So, dutiful daughter that I am, we made a trip to the Mall to visit the Apple Store yesterday and she was completely amazed. First, the greeters were pleasant. And not all were young kids fresh out of high school obviously in their first job. There was a class going on at a table nearby and it was full of, well, senior citizens working on new iPads.
She was impressed. Then we looked at the various iPhones. That’s when it got complicated. The iPhone 7 Plus was too big and too expensive. The iPhone 7 was less of each but still too much. The iPhone 6s was priced better, but she became enthralled over the iPhone SE (due for a refresh any moment now, right Apple? Right?). Not ready to make the commitment we headed out for lunch.
This morning I received an email with a link to an article on the iPhone SE. Basically, Sascha Segan’s article was positive on the iPhone SE but I needed to translate some of the techno-babble for my mom.
The best iPhone may actually be the one Apple seems to have forgotten about.
Except it shows up on Apple’s website, and it’s just as easy to purchase as the expensive iPhone 7 Plus. How exactly is the iPhone SE best except in size and price?
The iPhone SE’s invisibility shows how important Apple’s marketing is to its sales: if it makes a great product but doesn’t talk about it, nobody knows it exists.
Invisible? Hardly. Again, iPhone SE is available online and at the Apple Store, there are a gazillion articles about it, and somebody knows it exists, including my mom, who knows nothing about smartphones.
The iPhone SE puts the iPhone 6s’s processor and the iPhone 6’s modem into the iPhone 5s’s body, but it’s more than just those parts. Because the screen is smaller than the iPhone 6s, the phone is faster since the processor is pushing fewer pixels.
Like someone will know the difference in speed. All these smartphones are fast.
This is the iPhone you’re less likely to dive into, so you’re more likely to spend time looking at and thinking about the world around you. You’re also less likely to drop it. It’s the life-compatible iPhone.
So, it’s the iPhone for people who don’t want to watch movies or play games, but want something modern that’s easy to hold on to. OK.
So why doesn’t Apple promote the SE? It’s too good a value. Apple is a public company, and the stock market loves to see average selling prices (ASPs) go up. By using dual cameras to make the iPhone 7 Plus more compelling than the iPhone 7, Apple drove up its ASPs to record highs over the past year.
Uh, that’s bull hockey. Apple does promote the SE because I found it on the company’s website and at the Apple Store in the Mall. Easy. It doesn’t seem that Apple pushes or hypes anything. When was the last time you saw an iPhone 7 Plus television commercial?
Apple also created a “middle thing” problem with its current lineup. The 7 Plus, at the high end, is super compelling and the SE is less expensive, so the “regular” iPhone 7 is the least appealing phone.
Yet, the iPhone 7 outsells the iPhone SE by an order of magnitude (it’s a guesstimate; I’m allowed).
Apple created the iPhone SE for obvious reasons. There’s a need for a less expensive entry-level iPhone but one that doesn’t compete too much with the more expensive iPhone 6s and 6s Plus (which were the top iPhones when the SE was released last year). It’s still an iPhone and not cheap plastic Android knockoffs.
Current rumors have the iPhone SE getting a minor update later this month, perhaps with 128GB of storage and some new colors. That will keep the SE from becoming so appealing that it upsets Apple’s whole cart. But if you’re looking for a pocketable, no-nonsense smartphone, the SE should still be near the top of your list.
Sigh. There is no way an iPhone SE with a diminutive 4-inch display will upset Apple’s apple cart, regardless of colors, CPU, or storage options. The trend in smartphones is toward larger screens, not smaller screens, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants an iPad in their pockets. That’s why we’re heading back to the Mall this weekend to find an iPhone SE with a color my mom likes.
Apple gets another customer, techno-babble-speak notwithstanding.