The new 4.7-inch iPhone SE marks the end of Apple’s tiny iPhone era

Four years after launching the original 4-inch iPhone SE, Apple last month unveiled the new iPhone SE – with a 4.7-inch display, marking the end of Apple’s tiny iPhone era.

Tiny iPhone. Image: iPhone SE (2020)
Apple’s new A13 Bionic-powered 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2020) starts at just US$399

Sareena Dayaram for CNET:

The iPhone SE, which looks like an iPhone 8 but features the iPhone 11’s powerful A13 chipset, uses a 4.7-inch display.

Apple claims that it’s a “small” phone. And it is the smallest (and cheapest) iPhone currently available in Apple’s lineup. It’s also relatively compact by today’s phone standards… But at 4.7 inches, the 2020 iPhone SE is roughly 20% larger than the original iPhone SE, which had a 4-inch screen.

If you were holding out for something truly tiny, the iPhone SE 2020 doesn’t deliver on that front. Apple’s decision to not build a brand-new 4-inch phone is telling. It signals that the company will probably never bring back the tiny iPhone, no matter how badly people crave it.

Personally, I’m all for it. Because we’re in 2020 and I want a big phone. And because large screens simply deliver a better, more immersive user experience. For me, “portability” takes a backseat compared to those benefits… I used to adore my 4.7-inch iPhone 8, which I clung onto for years. I loved how it was purse-friendly and fairly effortless to use with one hand. But when I upgraded to the 5.8-inch iPhone X in 2018, it’s been almost punishing to go back to anything smaller.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup. In general, the only people who still think they want a 4-inch iPhone are those who do not yet own a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.MacDailyNews Take, December 5, 2014

If there were enough of a market for it and enough profit in it, Apple would have up-to-date 4-inch X-class [Home button-free] iPhones in gold, silver, and space grey on store shelves right now.MacDailyNews, January 25, 2019

14 Comments

          1. No, it was when Android phones started appearing in 5 and 5.7 inch sizes. MDN stated at the time that no one wanted to carry phones that big, and that the oversized phones were doomed to failure.

  1. I think there are (probably quite a few) customers who do most of their computing on iPad (and/or Mac). They just want a small affordable iPhone to carry around. The new iPhone SE fills this need nicely, but even smaller would be nicer for me. FYI, there is still a new iOS product with 4-inch screen, the current iPod touch (starting at $199), which I consider to be “iPad nano.” So 4-inch screens will still be supported at least through 2 more iOS releases.

    I just bought the OLD iPhone SE (with A9). Used, third-party refurb, looks new. It cost me $109 for 64GB model, less than 1/3rd cost of even the new lower-cost iPhone SE. Runs current iOS and expected to run next iOS. Feels fast and has great 12MP camera. My previous was iPhone 5S, so my old cases still fit.

    AND there will be another iPhone that is at least as small as current iPhone SE physically, but it’ll have a larger edge-to-edge screen (no Home button).

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