Last night, Apple introduced the iPhone SE, which is essentially an updated iPhone 5S. This isn’t the first time Apple has shown an inclination towards more affordable handset. Earlier the Cupertino giant laid forth a similar experiment called the polycarbonate iPhone 5c, but that too miserably failed globally. The iPhone SE repeats the same mistakes.
The iPhone 5c which launched alongside iPhone 5s wasn’t cheap as expected. People didn’t shell out 40K for a polycarbonate iPhone, and I doubt many would be interested to pay 39K for something that features a design first introduced in 2012 with iPhone 5. Especially when iPhone 6 is selling for a lot lesser and also because the new iPhone SE is skimping on features.
What are design differences between iPhone 5s and iPhone SE?
Apple did mention that there are some subtle design differences it has made to iPhone SE. Firstly the Apple logo is etched in steel. Secondly, the side chamfered edges are matte finish. That’s it.
While we are yet to have a look at iPhone SE in person, I doubt these changes would make iPhone SE any compelling. We would rather have an iPhone 6 like design on a smaller 4-inch display phone. Just a few months down the line, iPhone 7 will bring a refreshed design and then iPhone SE will feel even more archaic than it does today.
Not everyone likes a big phone argument?
Apple says there is a big market for smaller phones and many people are still clinging to the 4-inch size. For such users, iPhone SE brings the latest iPhone 6s hardware in a smaller casing. The new iPhone SE has the latest A9 Chip with M9 co-processor, is twice has faster, has three times better graphics performance, and has the latest 12MP iSight camera.
However, the star feature of iPhone 6s, the 3D touch is missing. Also, initial reviews assert that Apple is using the slower touch ID from iPhone 5s and not the faster, more convenient one present on iPhone 6s. The display and FaceTime camera are exactly the same Apple used on iPhone 5s couple of years back.
If size was the only constraint holding a potential market back, then it makes no sense to sacrifice these features to accommodate a lower price. Why not deliver a fully potent and refreshed 4-inch iPhone? In a way, this even makes it unfit even for markets like US. Apple will be launching iPhone SE in 110 markets very soon, which is to say it is indeed hankering for a bigger piece of pie in emerging markets. For now, more than a phone meant for people who like smaller display size, iPhone SE is a phone trying to tap a lower price market without being all that affordable.