iPhone SE: Apple has surprising hit product on their hands

“The thing about Apple’s financial results is that they lag a month behind reality, so the hottest just-released new products often have little or no impact in the first quarterly report after their release,” jason Snell writes for Macworld. “All of the products Apple introduced on March 21 began shipping on March 31, while Apple’s fiscal second quarter ended March 26. So if you’re looking for a sign that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro or the iPhone SE is doing well in the numbers, you won’t find them.”

“But it’s not all about the numbers. Sometimes it’s about the forecast for next quarter, tidbits of information that Apple executives let out in interviews or during their quarterly conference call with analysts,” Snell writes. “And on Tuesday we got a hint that Apple has a surprising hit product on its hands: the iPhone SE.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s not that surprising since, with the iPhone 5c, people clearly didn’t want the old tech Apple were selling.

Over a year ago, in March 2015, we ran the following poll regarding a 4-inch iPhone and found:

4-inch iPhone MacDailyNews poll

From Apple’s Q216 Conference call with analysts:

iPhone SE became available on March 31, so none of it sales were reflected in our second quarter results, but so far this quarter we’re seeing terrific customer response. iPhone SE is the most powerful phones found ever, and it’s a great option of customers all over the world who want a compact phone with advanced features in a great price without compromising performance. Demand has been very strong and exceed supply at this point, but we are working hard to get the iPhone SE into the hands of every customer who wants this phone as quickly as possible. The addition of the iPhone SE in the iPhone line up places us in a better strategic position to attract even more customers into our eco-system. — Apple CFO Luca Maestri

[With] the iPhone SE we are 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. — Apple CEO Tim Cook


  1. And there could be a market for an even smaller phone!

    My SE is wonderful. Compared to my old 5 this thing screams, and the photography is beautiful. No hesitation. No wait. Clear images. Super videos. And the playbacks when I show the videos to people is instantaneous. Those I show it to comment on how they might trade in their 6/6s for the smaller SE.

    Thanks APPLE for listening.

    1. Bought two; they’re close to an ideal mix of including features I want and excluding flagship features I don’t need.

      I hope the fact that Apple was surprised by the demand causes them to rethink the demand for more differentiated products, i.e. “Pro” products that aren’t anorexic and overstyled at the expense of functionality.

    2. This is what happens when you price a product fairly, instead of trying to gouge the consumer for profit. Combine this with the end of carrier subsidizing phones and you’ve got a hit. It’s all about the price point. Oh and the iPhone SE in pink is gorgeous.

      Apple used to REDUCE the price on things as technology allowed them to. It’s nice to see them go back to that.

  2. Don’t know why this is surprising. Apple does need to expand its size options for phones to put more pressure on the competition and start owning the mid range market

  3. The only surprise for some of us is that it didn’t happen sooner. There are many of us who prefer a smaller form factor for phones and I think that the iPhone SE will wake people up to the idea that a small iPhone can still be as powerful as a large one, but more convenient to carry around.

    What Apple has done is to offer small iPhones that are very similarly specced to their flagship phones. Previously most small smartphones were entry level, with low specifications.

    1. The fact Apple ignored the 4-inch iPhone market for years is not a sign of brilliance. Apple (i.e. Tim Cook) could have and should have understood that millions of people preferred the smaller iPhone. Again, even when Apple succeeds, Tim Cook shows that he is out of touch. You are a hour late and a dollar short, Tim. Please do Apple a favor and go away.

  4. oh yeah, iphone SE, the savior. its such a super duper hit that if only, we could count it towards the 2nd quarter AAPL stock would be at 115. Guess what if iphone SE could save AAPL then it would have done so via the guidance for the next quarter.

  5. One of the reasons its a hit is because it *doesnt* have force touch. The truth is force touch SUCKS and makes the iphone worse. Scrolling now is a pain in the @ss bc force touch wants to copy everything. Truth.

  6. Some of the critics have ridiculed Apple for this ‘filler’ policy that SJ so disliked and in place of innovative new products, but they have to realise that it’s a necessary and belated move to make the most of their existing product range as the opportunities for exploiting new ‘instant hit’ product ranges is increasingly limited, at least shorter term. I’m more concerned about the lack of commitment to pushing the boundaries of the Supposedly cutting edge Products in both computers and phones. The new MacBook is really what it should have been upon launch, not to mention a less confusing position in the overall laptop range would be desirable (who thought that would still be the case a year later) and that overhang on the phones is really getting to be embarrassing now, compared to its competitors. Yet no one seems to care in the development labs at Apple. Old school and traditional is NOT what the company is supposed to be surely.

  7. I like my SE but I have some problems with it:

    The screen is too small. Is it too much to ask for Apple to make a phone with a larger screen? It’s 2016.

    No 3D Touch. Why isn’t Apple including that technology?

    The squared-off edges are uncomfortable. Rounded edges would be so much better.

    It’s too expensive.

    If Apple could address those problems, they’d have a perfect phone.

  8. For me the SE is almost perfect, the mature one-handed smartphone form factor, with amazing performance and without trashy, Androidy, bling. The industrial design and engineering to shrink the 6S hardware without leaving anything important out is outstanding. I suspect the SE box will go through many further internal upgrades, but I cannot see how the format can be usefully improved.

    Apple did misread the huge pent-up demand from those who didn’t want a micro-tablet, and had passed on the 6’s: I had passed on the 5’s as well, since I didn’t see the compelling margin from my 4c (and it’s now happily with my daughter who suffers poor rural signal and will not be using it for streaming or gaming).

    More to the point, why are the analysts fixated on the lower margins and cost of the 16GB entry level model?
    Outside emerging markets I would bet that demand is primarily for the 64GB – brilliant Apple move to omit a 32GB – which with the “cost” of the extra memory undercuts nothing and will sustain ASP and margins very healthily.

    IIRC Apple have in any case already said that they want to send lots of refurbs to India, partly at least because the networks there are mainly 2G and cannot actually make use of the power of the latest generation models. Latin America may eat up the 16GB SE, but I’m not sure how well it will sell in reality even outside N America and Europe.

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