Apple revealed the iPhone SE to the world on March 21 and to be honest, it wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone. It had been widely rumoured and expected. Many people were underwhelmed, but it is an important handset.
The company started with just a single smartphone, the iPhone, and it was updated each year. You could either buy this year’s model or last year’s. The range was lacking breadth.
Apple dabbled with different models and one year produced the iPhone 5c with different coloured backs, but it was hardly new or different.
It wasn’t until the iPhone 6 that Apple actually had an up-to-date range of phones to offer people. Two models, two sizes and two different prices. Two phones is not exactly a comprehensive range, but it is better than just one current phone or the option of buying an old model.
One reason why the iPhone SE is so important is that it expands the range of models to three. That is three with the latest specification, not one or two plus some old and dated models. The SE has almost the same specifications as the current 6s.
Apple now has three different size phones and this broadens the appeal of the range. You can choose from a 4in, 4.7in and 5.5in model. Gone are the days when there was one size and if you didn’t like it then tough luck. Now you have a choice and this is great news.
Big phones have become very popular with a lot of people, but not with everyone and a few people still prefer a small model. They are probably people that use the phone as, well, a phone. Those that go for big screens want a mini tablet that fits in their pocket and they use lots of apps. The SE therefore appeals to a different market sector than the 6s or 6s Plus.
For years there has been speculation that Apple would bring out a cheap iPhone. Well now it has, the iPhone SE. The SE is just £359 unlocked with no contract here in the UK, whereas the 6s is £539. The SE is therefore £180 cheaper than the current iPhone 6s and is still £100 cheaper than the much older 6.
The iPhone SE is the cheap iPhone lots of people have been waiting for. It is not a cut down, low specification model and apart from the screen, which is obviously smaller at 4in (the contrast is lower too, 800:1 compared to 1400:1), it is technically almost the same specification as the more expensive models.
Check out the comparison of iPhone SE and 6s models and the SE doesn’t lack much. Apart from the 4in screen, it doesn’t have 3D Touch and there is no barometer, but do you need them when it has everything else?
The specification is surprisingly good for such a cheap phone and it has a 12 megapixel camera, live photos and 4k video recoring, fingerprint reader, Apple Pay, True Tone flash and more.
Apple does not give sales figures for iPhone models, but the total sales last year were over 200 million. It is thought that about 30 million were older models with 4in screens that the SE now replaces. That’s not a lot compared to the 6, 6s and Plus models, but it is still a lot of phones.
The iPhone SE is perfect for people who like small phones and people on a budget. You can have the latest iPhone technology for a bargain price. Having a cheap iPhone in the range will help enormously in emerging markets where top end phones are just too expensive.
The iPhone is no longer just for rich people and that’s a good thing.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 23 March 2016