Why the 4-inch iPhone SE is Apple’s weakest link

“Ahead of the anticipated launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September, it’s worth remembering these will not be the first new iPhone models released this year,” Ewan Spence writes for Forbes.

“March saw the lower priced iPhone SE revealed by Tim Cook and his team. While various iPhones have been targeted further down the price portfolio (notably the iPhone 5C), the SE is the handset that has managed to not only reach that price point but also be accepted by the press and the public,” Spence writes. “That combination has increased the impact of the SE on Apple’s ecosystem, and it points towards Apple’s future in the hardware market.”

“In the old way of things, the iPhone SE is the weak point. If Cook is correct, that weak point is going to be transformed into the fulcrum that will drive Apple forward over the next few years,” Spence writes. “If he has misjudged it, then the iPhone SE is the signpost to a long, slow descent from the financial peak it currently occupies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Interesting, but overwrought and based upon a faulty premise. Beware anyone who seems to believe and base their theories on the “iPhone 7 will be boring and therefore not sell well” meme. Before too long, they will be proven very wrong.


  1. The original article seems to contradict itself and certainly lacks focus.

    As we all expected, for ages analysts have urged Apple to release a cheaper iPhone and now that they have, we’re seeing reports that the ASP for iPhones is going down, which is something that most of us realised beforehand and we also predicted that analysts would latch onto as a sign of imminent Apple doom.

    The iPhone SE is positioned in a spot in the marketplace that puts it pretty well alone for the moment. There are virtually no smaller screen Android phones with a high specification. My hunch is that the market for a small iPhone has turned out to be bigger than expected and the fact that supply still hasn’t completely caught up with demand is a very encouraging sign.

    I’d like to think that from now on, Apple will release new iPhones in small, standard and large sizes, each with similar performance. Obviously a smaller phone has a smaller screen, which simplifies the task of moving the pixels around, which in turn means that it doesn’t need such an awesome CPU and will therefore draw less power, so the battery needs are diminished, but other then the screen, CPU, battery and probably the camera too, most other parts will be pretty much the same, so there isn’t much prospect of having a drastically cheaper model unless Apple decided to introduce a special lower cost model, probably using technology that wasn’t still cutting edge. On one hand the SE makes that less likely, but on the other hand, if the SE is selling tremendously well, it makes a compelling argument to consider having an even lower cost model.

      1. Besides, that smaller phone has nothing to do with the ignorant premise the articles’ author uses; the margins on it are Apple-level, not going away from the “financial peak”.

  2. And here am just about to get an iPhone SE to replace my 5s.

    Why? Looks good, size good, camera good, chip and functionality good.

    And… its flat sides mean I can shoot rock-steady video on the quiet, just by placing it on a convenient flat surface.

    1. Good, not great. Get an iPhone 6S and a case and you will enjoy a superior phone, camera, battery life, and overall performance.

      The only thing the iPhone 5E does is offer cheap buyers a discount on old hardware.

  3. The giant screens always seemed gauche to me. With a case, they became even more unwieldy. So, I hung on to my iPhone 4s, fearing a future of increasingly gargantuan mobile offerings, reminiscent of the 1960s Detroit tail-fin wars.

    Apple took long enough, but finally returned to sweet form with the iPhone SE this year. And just in time! — since my iPhone 4s won’t run the forthcoming iOS 10, and I don’t fancy carrying a bigger unit.

    Siri 2.0 with persistent memory and API hookups to my favourite apps is the killer feature. I already use the iPhone mostly as a walkie-talkie with my assistant Siri on the other end; for me at least, she is close to becoming the UI and the UX.

    The 2.0 upgrade presages an emergent Siri, one with enough depth to simulate an actual relationship. She needs to remember things about me, not treat me as a random caller each time I summon her.

    I expect the developer community to jump on the opportunity to make her not just a more useful companion, but an irresistable one.

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