Imagining a mid-range iPhone: The iPhone SE is never coming back, but its spirit should live on

Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE is never coming back, but its spirit should live on in a new, more affordable iPhone, Jason Cross writes for Macworld:

Apple makes the best phones it can, prices them such that the company makes a healthy profit, and if that’s too expensive, you can just buy last year’s model…or the one before that.

There’s a constant simmering furor from those who lament the passing of the iPhone SE. A large contingent of prospective iPhone buyers would be happy for a new SE, that follows the same formula: cram last-year’s hardware into some old design, preferably as small as possible, and sell it at a discounted price. Some may argue that the iPhone XR (and whatever this year’s replacement will be) makes the SE obsolete, but at a starting price of $749 and with a screen size over six inches, I think there’s plenty of room in the lineup for a new iPhone that sits well beneath it.

MacDailyNews Take: According to none other than Ming-Chi Kuo, in 2020, Apple will sell three new 5G iPhones featuring 5.4-, 6.1-, and 6.7-inch OLED displays. That 5.4-inch display should fit in quite the compact iPhone body, satisfying many who’d like a smaller one-handed iPhone than even the current 5.8-inch iPhone XS. Although we expect the 2020 5.4-inch iPhone will be premium-priced.

As Apple follows their playbook of selling older models at a discount, the 5.4-inch unit will become this “mid-range iPhone” in 2021. For the intervening time period, we’ll have to wait to see how Apple prices this and next year’s batch of iPhones.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

11 Comments

    1. Me too, I guess at some stage I will have a hard decision to make but at this rate not for at least 2 years. Then I will check what’s around at the time, Apple or otherwise and how affordable the Various choices are. MDN won’t miss us as they have already, on many occasions deemed we apparent skinflints no matter how long we have been customers, are valueless to Apple, it will be interesting to see if Apple itself agrees with them.

  1. This sucks. Really! For me the ‘SE’ is about its smaller physical size – not its price point. Also it is about the rounded edges, that really is both ugly and impractical. And a little bit about moving the sleep/wake button form the top to the side.

  2. On Apple’s US website is the following lineup, roughly stated in terms of family and age:

    iPhone 5E
    iPhone 6, 6S, 6+, and 6S+
    iPhone 7, 7+
    iPhone 8, 8+
    iPhone X, XS, XS Max
    iPhone XR

    That’s a total of 13 major models not counting the color and memory options for each one. This is absurd.

    A sane company would cull the weak from the herd and offer older phones only in low-price emerging markets, and the latest best lineup in first world markets:

    iPhone 4.5″ to replace the antique SE
    iPhone 5.0″ to replace the 6, 7, 8 series
    iPhone 6.0″ to replace the Plus and XR series
    iPhone 6.5″ to replace the X Max

    Update half the lineup every 2 years so every year there is a new model, instead of attempting to sell old phones well past their freshness date. All phones must have at least 64GB memory and higher memory options available without the usual Apple price rape. Also importantly: stop with the alphabet soup naming convention.

  3. I’d pay $1000 for a new updated SE sized iPhone
    It’s NOT about price, it’s about SIZE
    If apple isn’t going to make one, I’ll go somewhere else
    Game over

  4. My SE got squashed by a truck, so I replaced it with an XR.
    The XR is a fine phone, but it’s too big and far too heavy to be ideal.
    Sooo… a smaller iPhone next time round please Apple.

  5. Who says there’s no iPhone “SE2”? I think 4-inch iPhone is directly related to iPod touch in design, going back to iPhone 5 (A6) released concurrently with iPod touch 5th gen (A5). Then, iPod touch 6th gen (A8) released late 2015, followed by iPhone SE (A9) early 2016. Recently, the surprising iPod touch 7th gen (A10 Fusion) released a few months ago. It would not be surprising if upgraded iPhone SE (A12 Bionic) gets released within a few months.

    Also recently, new iPad mini released; it runs A12 Bionic. It has old-school Home button (Touch ID). A new iPhone SE model would likely also have Home button and hopefully headphones jack. Apple needs a NEW low-cost iPhone model in lineup that is actually low-cost. Apple just released new low-cost iPad mini and iPod touch that are externally identical to previous models. Why not a new version of iPhone SE too? I don’t think new iPod touch even exists, if there isn’t new iPhone SE planned, soon to be released.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.