Why the iPhone SE will appeal to new smartphone users

Posted:
in iPhone
Although long-time iPhone owners might wonder what the fuss is, Apple's iPhone SE is carefully calculated to attract people who may have never even owned a smartphone before.




The first draw, naturally, is price. At $399 for a 16-gigabyte model, it's still not cheap -- mid-tier Android phones like the Nexus 5X are less expensive. Yet for people who want to go the Apple route, that's $250 less than an iPhone 6s, while retaining many of the same features. If you go with carrier financing the device becomes even more palatable, starting at about $13.30 per month.

These are U.S. prices, but even so lowering costs may be enough to grow the iPhone's footprint in countries like China and India, where smartphones are still a luxury relatively few people can afford.

Where people have the money, the SE offers a unique proposition: an entry-level smartphone which doesn't make major sacrifices. The device has the same A9 processor as the iPhone 6s, and even the same 12-megapixel camera, along with Apple Pay support. The only serious drawbacks are a 4-inch display and a lack of 3D Touch, which may not matter to some people.

Indeed, many people prefer smaller phones, and newcomers may not care that bigger screens are available -- at least initially. This group could include children and teens, if just when their parents are rich enough to splurge on a state-of-the-art iPhone.

Because the SE isn't crippled in the performance department, its pricetag may also be more tempting than previous "budget" iPhones in terms of longevity. Until now, low-cost iPhones have only been older units kept on sale, or repackaged and slightly tweaked as with the iPhone 5c. Apple appears to be acknowledging, finally, that people are apprehensive about buying a device that could become slow or under-supported just a year or two later. A premium price is easier to swallow with premium specs.

The iPhone SE was announced on Monday at a special press event. Preorders start Thursday, March 24, though the product will only ship March 31.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    davendaven Posts: 506member
    "Apple appears to be acknowledging, finally, that people are apprehensive about buying a device that could become slow or under-supported just a year or two later. A premium price is easier to swallow with premium specs." For all the 'smarts' Apple has, it is about time that they realize that the prior practice does not lead to customer loyalty.
    asdasd
  • Reply 2 of 25
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 263member
    it's THE perfect device for first time smartphone owners. Especially when you compare to cheap Android phones which are basically disposable gadgets that are never updated software-wise and on your own where it comes to bugs or glitches or malware.
    kevin keeronnradarthekat
  • Reply 3 of 25
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I expect the hundred million or so iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S users who didn't upgrade to the iPhone 6 or 6S because they didn't want a phablet are going to find the iPhone SE very attractive. I intend to order one to replace my iPhone 5S as soon as they are available to order.
    kevin keefotoformat[Deleted User]pmzcornchipcreativeoopsradarthekat
  • Reply 4 of 25
    This move has nothing to do with US market .
    THIS IS APPLES plan to compete with xiaomi as the market for the more expensive iPhones dry up. Good plan in my opinion 
    cash907censoredkevin keeradarthekat
  • Reply 5 of 25
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,429member
    Still $700 Canadian for the 64GB model, plus taxes. Can anyway say ouch?
  • Reply 6 of 25
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,831member
    Still $700 Canadian for the 64GB model, plus taxes. Can anyway say ouch?
    Can anyone say shitty currency exchange rate?
    cash907censoredanantksundaramnolamacguyronnpmzlatifbp
  • Reply 7 of 25
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,399member
    qwwera said:
    it's THE perfect device for first time smartphone owners. Especially when you compare to cheap Android phones which are basically disposable gadgets that are never updated software-wise and on your own where it comes to bugs or glitches or malware.
    It's the perfect device for long time smartphone owners! I'm not even sure why this article was written. It's an amazing iPhone period, the fact Apple is selling it for $399 is ridiculous. 

    The only reason a first time smartphone owner wouldn't want it is because they want a larger screen, and in 6 months when the 7 comes out, the 6 will fill that slot at $450, or less.. 

    kevin keeradarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 25
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,429member
    I'm going to save myself the costs, get a refurbished 5s, a plan that's half the cost of my current one, and call it it a day. While the SE looks nice, there's no way I'm handing over that much money without knowing what's coming in September. :smile: 
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 9 of 25
    I'd still have a phone that size like my old trusty 4s, if my eyes were still any better up close. I can use my 6Plus without having to get out glasses. That's the only reason I'm putting up with its size.
    mcarling
  • Reply 10 of 25
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,428member
    I bought a brand new iPhone 5S a few months ago, because I got it for dirt cheap, and it's great, I like it a lot, but I think that I am just going to walk into an Apple store on March 31, and swap my 5S for a 5SE.
    mcarlingpscooter63kevin keeradarthekat
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Still $700 Canadian for the 64GB model, plus taxes. Can anyway say ouch?
    Can anyone say shitty currency exchange rate?
    It's worse than just the exchange rate - take the 16GB model for example: USD$399 vs. CAD$579 = 1.45 factor where the actual FX (as of today) is only 1.3. That's terrible...but there are some "good" Apple deals to be had in reverse - take the iPad Mini 4: USD$399 vs. CAD $439 = 1.1...that being said, I'd be surprised if we don't see another price adjustment across the board on the Canadian Apple site soon enough - I'm surprised we didn't see that yesterday to be honest. For now I'll keep shopping the refurbs as there are some great deals there (again, specifically iPads). Too bad there are no iPhone refurbs...
  • Reply 12 of 25
    Can I enlarge on-screen keyboard? I do not have little sensitive and precise fingertips. I do not like fraglie glass on iPhone6 and I do not like way too small keyboard on iPhone5. I have both (personal and business). So what do i do?
  • Reply 13 of 25
    crudman said:
    Can anyone say shitty currency exchange rate?
    It's worse than just the exchange rate - take the 16GB model for example: USD$399 vs. CAD$579 = 1.45 factor where the actual FX (as of today) is only 1.3. That's terrible...but there are some "good" Apple deals to be had in reverse - take the iPad Mini 4: USD$399 vs. CAD $439 = 1.1...that being said, I'd be surprised if we don't see another price adjustment across the board on the Canadian Apple site soon enough - I'm surprised we didn't see that yesterday to be honest. For now I'll keep shopping the refurbs as there are some great deals there (again, specifically iPads). Too bad there are no iPhone refurbs...
    What are the taxes (e.g., VAT) and duties in Canada? Are those included in the price? In the US, the $399 is a PRE-TAX price. For example, in New York City where there's an 8.875% sales tax, buying the phone with that tax included will produce an exchange rate equivalent of 1.42 factor on a base of 1.3. In other words, that's like CAD$630 for the supposedly "CAD$579" phone. 

    How would that be Apple's -- as opposed to your government's -- fault?
  • Reply 14 of 25
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    daven said:
    "Apple appears to be acknowledging, finally, that people are apprehensive about buying a device that could become slow or under-supported just a year or two later. A premium price is easier to swallow with premium specs." For all the 'smarts' Apple has, it is about time that they realize that the prior practice does not lead to customer loyalty.
    which iPhones only got 1-2 years of service? I bought one every year since the 3G and my hand me downs were in service for years. the 4 still serves us as a backup phone, and my friends kid borrowed it for a while. 

    iPhones have the best useful life in the industry. bar none. 
    netmageradarthekat
  • Reply 15 of 25
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Can I enlarge on-screen keyboard? I do not have little sensitive and precise fingertips. I do not like fraglie glass on iPhone6 and I do not like way too small keyboard on iPhone5. I have both (personal and business). So what do i do?
    what fragile glass on the 6? it's ion strengthened, the others weren't. 
    netmage
  • Reply 16 of 25
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    Where people have the money, the SE offers a unique proposition: an entry-level smartphone which doesn't make major sacrifices. The device has the same A9 processor as the iPhone 6s, and even the same 12-megapixel camera, along with Apple Pay support. The only serious drawbacks are a 4-inch display and a lack of 3D Touch, which may not matter to some people.

    Indeed, many people prefer smaller phones, and newcomers may not care that bigger screens are available -- at least initially. This group could include children and teens, if just when their parents are rich enough to splurge on a state-of-the-art iPhone.

    The smaller screen is not a drawback, if I had known this was in the pipe I'd have bought it instead of the 6s. But that's fine. The real question will be how long the battery life is compared to the 6s.


    [Deleted User]radarthekat
  • Reply 17 of 25
    I think there are plenty of current iPhone customers that are using 6 and 6S that will go for the 5SE model! After All! A Sale Is A Sale, And many former small iPhone customers that jump to the Sony smartphones will be coming back too!
  • Reply 18 of 25
    crudman said:
    It's worse than just the exchange rate - take the 16GB model for example: USD$399 vs. CAD$579 = 1.45 factor where the actual FX (as of today) is only 1.3. That's terrible...but there are some "good" Apple deals to be had in reverse - take the iPad Mini 4: USD$399 vs. CAD $439 = 1.1...that being said, I'd be surprised if we don't see another price adjustment across the board on the Canadian Apple site soon enough - I'm surprised we didn't see that yesterday to be honest. For now I'll keep shopping the refurbs as there are some great deals there (again, specifically iPads). Too bad there are no iPhone refurbs...
    What are the taxes (e.g., VAT) and duties in Canada? Are those included in the price? In the US, the $399 is a PRE-TAX price. For example, in New York City where there's an 8.875% sales tax, buying the phone with that tax included will produce an exchange rate equivalent of 1.42 factor on a base of 1.3. In other words, that's like CAD$630 for the supposedly "CAD$579" phone. 

    How would that be Apple's -- as opposed to your government's -- fault?

    Sales taxes in Canada depends on the province you're in. Where I am (Ontario) it's an additional 13%, so if you include taxes it's actually worse (doing the math, about 15% higher if you include the taxes). About a month ago the FX was closer to 1.4 (vs. today's 1.3), so it could be that Apple set the new price anticipating a stronger US / weaker Canadian dollar, but then I'd have expected that same factor applied to other new products, like the 9.7" iPad Pro...however, the factor on that device is 1.25 (USD$599 vs. CAD$799). Still, the CAD$579 starting price for the SE is much more attractive than the CAD$899 for a 6s... 

    Essentially my point is that Apple is very inconsistent with their application of an FX factor. As noted above an iPad Mini 4 has a factor of only 1.1 whereas the new SE has a factor of 1.45. Other devices fall somewhere in between. I don't think this is (in Canada's case) attributable to duties/taxes/Government. I'm not saying it's anyone's fault either - simply pointing it out for fellow Canucks - take advantage of the lower factor prices (like the Mini 4) while you can!

  • Reply 19 of 25
    I didn't like the rounded edges or larger size that came with the 6, so I've stayed with my 5S. I'll probably swap to a 5SE hear soon so I can start using Apple Pay.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,004moderator
    It'd be funny if Apple, at the April earnings call, reported first month sales of the SE and they were higher than the first month sales of the Galaxy S7.  I'd laugh my ass off.
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