Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE still seeing strong demand

“I have been tracking Apple’s iPhone SE lead-times since March 30, the day before they became available,” Chuck Jones writes for Forbes. “While lead-times are not an exact science to determine demand and won’t resolve the difference of opinion on how it is doing, I believe it is worthwhile to see how they change until they get down to one day.”

“SE lead-times have stabilized at 2 to 3 weeks,” Jones writes. “At the 4 week mark post launch the iPhone SE’s 2 to 3 week lead-times in the US and China are the same as the iPhone 5s (which didn’t improve until about 7 ½ weeks post launch). The iPhone 6 was at 7 to 10 business days in the US while the 6 Plus was at 3 to 4 weeks. For the iPhone 6s it was at 3 to 5 business days at 2 weeks with most of the 6s Plus models at 2 to 3 weeks.”

Apple's new 4-inch iPhone SE
Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone SE

Jones writes, “Overall I agree with Tim Cook that the SE expands the company’s ecosystem and is positive in the short and especially long run.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 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

iPhone SE: Apple has surprising hit product on their hands – April 28, 2016
iPhone SE squeezing market share from Chinese phone makers – April 21, 2016
One month in and Apple’s iPhone SE is almost… magic – April 18, 2016
Ars Technica reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: An apology to big-phone haters everywhere – April 6, 2016
iPhone SE event led to website traffic spike in China and India – April 5, 2016
Daring Fireball’s Gruber reviews iPhone SE: ‘Feels the best in hand’ – April 1, 2016
Macworld reviews iPhone SE: ‘It’s a pocket-size powerhouse’ – March 31, 2016
TIME reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: ‘The perfect smaller smartphone’ – March 30, 2016
Mossberg: Understanding Apple’s iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro – March 30, 2016
Wired reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: You’ll use it differently – March 29, 2016
USA Today’s Baig: Apple’s iPhone SE is like a cute, adorable baby – March 24, 2016
The Daily Mail reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: The ‘perfect first time iPhone’ – March 24, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: ‘Smaller gets smarter with better battery life to boot’ – March 24, 2016
Apple tries to stimulate growth with the powerful 4‑inch iPhone SE – March 23, 2016
Why the tiny 4-inch iPhone SE will be a gigantic hit for Apple – March 22, 2016
Apple just put a Mac mini in your pocket (with keyboard and screen) – March 22, 2016
Apple’s got millions of reasons to make the smaller iPhone SE – March 22, 2016
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. Some articles say iPhone SE sales are good and other articles say sales are poor. I don’t know who to believe. Apple’s overall performance screams SE sales are very poor but that probably doesn’t indicate anything factual either. Apple never mentioned what their sales goal was for the iPhone SE so everything pretty much remains vague.

    1. Instead of averaging the articles, try doing your own research, starting with believing Apple’s own guidance, which is historically more realistic than analyst fantasies, and listening to conference call remarks from Apple CEO Cook and CFO Maestri. They are inside sources, not cockups, and after correcting for the PR gloss you should have an idea, uncorrupted by shadowy competing forces fuelling a FUD machine, whether or not you should jump ship like the rest of the rats, or have faith in the captain and crew, regardless of ominous weather conditions.

    2. Your confusion is more than justified. Most, if not all, Apple writers are idiots trying to make a living generating hits for their publisher.

      The only thing that really matters, more so than any bodies gues as to iPhone unit sales, is management’s guidance. Historically Apple reports within a couple percentage of that guidance. But what will drive AAPL after July earnings report won’t be how Apple performed during the June quarter, but how management guides for the September quarter. In other words pay attention to what management thinks, they know more than anyone else as to how Apple is going to perform.

    3. I swapped my 6 for an SE. Camera is very nice, though still nothing like a DSLR. In day to day usage, OS performance seems comparable to the 6. Much happier with the overall fit in both hand and pocket, the fact that there’s no longer any need to do anything with two hands. also, and this is nothing new, the sharper corners of the SE make it an easier hold than that of the soap bar like corners on the 6. Just my 2¢, but overall very happy to be back with the SE form factor. here’s hoping they continue to offer this size when Apple releases a 7.

    4. So Saturday morning one of the pins fell out of my iPhone 5S’ lightning port. So I replaced it with a new SE. Something I’m not happy about because the storage is still capped at the 64gb I got with my 2012 iPhone 5. I would have happily paid for 128gb or 256gb.

  2. The SE like the 5C is Apple’s attempt to squeeze the competition from the top down. It will work and the SE is good since it contains most of the tech advances in the 6S.
    The next step will be to wait and see how this is adopted in countries like India and other emerging countries.
    The SE is akin to the iPod mini which effectively wiped out the music play competition.
    After that the decision will be whether to make another even low priced phone to enter the low cost market to really put the boot in.

    1. If ever there was a time for Apple to make a play to increase market share, this is it. I believe they were protecting their industry-high margins all this time, but the benefit of that has faded: Wall Street doesn’t give a shit. But now, starting with the SE model, Apple can plough under the middle of the market and entice the low end with intriguing features: Wall Street analysts tend to have orgasms over such lucrative prospects.

      I believe this is Tim Cook’s newest strategy, now that he’s mastered the high end of the market; and I expect the success of the SE model to drive their prices even lower, threatening competitors like Xiaomi. Cook knew screen size was a fad and when it wore off he had an answer ready.

      No rational person can believe that Apple, with its commanding presence in the components markets, would fail if it chose to eat all its competitors in a winner-take-all game.

      1. Frankly, I don’t believe Apple is capable of winning a winner-take-all game. Apple is great at dominating the high-end, high-margin market. However, they have never shown an ability to compete in the more commoditized (low to middle-end) of the market.
        The dynamics are changing. As Apple’s phone (and computer) now begin to lag behind the competition in features, they too are becoming commodities. There will be more downward price pressure and Apple will be forced to reduce prices or lose sales — neither of which can be tolerated in the Apple model.
        This is the elephant in the room that Wall Street sees. Will Tim Cook see it and make the necessary adjustment (if they are even possible)? Or maybe he’ll be off pursuing his other agendas.

        1. Apple hasn’t shown an ability to compete in the commoditized market for a very good reason: they choose to not play there.

          This is nothing new, it’s been company policy (with some very brief exceptions) for the past 35+ years.

          1. Yeah, but when that’s all that is left, what is Apple going to do?

            This is what Apple had when they almost went broke.

            Apple’s phones and computers lack leading features. Tim Cook is screwing up.

            1. No. Please look at the iPod as an example to what Apple will do next. Once they dominate the top end, they begin to push down, not by building cheap commodity product, but highly target, profitable product, like the Shuffle or the iPod nano. This allowed them to lock down the music player market to about 60% of the market.

              Second, you would be correct about the commodity pricing that almost drove Apple down and out, but they learned on how to beat this. Apple now buys their products a year or two in advance, and they buy it in the millions, spending billions. This gives them the ability to buy at bulk pricing, which is how they can now compete more effectively against the commodity pricing. And here is where you have it wrong. Apple has room to go lower in pricing, while those in the commodity market, cannot. The only way that can get those pricing lower is by buying inferior or cheaply made parts, which don’t last long, or buy in bulk like Apple does. The only problem is that Apple locks up those parts ahead of time by buying them early.

              As to iPhone SE, I don’t ever believed Apple planned to leave that size screen market. There is always a desire for smaller and thinner products. I think in the years to come there will be iPhones that just makes calls, maybe by Siri only. Then the mid tier phone, which we see the SE fill in, and then of course whatever is their high end phone.

              One final note, if the parts that Apple purchase, don’t get used for iPhones, they are then put in their other products, like AppleTV, or iPods, so you see, even when they gamble in advance, they have a place to sell off their “excess” inventory. Everyone else, not so much.

            2. You beat me to the iPod explanation. Very valid example. As Apple perfects the process on the high end, they then can create a mid level product that is still quality made and makes a decent profit.

              I expect down the road another iPhone that is even smaller or missing a few expensive features that will not matter for the entry level person. That will really put the hurt on the mid to low end phones.

              Just like the iPod did.

        2. Racing to the bottom is never a good idea. NEVER!!!

          Sell more and lose money on every one is only good for bragging rights and stock boost. It does nothing to make a good product

    2. Is the 6S worth $250 more than the SE? I don’t think so. I’m looking for a $100 price reduction of the large format iPhone “7” in September. With a move like that Apple maintains margins on weakness in the commodity market, and Apple sits alone as the only profitable smartphone maker.

  3. There’s no way the SE is part of any race to the bottom, or even the middle. It’s a premium featured normal sized smartphone, and, what’s more, I get to keep all the accessories I already have to my now retired 5. Win win.

  4. Of course there’s a “strong demand”! The SE is my next phone (once my 5s really get’s plumpy) and i’m not the sole to have been waiting for a 4″ iPhone to come along again.

  5. In related news, Intel has abandoned the Atom CPU. I get to smugly dance around and say: Told you so! The Atom was a failure from the start and is now dead, thanks to ARM-based cpus from most particularly Apple and Qualcomm. I’m all smug and stuff because I recall a heated flame war here about the Atom chip several months back. Ha ha. I win. 😛

    – – Setting aside my silliness, the point is that the CISC x86 chip architecture is indeed in decay and the RISC based CPU architecture is at last taking over, as it should have decades ago. This is likely to result in the gradual fading out of what we call Macintosh computers and the continued ascent of RISC based Apple computers. It’s going to be interesting.

  6. Everyone needs to take a step back and remember when the first iPhone came out.

    When Apple started with the iPhone, they were going to battle with how many “huge companies around the world”? Do you think those companies were/are going to stand around and do nothing while they lose market share and potentially go bankrupt? Hell no.

    Other than actually making a compelling product, many have gone the route of FUD, slanted reviews, slanted reporters, fake stories, fake reviews and most likely, an unending flood of “Apple is doomed” rumors/stories.

    So, I take most crap I read online with a large grain of salt because likely it was written with some anti-Apple agenda.

  7. The problem with the narrative is that too many are seeing the SE as a 5C replacement. It isn’t. It’s a smaller 6S, with only a couple of small compromises to allow the components to fit in the smaller shell. As such, of course it’s going to sell well. It’s up to date hardware in a form factor that a large portion of iPhone users have been crying out for Apple to update.

    I bought one the first day they were available. I’m so glad I waited using a 4S until this phone came out. It’s everything I wanted, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

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