why the iPhone SE announcement was left out of the “Apple events’ app video on the Apple TV?. If you watch it on its about 6min in whereas 6 min into the TVos version you get the HBO Now presentation.

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