iPhone SE 2020 BackSource: Jared DiPane / iMore

What you need to know

  • A new report claims 73% of iPhone SE buyers were rocking old iPhones before.
  • They were at least three years old.
  • These are buyers who didn't pick up iPhone 11, iPhone XR, or other handsets in recent years.

Apple launched the newly refreshed iPhone SE at the end of April 2020 and it immediately filled a price void within the iPhone lineup. Starting at $399 it was hoped the budget handset would appeal to those who were still using older iPhones – and that appears to have been right on the money.

According to research by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), a massive 73% of iPhone SE buyers in the last fiscal quarter bought it to replace an old iPhone. An iPhone that was three years or more, old.

'Every few years Apple comes out with a new low-priced iPhone, with up-to-date features, to sweep up the customers using the oldest iPhones,' said Mike Levin, CIRP partner and cofounder. 'iPhone SE seems to have reached this specific segment of long-time iPhone users.'

'Even though operating system switching has diminished in recent years, even more SE buyers came from within the iOS installed base compared to buyers for other iPhone models. And, in the quarter, SE buyers had really old phones, with almost three-quarters having an iPhone that was three years old or more. So, they upgraded from iPhone 5, 6, or 7 models, which meant these users really waited awhile to buy a new phone.'

'These are users who evidently resisted upgrading to newer phones at more attractive price points, such as iPhone 11, last year's iPhone XR, and even the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which launched in 2017, as its prices declined over the years.'

That last point is an interesting one, with CIRP noting that people decided against other relatively low-cost iPhones but did go for an iPhone SE. The new model is cheaper than anything Apple has sold of late, though, which is obviously a factor here.

Low Price/High Value

iPhone SE (2020)

iPhone SE (2020)

Apple's lowest-priced iPhone stocked with the latest internals.

Bottom line: If you've been waiting three years for Apple to update the Home button iPhone, your wait is over.

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