Apple discontinues low-end 4-inch iPhone SE, replaces it with a much better ‘budget’ iPhone

“With all the hubbub surrounding the launch of the iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, it was easy to overlook another Apple development: No more iPhone SE,” Rick Broida writes for CNET. “The SE debuted at $399, but was cut to $349 with the arrival of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 last year.”

“Apple’s new ‘low-end’ model is the iPhone 7, which was just cut to $449,” Broida writes. “That’s $200 less than when it debuted two years ago as Apple’s then-flagship.”

“So, how does the iPhone 7 compare with the iPhone SE?” Broida writes. “Fans of the latter will undoubtedly bemoan the former’s larger size and lack of headphone jack… I’d say that in return for an extra half-inch of body length (hardly a pocket-breaker), you get a bigger, brighter screen — one that also supports 3D Touch. And you get the added benefit of a water-resistant design… Other perks include a faster processor and modem and better cameras.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone 7 also offers a significantly better processor (Apple A10 Fusion) vs. the A9 in the iPhone SE. If enough of an audience for tiny 4-inch iPhones existed, Apple would still make tiny 4-inch iPhones.

39 Comments

  1. MDN: “If enough of an audience for tiny 4-inch iPhones existed, Apple would still make tiny 4-inch iPhones.”

    MDN, you take great pride in REPEATEDLY telling us that Apple does not make products that people want. Apple tells people what they should want and makes THOSE products.

    You can’t defend the discontinuation of the headphone jack, the optical drive, the floppy drive, and then claim that discontinuing the reasonably-sized phone is evidence of a lack of customer demand.

    1. I still remember when MDN used to make fun of larger screens that were on android devices and now they talk about how smaller screens are horrible. They can’t make up there mind. At least stand by what you originally posted or admit you were wrong.

    2. I have owned Apple gear since the Apple II+. So, I bought an iPhone 3g, a 4, and a 5. My wife has had a 3gs, 4s, and 5s. A new phone every year.

      When the 6 came out, I trotted straight down to the Apple Store to get one and promptly discovered that I could not use it one-handed. I am 5 ft. 10 in tall and do not have unusually small hands. I could barely reach the left middle of the screen with my right thumb and absolutely could not reach the upper left corner.

      I fairly frequently use my phone when I am carrying something in the other hand, so two-handed use does not work for me. When I am carrying a briefcase, I do not want to put it down every time I need to use my phone. I do not want to risk dropping my dog’s leash in order to check something when we are out walking.

      So, I did not get an iPhone 6, although I was forced to buy a 6s when my old phone died. The SE had not come out yet. I did not keep up my biannual habit and buy a 7, 8, or X. My wife still has her 5s, since her hands really are small and she has arthritis. So Apple lost its chance to sell her a 6s, 7, 8, or X. That’s at least three lost sales to just two people… so far. We both have iPads, so we do not need a huge phone to look at pictures, read books, or watch porn.

      I have not grown to love the size of my phone. It is easier to read or look at pictures, but not to use interactively. Three years of stretching exercises have not enabled my thumb to reach the left side of the screen. I still type an “s” for “a” as often as not. The iPhone Xs screen is even bigger than this, and the Xr is larger still.

      Back when MDN was railing on and on about how people who wanted big screens were mentally defective, I fairly frequently posted to support the notion that customers should have a range of choices, even if I would never use a big phone myself. Apparently those who prefer small screens do not get the same respect.

      The batteries on both our phones are failing, they are years out of date, and Apple has nothing to offer us that we can actually use. It’s a phone, not an f’ing fashion statement. Instead of sympathy, all I am hearing is a variation on the “You’re holding it wrong” blame-the-customer drivel.

      Even GeoB knows better.

      1. Truth be told I was going to compliment your post until I got to the last sentence and changed my mind. You could not help yourself and ruined it by a not so subtle dig mocking my intelligence. How juvenile, tsk, tsk, tsk …

            1. “… I thought he was insinuating you are an idiot.”

              That’s exactly what I thought. As to your insult Mr. Instant Avatar, your opinion of me amounts to ZERO …

      2. now you know how it feels like to be Mac Pro user,

        our complaints are typically met with “STFU you are NICHE, Apple is right to get the products which would generate the most market share and money. Apple knows better to what they can sell. ” etc

        I don’t know how many down votes I’ve got over the years over this at MDN and my response was “Wait Until they Get rid Off or Not Upgrade a Device YOU Depend On”.

        so Apple Consumers Stick together because you never know when it’s YOUR TURN….

        1. Spot on!

          I have no use for most Apple products like iPad, iWatch, iPod, iTV, etc. That leaves only THREE Apple products I own and care deeply about updates and more importantly survival.

          The tally under Cook:
          1. Airport: Cook killed
          2. SE: Cook killed
          3. Mac Pro: No updates for FIVE years come November

          Under Cook, three strikeouts so far. Under Steve, batting 1000. Fingers crossed though, the best Mac Pro ever is reversed and on the way.

          The least important concern for me is downvotes. When you speak the truth it naturally comes with the territory. Also, they are far from honest and NOT 100% pure. They can be seriously manipulated and faked by nefarious characters. In the journalism world professional pollsters call polls/votes such as this we have on WordPress UNSCIENTIFIC.

          Apple fanboys here wonder why some people gripe. To the blind and brainless — we EARNED it!

          Per ProUser call to arms — solidarity guys and gals …

    3. MDN is not wrong here. Apple doesn’t tell people what they want, they figure out what people actually value, as opposed to what they say they want. People will always think they want more options; a separate port for music, an optical drive for CDs and DVDs, the more ports the better. But Apple figures out what really matters, and makes a compelling product based on those features.

      If you go on vacation somewhere you’ve never been before, you might be tempted to pack everything from winter clothes to beach wear, but Apple is offering luggage that you will enjoy carrying around, and still provide great utility.

      People choose Apple products because they over-deliver on the features they care about most. A four-inch phone might be a nice to have for many, and even really important for some, but in the end people vote with their wallets, and Apple probably didn’t sell enough to warrant continued development on a product people weren’t choosing.

      1. I’ve been asking for an updated SE for months now just like countless others here.

        “but in the end people vote with their wallets, and Apple probably didn’t sell enough to warrant continued development on a product people weren’t choosing.”

        Probably? Wish we had the numbers. For the sake of argument let’s say the SE was the lowest seller of older iPhones. Well if they sell millions, so what? Money in the bank and little effort to upgrade for a niche audience. The Mac Pro is mother example, but in that scenario the MOST PROFIT of any product.

        Cook continues to kill products that people want and have used for decades and no doubt, don’t know how many, are leaving Apple.

        Indefensible…

      2. Daniel, how would Apple know that people wouldn’t choose a relatively up-to-date four-inch phone? All they had available in mid-2018 was a device with (mostly) 2015 components in a 2012 package. They weren’t selling well—if they weren’t—because they were (1) obsolescent technology (2) in a 6-year-old design (3) offered to people who already had an SE, iPhone 5s, or Android device and weren’t anxious to replace one old phone with another. That says nothing about the sales potential of the rumored SE2 with iPhone 8 components in an updated package.

        1. I am also looking to replace my SE. Was hoping for an SE sized Xs. But no, they offer, instead, two huge, ‘old tech’ phones nearly the size of an iPad mini.

          What would have been wrong with an SE sized phone (an XR) with a 5″ diagonal screen, an Xs with a 5.8, an XR with a 6.1 AND an Sx MAX? ( or skip the XR in the middle?)

  2. At one time Apple fans looked down their noses at anything larger than 4″ and righteously justified the smaller size and the larger Android phones as gauche – mainly because the larger sizes were not yet available.

    My how things have changed with most now looking down their noses at the “tiny” 4″ phones they once fervently stood by.

  3. My wifed has an SE and it is the only size she wants because of her smallish hands. It’s called comfort. Word is that the President also has small hands . . .

    We also got another SE to replace the landline because ATT had a low price – $120. Kept the same number that the family has had since 1958 and save $40 a month.

    The SE is also a good competitor at the lower end of the market. Anything that gets someone into the Apple environment is worthwhile. Pity it’s out – for a while at least.

  4. What a feckless comment by MDN. I guess there’s no market for a Mac Pro. Or an updated Mac Mini.

    My wife is going to go Android after her SE dies. She wont get the iPhone again because of the larger size.

    Apple lost one customer. I know one more person at work who will do the same. Or not do as the case may be (buy an iPhone).

    1. This is not a dig, but good luck finding a small (usable) Android phone when your wife replaces her SE. My wife switched to the iPhone SE because there were no Android phones at a similar size to her old one without paying a huge premium — and those were older, soon-to-be-discontinued models as well.

  5. I believe there are enough people out there that will buy the small form factor phone.

    The debut original was the smallest of all, smaller than SE and there are many more years than not in iPhone history that featured small phones — until now.

    Disappointed with Apple not listening to its customers and MDN as well. R.I.P. SE my favorite of ALL TIME… 😢

  6. Ironically enough, my brand new iPhone SE 32 GB just arrive today. I’ve set it up and I’m having a blast with it. I also have an 8+, but I’m getting sick of large phones.

    I know Apple is going in the direction of giant phones, but I missed something I could hold in one hand and easily use. I hope they make a new iPhone SE or other smaller phone in the future. Until then I’ve got this iPhone SE, and I’m not letting it go.

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