Apple brings iPhone SE back on sale in its online clearance section from $249

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 19
Apple has given potential owners of the iPhone SE yet another chance to purchase the discontinued smartphone through its online store's Clearance section, but as with earlier sales, it is likely to be available only for a matter of hours before disappearing from view once more.

iPhone SE
iPhone SE


A repeating occurrence since the start of 2019, Apple has put the iPhone SE up for sale online, discounted in the Clearance section. This time, Apple is offering the iPhone SE in four color options, including Space Gray, Silver, Rose Gold, and Gold.

All versions are priced by capacity, with the 32-gigabyte variants priced at $249, representing a saving of $100 from the normal list price, while the 128-gigabyte versions are discounted $150 off the list price at $299. This is the same price as seen in earlier instances of the sale.

Notably, the models are labeled as having a carrier SIM for T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, but they all have the label "Unlocked" added to the titles, indicating they will work with other SIM cards fine.

It is unclear how long the iPhone SE will be available to purchase form the online Apple Store, but previous instances saw availability last between hours and two days. The time ultimately depends on how much stock of each model Apple has, data it does not provide in the store.

The iPhone SE is a more compact model than the others currently offered by Apple, equipped with a four-inch display with Touch ID and powered by an A9 processor. Apple discontinued sale of the model in September, alongside the iPhone X, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6S Plus.

A second-generation iPhone SE has been rumored, but it is unclear if such a model will be launched by Apple anytime soon.

Here's where you can still get an iPhone SE

Although iPhone SE devices are becoming harder to find, there are still several third-party retailers that have the phones in stock. If you want a new model, eBay is your best bet. If you're open to a refurbished model, Amazon and BuyBackWorld are viable options.

Retailers with the iPhone SE in stock:

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    $250 feels like amazing value. Then I remind myself that I bought one in good condition on eBay for ~$100 a few months back. Wish Apple would update the SE (A12, 64GB, edge to edge LCD, etc) and offer it for $500 new. 
    edited February 19 baconstangcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 17
    schlack said:
    ... Wish Apple would update the SE (A12, 64GB, edge to edge LCD, etc) and offer it for $500 new. 
    Not going to happen. Apple stopped making new SEs...if they were going to update it, they would still be making the current model and replace it with a new model. Since it was discontinued, there is zero chance for an SE#2.

  • Reply 3 of 17
    benji888 said:
    there is zero chance for an SE#2.

    :D :D :D

    That's rich. As if you know Apples plans. There's obviously demand for a small form-factor phone.
    cornchipbaconstangJWSCwozwoz
  • Reply 4 of 17
    I bought the gold SE for the last sale 32GB. I didn't think that it would be enough but after purging all the music I don't really like anymore, apps I never use, and imessage attachments that went back several years, I have only used up half of the 32GB. I even have 1,000 photos on it. I don't take a lot of pics and I don't like using icloud for storage of photos, music, etc. It's also very fast, much like the iphone 7 plus that I exchanged in its place. $250 for brand new iphone with new battery and 1 year warranty is a great deal and I'm extremely happy. I love the smaller size, I can actually fit it into my pocket.
    zroger73christopher126JWSCwozwoz
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Wow. They've got a boatload of configurations for sale this round. I wonder where all these are coming from?

    Surely they don't keep finding unsold piles of new, old stock.

    Then again, the one I ordered and received a few weeks ago was most definitely new-in-box, but it was covered with a layer of dust so thick you couldn't see through it. It has been sitting in a dirty environment for a while.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    I replaced my 64 GB SE with a 128 GB SE for $249 quite a while ago. I've been using an SE for just shy of three years now.
    Could not be happier - i am fine with it exactly the way it is, i need nothing more.

    I think Apple sees this as the perfect way to feed the small format phones to the people who want them in the market like the US. There is no commitment, no announcements, nothing special, just a continued supply of a phone that is obviously still selling at some volume.
    edited February 19 JWSCpscooter63
  • Reply 7 of 17
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,036member
    benji888 said:
    schlack said:
    ... Wish Apple would update the SE (A12, 64GB, edge to edge LCD, etc) and offer it for $500 new. 
    Not going to happen. Apple stopped making new SEs...if they were going to update it, they would still be making the current model and replace it with a new model. Since it was discontinued, there is zero chance for an SE#2.

    Doesn't mean there isn't a new small phone which Apple doesn't want to associated with SE branding so they can charge $150 less than the XR not the SE price.

    I would have thought if they did a new SE it would be based on the 7 casing and have 2 sizes in three products Xs, Xr, and SE
    edited February 19
  • Reply 8 of 17
    I contemplated where Apple keeps getting these “clearance” SE’s... 

    My guess is that Apple is having someone assemble them from (new) parts that were set aside to refurbish SEs.  Apple probably has enough parts warehoused to make quite a few, but because they don’t have many dedicated lines to assemble them, they’re releasing them in batches.

    It will probably take some time to run through inventory (scattered around the globe) so if you want one you’ll probably get another opportunity.  

    You’ll just have to be quick...

    I’d generally avoid buying refurbished Apple IPhones.  There’s a lot of scammers involved.  If it’s not refurbished by Apple it’s not good enough.  When you buy it online you have no idea who did the “refurbishing”.  I’d want one handed to me personally by an Apple employee (Apple Store) or purchased from Apple.com.

    I might make an exception for refurbished phones from cellular carriers, but I don’t have enough information to say if they’re being refurbished by Apple (at present). Anyone know?
    pscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 17
    zroger73 said:
    Wow. They've got a boatload of configurations for sale this round. I wonder where all these are coming from?

    Surely they don't keep finding unsold piles of new, old stock.

    Then again, the one I ordered and received a few weeks ago was most definitely new-in-box, but it was covered with a layer of dust so thick you couldn't see through it. It has been sitting in a dirty environment for a while.
    Most likely from my country India, where it was being assembled for quite some time. 
    pscooter63
  • Reply 10 of 17
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,412member
    benji888 said:
    schlack said:
    ... Wish Apple would update the SE (A12, 64GB, edge to edge LCD, etc) and offer it for $500 new. 
    Not going to happen. Apple stopped making new SEs...if they were going to update it, they would still be making the current model and replace it with a new model. Since it was discontinued, there is zero chance for an SE#2.


    I don’t think they’ve stopped making SEs entirely. They still sell them in the US via authorized resellers, including major carriers, and it’s still on Apple’s official current product descriptions on the website. They simply don’t sell them via Apple directly. They also may continue to sell this phone in India, where they assembled it to get around legal barriers to direct sales there, and likely still sell it in other developing markets the way the iPhone 4 and 5c continued well after they were dropped in the US.

    there are many reasons Apple may have dropped selling it directly, the least of which is that it wasn’t selling well enough. 

    zroger73 said:
    Wow. They've got a boatload of configurations for sale this round. I wonder where all these are coming from?

    Surely they don't keep finding unsold piles of new, old stock.

    Then again, the one I ordered and received a few weeks ago was most definitely new-in-box, but it was covered with a layer of dust so thick you couldn't see through it. It has been sitting in a dirty environment for a while.
    My theory is that Apple made the decision to clear the phones off Apple store shelves at the 11th hour, since the manufacture dates of many received have been August and September. Since Apple doesn’t warehouse new inventory, it doesn’t make sense they’d still roll off phones made for the US retail market in September had they known they were going to pull it. So Apple pulled them to make room for the 7 models they needed to out on display for the holiday season, including all the color variations, and made the uncharichteristic move of putting all the SEs into warehouses until they decided what to do with them.  They didn’t want to dump inventory during the holidays and possibly undercut sales, so they waited until after the holidays and started dropshipping them from the warehouses in the regions surrounding the Apple Stores from which they were pulled to keep costs down. There might even be a team traveling the country to organize these shipments which is why they keep happening sporadically, and coming from different regions. They got rid of the unlocked phones first, then the carrier specific phones which would have had to have been cleared out of the carrier databases to sell them as unlocked.
    I contemplated where Apple keeps getting these “clearance” SE’s... 

    My guess is that Apple is having someone assemble them from (new) parts that were set aside to refurbish SEs.  Apple probably has enough parts warehoused to make quite a few, but because they don’t have many dedicated lines to assemble them, they’re releasing them in batches.

    It will probably take some time to run through inventory (scattered around the globe) so if you want one you’ll probably get another opportunity.  

    You’ll just have to be quick...

    I’d generally avoid buying refurbished Apple IPhones.  There’s a lot of scammers involved.  If it’s not refurbished by Apple it’s not good enough.  When you buy it online you have no idea who did the “refurbishing”.  I’d want one handed to me personally by an Apple employee (Apple Store) or purchased from Apple.com.

    I might make an exception for refurbished phones from cellular carriers, but I don’t have enough information to say if they’re being refurbished by Apple (at present). Anyone know?
    It’s almost certainly not this. These iPhones were assembled in August and September. So, they’ve been sitting in warehouses since Apple pulled them from US store shelves. 
  • Reply 11 of 17
    zroger73 said:
    Wow. They've got a boatload of configurations for sale this round. I wonder where all these are coming from?

    Surely they don't keep finding unsold piles of new, old stock.

    Then again, the one I ordered and received a few weeks ago was most definitely new-in-box, but it was covered with a layer of dust so thick you couldn't see through it. It has been sitting in a dirty environment for a while.


    This could be the stock that was held for returns and replacements. Apple is probably now going all out on them.

    Though I wonder what will happen if one of them has a problem. Surely Apple will honour the replacement window for the devices being sold newly.

  • Reply 12 of 17
    zroger73 said:
    Wow. They've got a boatload of configurations for sale this round. I wonder where all these are coming from?

    Surely they don't keep finding unsold piles of new, old stock.

    Then again, the one I ordered and received a few weeks ago was most definitely new-in-box, but it was covered with a layer of dust so thick you couldn't see through it. It has been sitting in a dirty environment for a while.


    This could be the stock that was held for returns and replacements. Apple is probably now going all out on them.

    Though I wonder what will happen if one of them has a problem. Surely Apple will honour the replacement window for the devices being sold newly.

    I have a short anecdote than leads me to believe that this is probably the right answer.  

    My wife has an SE that we bought in November 2016 and at the start of winter 2018 it started shutting off in the cold.  Because Apple had the discounted battery replacement program last year, we decided to go ahead and have it replaced rather than waiting until the battery became a real nuisance.  Anyway, about 1 month later (end of January 2019) we started to notice some discoloration on the display.  It got progressively worse over the next 2 weeks.  I finally took it out of her Lifeproof case to examine it, and the screen nearly had popped off from the swollen battery.  The discoloration was made from the battery cell pressing on the back of the LCD while it was constrained by the case.
      
    I made an appointment with the Apple store to have it taken care of since I was still within the 90 day warranty on the replacement battery.  They told me they would have to replace the whole unit since they couldn't be sure that the LCD hadn't been damaged. Unfortunately, they "don't have stock of her particular model in store" (Apple technician's wording) and had to "order" one as a replacement.  It came in 4 days later which seemed like a long time. So my impression was that they normally have limited replacement units for the SE at the stores. This could possibly be because they are consolidating them for clearance and thus leaving the stores to order replacement units from the now consolidated stockpiles when needed. 
  • Reply 13 of 17
    benji888 said:
    there is zero chance for an SE#2.

    :D :D :D

    That's rich. As if you know Apples plans. There's obviously demand for a small form-factor phone.
    Is it rich, or simply the truth? 

    When has Apple discontinued a product only to then update and re-release it ?  
  • Reply 14 of 17
    I stumbled upon the iPhone SE availability on another Apple forum tread a week or so back and the choice was ONLY 32GB models that were unlocked. It arrived yesterday along with the news of more iPhone SE models in the Apple refurb store. I ordered two of the 128GB models (silver and rose gold so my wife has a choice of colors) and will return the unopened boxed 32GB model at an Apple retail outlet.

    She totally dislikes the "monster" phones at this point as I have morphed through the 6+ to 7+ and 8+ and now the XS Max for the two line capability. My daughter in law had destroyed her 6+ and since I had a new refurbed one from a battery failure of the iPhone and Mophie battery case, I gave my 6+ with new Mophie battery case to her also with new Zagg screen protector.  The 7+ was traded in on the XS Max and I will keep the 8+ as a battle spare.

    The wife will have her new SE as a travel phone with absolute minimum data and files on it in case it gets stolen on our trip in the fall. Her primary SE has lots of her personal stuff on it for US use only.

    These SE models are recent builds so the batteries should be in good shape for a few years. I could care less where these were built. The fact there are fresh ones is a boon to those who love the smaller pocket friendly models. Their function is, after all is said and done, is to be a phone first.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,412member
    zroger73 said:
    Wow. They've got a boatload of configurations for sale this round. I wonder where all these are coming from?

    Surely they don't keep finding unsold piles of new, old stock.

    Then again, the one I ordered and received a few weeks ago was most definitely new-in-box, but it was covered with a layer of dust so thick you couldn't see through it. It has been sitting in a dirty environment for a while.


    This could be the stock that was held for returns and replacements. Apple is probably now going all out on them.

    Though I wonder what will happen if one of them has a problem. Surely Apple will honour the replacement window for the devices being sold newly.

    mbenz1962 said:
    zroger73 said:
    Wow. They've got a boatload of configurations for sale this round. I wonder where all these are coming from?

    Surely they don't keep finding unsold piles of new, old stock.

    Then again, the one I ordered and received a few weeks ago was most definitely new-in-box, but it was covered with a layer of dust so thick you couldn't see through it. It has been sitting in a dirty environment for a while.


    This could be the stock that was held for returns and replacements. Apple is probably now going all out on them.

    Though I wonder what will happen if one of them has a problem. Surely Apple will honour the replacement window for the devices being sold newly.

    I have a short anecdote than leads me to believe that this is probably the right answer.  

    My wife has an SE that we bought in November 2016 and at the start of winter 2018 it started shutting off in the cold.  Because Apple had the discounted battery replacement program last year, we decided to go ahead and have it replaced rather than waiting until the battery became a real nuisance.  Anyway, about 1 month later (end of January 2019) we started to notice some discoloration on the display.  It got progressively worse over the next 2 weeks.  I finally took it out of her Lifeproof case to examine it, and the screen nearly had popped off from the swollen battery.  The discoloration was made from the battery cell pressing on the back of the LCD while it was constrained by the case.
      
    I made an appointment with the Apple store to have it taken care of since I was still within the 90 day warranty on the replacement battery.  They told me they would have to replace the whole unit since they couldn't be sure that the LCD hadn't been damaged. Unfortunately, they "don't have stock of her particular model in store" (Apple technician's wording) and had to "order" one as a replacement.  It came in 4 days later which seemed like a long time. So my impression was that they normally have limited replacement units for the SE at the stores. This could possibly be because they are consolidating them for clearance and thus leaving the stores to order replacement units from the now consolidated stockpiles when needed. 
    No, warranty replacement phones do not come in retail packaging with all the accessories. These phones are all new retail stock that was pulled from store shelves, all recently manufactured (last August and September) for retail sale in the US, presumably Apple Stores — which is the only retailer to widely drop them from their direct offerings. 

    Warranty replacement phones come in unmarked boxes and are the phones only. Apple is almost certainly not going to the expense and effort of repackaging them as new and selling them at a huge discount.

    Moreover, Apple has better inventory control than that, so they aren’t going to liquidate warranty replacement stock which they would need to maintain for the better part of the next two years to cover new SEs purchased over the last two years.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,412member

    jcs2305 said:
    benji888 said:
    there is zero chance for an SE#2.

    :D :D :D

    That's rich. As if you know Apples plans. There's obviously demand for a small form-factor phone.
    Is it rich, or simply the truth? 

    When has Apple discontinued a product only to then update and re-release it ?  
    When has Apple pulled large quantities of phones manufactured the same month they dropped them from direct sales, only to turn around and liquidate them 5 months later? Apple is in uncharted water here, so there’s no relying on past precedent. But there have been a few occasions where something like this has happened. I recall an iMac which got similarly pulled from the retail market, and only offered for education, but eventually brought back to retail. And remember, the SE has not been discontinued — Apple still lists it as a current product on their website and it is marketed and sold at authorized resellers. All Apple did was get it off their own store shelves, to make room for an unprecedented 7 models of iPhones, in an unprecedented number of color options. It’s likely still being sold in developing markets like India just as the 4s and 5c were years after they were dropped from all retail markets in the US.

    And who who says they’re going to re-release the SE? An argument could be made that the XR is the re-release of the 5c. But it’s not. Maybe Apple wants to clear the market of the budget SE, before they launch a new product which happens to have a similar size to the SE. who knows, Apple could have any number of plans for this space. The one thing for sure here is that there’s no way anyone can make any guarantees about what Apple is planning to do.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Even if they release another SE, it won't have the headphone jack probably. So these here are something special.
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