Apple quietly cuts price of iPhone SE to $349 for 32GB, $449 for 128GB

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2017
While introducing its most expensive iPhone ever, the $999-and-up iPhone X, Apple also cut the price of its smallest and most affordable handset, making it cheaper than ever to purchase a new model.




The iPhone SE can now be purchased for $349 for a 32-gigabyte model directly from Apple. The high-capacity 128-gigabyte version is available for $449.

The iPhone SE lineup was given a capacity adjustment in March of this year, doubling the storage from the models launched a year prior. At the time, the 32-gigabyte model cost $399, while the 128-gigabyte variant was $499.

Other than storage, the iPhone SE has remained unchanged since the hardware launched in 2016, with the same A9 processor, 4-inch Retina display, 12-megapixel camera, and absence of pressure sensing 3D Touch.




The price cut for the iPhone SE comes the same day that Apple unveiled the premium iPhone X, a top-tier model with a starting price of $999, which is the company's highest cost of entry ever. With the $349 cost of the iPhone SE, Apple simultaneously also made it the company's most affordable new iPhone ever.

It's a similar approach that Apple employed earlier this year in revamping the iPad lineup: The iPad Pro became more expensive with a $649 10.5-inch entry-level model, just a few months after the company introduced a capable 9.7-inch version that carries a budget price of just $329.

There have been rumors that the iPhone SE could get a refresh in early 2018, about two years after the handset was introduced. It is believed that the update would remain a budget-priced model focused on allowing Apple to capture new sales in emerging markets like India.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    I just checked the Apple site and for iPhone 5s they mention a 12 megapixel camera with 4K capability. Looks like the refresh is now. 
    Macsplosion
  • Reply 2 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,166member
    Ok, so this is good, but they should update the SoC every two years. It’s still an expensive smartphone for many people.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 3 of 36
    melgross said:
    Ok, so this is good, but they should update it every two years. It’s still an expensive smartphone for many people.
    Why did they keep around the 6S and the 7? Because they couldn’t reduce the price of the 7 enough and there would have been too big of a gap between the SE and the 7? It just seems like Apple’s product lines get messy as they’re trying to meet all these price points and are loathed to reduce prices before the absolutely have to. Heck iPad Pro prices went up $50. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the iPhone 8 went up. $100 so it would be closer in price to the X and more people would opt to wait for the X as it’s only $200 more. If they would’ve kept the 8 at the same price as the 7 more people might have opted for it thinking it was better value for the money.
    calibaconstang
  • Reply 4 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,166member
    melgross said:
    Ok, so this is good, but they should update it every two years. It’s still an expensive smartphone for many people.
    Why did they keep around the 6S and the 7? Because they couldn’t reduce the price of the 7 enough and there would have been too big of a gap between the SE and the 7? It just seems like Apple’s product lines get messy as they’re trying to meet all these price points and are loathed to reduce prices before the absolutely have to. Heck iPad Pro prices went up $50. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the iPhone 8 went up. $100 so it would be closer in price to the X and more people would opt to wait for the X as it’s only $200 more. If they would’ve kept the 8 at the same price as the 7 more people might have opted for it thinking it was better value for the money.
    I suppose that’s a good point. I think that Apple knows it needs to be in these price points. I remember before they did that, and sales weren’t as robust. I don’t know what their cost are, of course. But as they sell 100 million to 200 million of a device. The parts are well amortized, and therefor, much cheaper. So they can afford to reduce prices. Only they know what the resultant margins are. But they must be high enough for Apple to maintain their impressive, but not,over the top, 20-21% net profit, year after year.

    i don’t see iPhone 8 pricing rising. But for next year, what will we see? From what we read, Samsung is sucking Apple for about double the price for the OLED screens, at about $120-$130 each, where numbers normally run about $70-$80 for Galaxy S8 size parts. I don’t know who is paying for that cutout, which is responsible for a 40% reject rate, or who is eating that reject rate. But, it’s likely responsible for the higher cost of the phone, mostly. So what about next year? Will there even be three phones again? John Gruber thinks that there will be three, but I’m not so sure. It could simply be that Apple knew there wouldn’t be any way to supply 75 -100 million of these in a year, this year, but maybe next year they will. So maybe that high price is a one time thing.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Why did they keep around the 6S and the 7?
    I was wondering this as well. Another hypothesis is around the stereo jack. If the 6S was dropped then folks insisting they still need a stereo port would be out of luck with the exception of the SE. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the 6S go when the SE gets a refresh. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 6 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,166member
    Why did they keep around the 6S and the 7?
    I was wondering this as well. Another hypothesis is around the stereo jack. If the 6S was dropped then folks insisting they still need a stereo port would be out of luck with the exception of the SE. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the 6S go when the SE gets a refresh. 
    Apple needs to have cheaper phones. Samsung does the same thing with their S Series. They keep them for years, lowering the price every year. It’s a lot less expensive than designing and making entirely new phones at those price points every year.
    baconstang
  • Reply 7 of 36
    melgross said:
    Why did they keep around the 6S and the 7?
    I was wondering this as well. Another hypothesis is around the stereo jack. If the 6S was dropped then folks insisting they still need a stereo port would be out of luck with the exception of the SE. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the 6S go when the SE gets a refresh. 
    Apple needs to have cheaper phones. Samsung does the same thing with their S Series. They keep them for years, lowering the price every year. It’s a lot less expensive than designing and making entirely new phones at those price points every year.
    They devalue their S line making resale value abysmal. Not sure Apple wants to go there.
    longpath
  • Reply 8 of 36
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,166member
    foggyhill said:
    melgross said:
    Why did they keep around the 6S and the 7?
    I was wondering this as well. Another hypothesis is around the stereo jack. If the 6S was dropped then folks insisting they still need a stereo port would be out of luck with the exception of the SE. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the 6S go when the SE gets a refresh. 
    Apple needs to have cheaper phones. Samsung does the same thing with their S Series. They keep them for years, lowering the price every year. It’s a lot less expensive than designing and making entirely new phones at those price points every year.
    They devalue their S line making resale value abysmal. Not sure Apple wants to go there.
    Why would that happen? Has the SE done that? Will it do it at the lower price? I doubt it. I wasn’t talking about cheaper phones than this, though I highly suspect that at some point, an iPhone will come down to $299. I was talking about the phones that Apple has below the flagship models.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    melgross said:
    From what we read, Samsung is sucking Apple for about double the price for the OLED screens, at about $120-$130 each, where numbers normally run about $70-$80 for Galaxy S8 size parts. I don’t know who is paying for that cutout, which is responsible for a 40% reject rate, or who is eating that reject rate. But, it’s likely responsible for the higher cost of the phone, mostly. So what about next year? Will there even be three phones again? John Gruber thinks that there will be three, but I’m not so sure. It could simply be that Apple knew there wouldn’t be any way to supply 75 -100 million of these in a year, this year, but maybe next year they will. So maybe that high price is a one time thing.
    Yeah, but according to what was said at Apple today, the screens Apple is paying for is both brighter than those in Samsung phones, and have a wider color. Apple is paying for those specs...
    radarthekatlostkiwi
  • Reply 10 of 36
    melgross said:
    From what we read, Samsung is sucking Apple for about double the price for the OLED screens, at about $120-$130 each, where numbers normally run about $70-$80 for Galaxy S8 size parts. I don’t know who is paying for that cutout, which is responsible for a 40% reject rate, or who is eating that reject rate. But, it’s likely responsible for the higher cost of the phone, mostly. So what about next year? Will there even be three phones again? John Gruber thinks that there will be three, but I’m not so sure. It could simply be that Apple knew there wouldn’t be any way to supply 75 -100 million of these in a year, this year, but maybe next year they will. So maybe that high price is a one time thing.
    Yeah, but according to what was said at Apple today, the screens Apple is paying for is both brighter than those in Samsung phones, and have a wider color. Apple is paying for those specs...
    HDR is about dynamic range, so its wider range of brightness AND color, plus color management (Samsung has none of use) and true tone (so responding to environmental conditions the screen is viewed in).

    That's a hell of a lot of improvement in one screen. The two last part Samsung can't decently reproduce because of Android limitations.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    I really hope they don't axe the SE. I loathe the giant phones. SE is perfect. Even if the form factor remains the same, just update the internals please to the A11!
    harry wildirelandlostkiwibaconstang
  • Reply 12 of 36
    cecil444 said:
    I really hope they don't axe the SE. I loathe the giant phones. SE is perfect. Even if the form factor remains the same, just update the internals please to the A11!
    Never going to happen 
  • Reply 13 of 36
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,319member
    melgross said:
    Why did they keep around the 6S and the 7?
    I was wondering this as well. Another hypothesis is around the stereo jack. If the 6S was dropped then folks insisting they still need a stereo port would be out of luck with the exception of the SE. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the 6S go when the SE gets a refresh. 
    Apple needs to have cheaper phones. Samsung does the same thing with their S Series. They keep them for years, lowering the price every year. It’s a lot less expensive than designing and making entirely new phones at those price points every year.
    Cheaper than $349?  I don't think so - not for USD pricing. Reducing the pricing in local currency in other markets perhaps (Apple always sets the exchange rate at the conservative level assuming worst case, thus prices can still be a deterrent - and I am not talking about VAT). 

    Better IMO to have a redesigned SE next year that keeps interest and maintains within 1-2 years the specs, at this new price level. 
    nhughesGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 14 of 36
    cecil444 said:
    I really hope they don't axe the SE. I loathe the giant phones. SE is perfect. Even if the form factor remains the same, just update the internals please to the A11!
    Never going to happen 
    Why not? When the iPhone SE came out in 2016, it had the same CPU and camera as the then-flagship iPhone 6s. The only major concession was lack of 3D Touch. 

    In fact, despite being cheaper than the (still available at the time) iPhone 6, the SE was better in basically every way, including Retina Flash. 

    Why did Apple do this? So it didn’t have to make any changes to the SE for two years. If it wants to keep the phone relevant for 2 years with a fresh update next year, the A11 is absolutely on the table, because the same thing already happened in 2016. 
    adm1brad6788baconstang
  • Reply 15 of 36
    I love my rose gold Se...but I'm digg'n the X! I may go all in with X. If they make it rose gold! :)

  • Reply 16 of 36
    ksecksec Posts: 1,480member
    The Spec is perfect for an entry model. So i dont think it needs an A11 ( Doesn't hurt if it did ), I rather they have Touch ID 2nd Gen.
    The only thing i wish was a small redesign to make it thinner, without sacrificing battery of course.

    I wonder if they will switch to Intel's modem once the Qualcomm contract has ran out. It should be much cheaper. I still dont see it dropped to $299 given the current NAND and DRAM price.

    Edit: Actually it is VERY likely it will have a downclocked A11 in an update as Apple phase out all the PowerVR GFX SoC.
    But then there is the counter argument of Apple TV 4K..... strange.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 17 of 36
    The A11 takes less power to run so battery life should be better.  The ceramic finger print reader would be welcome since it s more accurate.  I like the current chassis!  
    baconstang
  • Reply 18 of 36
    Recently got the SE on a two year contract for £17.99/month with unlimited calls and texts and 1gb data. This phone is amazing for that price and easily does everything I need in a phone. The small form factor means that once again I can fit a phone in my pockets. 
    edited September 2017 GeorgeBMaclostkiwibaconstang
  • Reply 19 of 36
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 1,828member
    melgross said:
    Ok, so this is good, but they should update it every two years. It’s still an expensive smartphone for many people.
    Why did they keep around the 6S and the 7? Because they couldn’t reduce the price of the 7 enough and there would have been too big of a gap between the SE and the 7? It just seems like Apple’s product lines get messy as they’re trying to meet all these price points and are loathed to reduce prices before the absolutely have to. Heck iPad Pro prices went up $50. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the iPhone 8 went up. $100 so it would be closer in price to the X and more people would opt to wait for the X as it’s only $200 more. If they would’ve kept the 8 at the same price as the 7 more people might have opted for it thinking it was better value for the money.
    If the current matrix is going to stick around through the year, I think it's great.

    Pretty much anyone who wants an iPhone can get one and has more options to choose from.

    Apple can continue to make the most of 'past' technology and has options for price adjustments over the course of the year.

    Of course, the risk of canibalism is real but I think the move was inevitable.

    The only hard data I have is from Q117 but the top end premium market contracted. I speculated that if that figure turned into a trend, Apple would have a problem on the horizon (supercycle excepted).

    What truly compounded that situation was 49% growth in the 300-399 bracket for the same period.

    The industry was booming in an area where Apple had no presence and contracting in another where it had a lot of its eggs.

    This new lineup spreads the eggs out over many baskets.

    The question for me is whether the Q1 data was a blip or if it had continued in the following quarters. Perhaps it was the latter.

    At the same time Android phones (the so called 'knock-offs') were literally pummmelling Apple in product offerings and giving users far more quality options for half the price of an iPhone while actually making money on them into the bargain. Something that was already eating into Apple's share of smartphone profits.

    It doesn't matter how much you love Apple or the iPhone, until yesterday, Apple had just one dual camera phone. Huawei alone had not only released that concept before Apple and followed through with a string of high quality dual camera, Leica branded phones over the last twelve months, but offered wholly different external designs to choose from and at different sizes and price points. 

    With just one option and an expensive price tag you can see why the competion might be a temptation if dual cameras was important for you. When you add in other factors like, better batteries, fast charging, dual SIM, micro SD, varied designs etc, leaving the walled garden doesn't sound so bad and if you simply can't afford the iPhone you want, what are you to do?

    Some here think you should just 'save more' which only shows a disconnection with the real world IMO.

    This new lineup provides a partial solution to many of these issues in exchange for accepting last year's tech (or older) as the price of entry. That might be an issue for some but at least there are many more options open to you.

    Will there be canibalisation as a result? Definitely, but the solution was to shelter in the high premium segment and possibly see it contract around you.

    Some people here said Apple was only a premium priced brand and basically that if you couldn't pay the entry fee you weren't in Apple's target group and should move on.

    That's how they lost me and I probably won't be back in their phone bubble.

    The story doesn't end with prices and more hardware offerings though.

    The much touted services revenues and the accessory (Homekit, AirPods, charging mats etc) scream for user base.

    A contracting high premium segment would do little to help.

    Then there are the developing markets and China.

    To a large degree, Apple is about brand physocolgy. Even when it is far from the best on many levels, you think it is the best.

    If you plunk the almost retired iPhone 6 on developing markets they smell a rat. If you extend the same model to developed nations you have some smart marketing going on because one of the other reasons the premium market was contracting was because of sales taxes and currency issues.

    What counts is the end price of a product, not the price Apple puts on its slides during the presentation.

    Many people cannot escape sales taxes and when they are 25%, it can have a dissuasory effect when all that great competion has cheaper prices when everything is tallied up and your product spread is limited.

    If this current product matrix persists, Apple will get my vote. It would be a hugely significant change in strategy but necessary IMO.

    I have no problem with eye wateringly high priced phones as long as there are alternatives. Right now that is the case.

    I am now considering a lower priced alternative for my wife, something that was doubtful before yesterday.

    And hey! They dumped black! 

    No metallic mustard but seeing black put in the cupboard for a while was nice.

    It goes without saying that if Apple has only left the older models to eliminate stock, I take it all back :-)




    edited September 2017
  • Reply 20 of 36
    jroy said:
    I just checked the Apple site and for iPhone 5s they mention a 12 megapixel camera with 4K capability. Looks like the refresh is now. 

    I guess you're referring to iPhone SE, and not 5s. That being said, the SE has been capable of filming at 4K resolution since its launch during the spring of 2016. It has always had a 12 MP camera, the same as on the 6s.
    edited September 2017 baconstang
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