Take the iPhone SE. Please. Absolutely, positively everything about iPhone SE is yesterday’s news. Design, internal components, price tag. Sorry folks, as attractive as iPhone SE is to a growing market of iPhone users who don’t want large screens, Apple phoned this one in. By backing up, Apple went forward.
Everything Is A Remix
With apologies to Kirby Ferguson, yes, Everything Is A Remix and iPhone SE is the perfect example of Apple’s best ever remix.
The trend toward large screen smartphones is obvious and ultimately, in a competitive environment, necessary and expected. True to form, Apple didn’t jump quickly to larger screen iPhones, but when it did it did so the right way; multiple screens that killed it in the marketplace.
Funny thing, though, and a true story– not everyone wants, needs, or even likes the larger screen iPhones. The good old iPhone 5s, smack full of yesterday’s technology, hung on and sold in the tens of millions because size. Smartphones are not a one-size-fits-all technology, and Apple responded by backing up to go forward.
The new iPhone SE is chock full of yesterday’s technology components. Nothing is new other than the name, iPhone SE. Special Edition? Perhaps, but instead of designing a smaller iPhone to fill out the iPhone 6 product line, Apple took off-the-shelf components and stuffed them into the three year old iPhone 5s design, slapped on a new color or two, changed the name, and has a new hit iPhone for the growing masses whereby small is beautiful and less is more.
Check out the specifications:
- Four Colors (from last year)
- 16GB entry level storage (from last year)
- 4-inch Retina display (from forever ago)
- Quarter Pounder size (nothing to see here)
- A9 CPU with M9 co-processor (from last year)
- 12-megapixel iSight camera (uh huh, last year)
- 4k Video Recording (remember last year’s iPhone 6s?)
- Image Stabilization (that’s so 2014)
- Touch ID (what does not have that?)
- Apple Pay (now if we could only find a store…)
You get the idea. Everything that’s inside iPhone SE is from other iPhones of yesteryear, or maybe just last year. Yes, it’s all good stuff. The iPhone SE might be the perfect size for those who value the phone and a few apps vs. those who want a Mac in their pockets. Small is better and less is more and iPhone SE’s size equals good for tens of millions of Apple customers.
Right down to the fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating on the Retina display, iPhone SE is made up mostly of parts left over from Apple’s last four iPhone designs and absolutely, positively does not blaze any new disruptive or innovative grounds– except for its position within the Mac line as something new, even though it’s much of the same, rather than something old (iPhone 5s).
It may very well be that iPhone SE is the iPhone with the best feel in the palm of your hand, the easiest to navigate buttons from top to bottom (despite that cute little trick of double-tapping the Home button on iPhone 6 and 6s to get upper menus to move down the scree), the easiest to stick into a pocket without fear of the song Bend Me, Shape Me waking you up at night.
Why does the iPhone SE exist?
Again, back to pragmatic realism thrown into the face of disruptive innovation. Apple needs to sell more new iPhones, and with the high end, the premium space of smartphones being somewhat saturated by, well, Apple’s iPhone 6 line, Apple decided to go downscale by going upscale with the downwind product. New name. Same case. New guts. Same feel. And that new price ensures Apple can compete with plastic Android knock-off phones without sacrificing anything– except size– that customers would expect from Apple.
Apple went forward by backing up. Brilliant.