Apple’s powerful $399 iPhone SE appeals to budget-conscious buyers

Apple released a small, 4.7-inch iPhone SE priced at $399 on Wednesday, cutting the starting price for the company’s smartphone line in a move to broaden its appeal to budget-conscious customers as the coronavirus hobbles the global economy.

Apple's powerful iPhone SE starts at just $399
Apple’s powerful iPhone SE starts at just $399

Stephen Nellis for Reuters:

The lower-cost model could also attract more consumers to Apple services, a growing driver of revenue.

The iPhone SE will start at $50 less than what was previously the cheapest iPhone available, the iPhone 8, which will be retired. The SE comes with a 4.7-inch display and the same processor chip as Apple’s most advanced phone, the 11 Pro.

The announcement comes as the United States and much of the world is reeling from the novel coronavirus, although U.S. political leaders have begun to talk about ending stay-at-home orders and restarting the economy… Ben Bajarin, principal analyst for consumer market intelligence at Creative Strategies, said that Apple likely realized many customers were buying older models such as the iPhone 8 rather than the newer iPhone 11 Pro at $999, “and a big part of that is probably price.” Those budget-minded iPhone buyers may have been turned off by the iPhone 8’s aging chips and camera.

“Given its price tag, (the iPhone SE) is unlikely to be that impactful for Apple’s financials, but could help widen the installed base, which will be helpful long term for Apple’s services revenue,” said James Cordwell, an analyst with Atlantic Equities.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

Whatever they call it, this “Apple iPhone SE 2” needs to be physically small, with modern cameras and Apple’s top A13 SoC, at a good price. Regardless of whether or not Apple can pull off an edge-to-edge, Home button-free device at a budget price, this iPhone will serve as a gateway into the Apple ecosystem for millions and adding even more fuel to Apple’s burgeoning Services business! — MacDailyNews, January 23, 2020


    1. So? What’s your point? If Apple wants income from the masses, it will have to deliver competitive stuff at competitive prices. If it wants to be an elite fashion house, then it will make less money and continue to have a minor market share.

      Nobody should trust The Cloud, even if Apple wraps its brand around it, removes useful features, and jacks up the price tag. Any company can do that.

  1. I find it somewhat shocking how Tesla is selling $50,000 Model 3s like low-cost hotcakes and Apple seems to be struggling selling high-tech iPhones and now has to resort to selling old tech. It’s hard to wrap my head around Tesla stock rocketing to $1000 a share and yet Apple’s stock value may start falling. What’s wrong with this picture? With all the money Apple has, is it that they can’t build new iPhones that the masses crave?

    Analysts are claiming Tesla is the real trillion-dollar company and Apple is nothing but a fading company. It’s just crazy. Here in NYC, I see plenty of iPhones but very few Teslas and I don’t know of anyone personally that craves owning a Tesla. However, Tesla has somehow become the new Wall Street darling and Apple has become the undesirable ex-GF. Has Elon Musk replaced Steve Jobs as the new reality distortion king? It’s a topsy-turvy CoViD-19 world in NYC. Nothing makes much sense anymore.

    I always found it odd why Apple didn’t pursue battery tech on its own, considering Apple has so many mobile products yet Tesla decided to tackle the problem of designing new battery tech to give itself a battery advantage. There’s the talk about the Tesla secret battery lab and million-mile batteries. Where’s Apple’s 16-hour battery that fully charges in 20 minutes? Just kidding, but you get the picture. Nothing is going right for Apple this year when at the start of the year, Apple seemed to be on a powerful trajectory to the stars. Apple caught a not-so-healthy dose of Coronavirus and that shut Apple down overnight. Oh, well… the year is still young.

  2. It’s a bit much to stomach that this is $399 and £419. I get that the UK has Brexit still to weather but last time I checked the exchange rate was $1.25 to the pound.

    1. US prices are always stated without state & local sales tax – these vary by state or location. UK prices always include 20% VAT. Shipment cost, insurance cost & customs duty (if applicable) are being added to the value of the item first. UK net price is therefore £349 / $435. The price difference is £28.88 / $36. Importers also try to set a price to reduce the risk of exchange rate fluctuations and future price changes.

Reader Feedback

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