Snippet: Goodbye, iPhone SE ☇

Shared on September 14, 2018

Thomas Brand:

As someone who doesn’t value his cell phone as much as the next Apple nerd, the iPhone SE has been an important product for me because of its price. The iPhone SE kept me invested in the iOS ecosystem, and enabled me to purchase a Apple Watch without approaching the ~$700 iPhone ASP I normally attribute to laptop computers. Now that an updated iPhone SE is no longer an option, I am evaluating alternative cell phone platforms. I am sure I am not alone.

I was a bit disappointed to see the iPhone SE get discontinued on Wednesday. I bought one on launch day as an upgrade from the iPhone 6 and it was a fantastic device—never a being the top-of-the-line, Apple didn’t seem to skimp in areas that mattered. With discounts and sale prices, the SE was going for $49 on some carriers without any sort of commitment just a few weeks ago, making it a tremendous value that still runs things quite nicely.

When I upgraded to an iPhone 8 Plus last year, I did it out of curiousity, having never had a Plus phone and also wanted to experiment with having only an iPhone. The interface really tends to breathe more on the larger displays and developers seem to be working on the 4.7″ models first, then scaling up or down. Because of that, nudging potential SE buyers to a 7 makes some sense, and I suspect we’ll eventually see discounts on prepaid or refurbished 7 units from time to time. I’m not denying that the extra size is a bit of an adjustment, but the market has shifted to larger phones—there aren’t many Android models, let alone good ones, that are SE-sized.

My ideal Apple lineup would’ve included an updated SE, maybe at the $400 price point (where the SE started), with a larger, notched screen. Keep it in a similarly-sized enclosure as the outgoing model. Like the SE, this model can stick around in that spot for a couple of years while the former high-end iPhones drop around it and then get discontinued. It will be positioned perfectly to join an all-notched iPhone lineup, too.

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