iPhone SE and its place in the Apple universe

In 2016 the idea of a "new" 4-inch iPhone — iPhone SE according to recent rumors —means different things to different people. For some, it means the return of one-handed ease of use, a display their thumbs can reach from corner to corner, and a case that will fit in their small pockets or clutches. For others, smaller implies less expensive, and the hope of more modern Apple hardware at a lower cost of entry.

State of the 4-inch phone

When asked about Apple's go-to-market strategy for iPhone, CEO Tim Cook said:

Our strategy is always to make the best products, and for the smartphone market we are able to provide several different price points for our customers. We have, sort of the premium part of our line is the 6s and 6s Plus, we also have a mid-price point with the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, and we continue to offer the iPhone 5s in the market and it continues to do quite well. And so, we offer all of those, and I don't see us deviating from that approach. We always want to offer somebody the… we don't design to a certain price point, we design a great product and make it priced at a great value, and today we're able to offer all three of those different iPhone options.

Last July Apple updated the iPod touch. While no longer a blockbuster product, the iPod touch fills a space in Apple's lineup that the company deems important to keep filled. So, it received an upgrade that modernized its components so customers would enjoy a better experience. The iPhone 5s is currently approaching where the iPod touch was. If it's a product that "continues to do quite well for Apple", the same type of update strategy makes the same type of sense.

Smaller vs. cheaper

Tim Cook recently said that 60 percent of customers on an iPhone 5s or earlier have not yet upgraded to an iPhone 6 or later. When we polled our readership late last year, a majority of our readers told us they were happy with the current sizes — almost 58%. Of those who did want a smaller iPhone, 12% said it was important enough to them that they'd refrained from upgrading because the iPhones 6 seemed too big. Almost 13%, though, said they were interested in a smaller iPhone especially if it was less expensive than the larger size models.

Initial iPhone growth was in leaps and bounds. Adding lower up-front prices via carrier subsidies, adding international carriers, adding Verizon and additional U.S. carriers, experimenting with pop-art colors and packaging, adding China Mobile, and adding larger display sizes.

Now that the iPhone is one of the most popular products on earth, growth is a matter of steps. Adding payment plans — essentially low-cost leasing — helps make the flagship iPhones as affordable as possible. Adding a smaller iPhone helps expand addressable markets.

The demand for diminution

Apple sells iPhones to people who are buying their first phone or smartphone, to people who are upgrading from a previous iPhone, and to people who are switching from a non-iPhone smartphone (mostly Android phones).

If low price is the most important feature to a new buyer — if all they're looking for is the modern equivalent of a free-on-contract feature phone — then they're probably not going with Apple, at least not for their first smartphone. If ease-of-use is a primary concern, though, then iPhone is hugely attractive, including the entry-level models. (Which are typically older hardware running current software.)

Upgrades are driven by new features, like better cameras and more desirable display sizes. Conversely, the lack of a feature — including a desirable display size — can postpone an upgrade.

Incredibly compelling features can also drive switching, as can sharp pain or prolonged frustration experienced by those contemplating a switch. Lack of timely updates, security concerns, and the absence of smaller display sizes could all cause a switch. Even lack of other options in the smaller phone space.

Enter the iPhone SE.

Everything old...

The current iPhone Plus models all cost $100 more than the regular models. Bigger meaning more expensive is easy for consumers to understand, but comes with the equal and opposite perception of smaller meaning less expensive.

So, if you're going to make a smaller iPhone and people are going to expect it to cost $100 less that the regular iPhone, unless you want to work really hard to change those expectations, how do you do it?

Previously, Apple kept the older generation models around and dropped their price by $100. That let the iPhones 5 occupy the entry-level slot for the last couple of years, including the iPhone 5s as of September 2015.

Following that pattern, though, the iPhone 5s would drop off this year, in 2016, and the iPhone 6 would take its place. That would be a feature improvement but it would leave Apple without a smaller, more highly differentiated phone in the lineup.

Again, enter the iPhone SE.

... Is newish again

Instead of price-dropping the iPhone 6 or coming up with a variant of that platform, like an iPhone 6c, Apple would simply update the iPhone 5s. Even with a late 2015 A9 processor, iSight camera system, and NFC radio for Apple Pay, component costs could still be kept within Apple's target range for price point and margins. That way, just like the iPod touch refresh last year, people who still want the iPhone 5s get it, but with specifications that deliver an updated, modern experience.

The rumored release date of the rumored device — this March instead of the traditional September — would then have several benefits:

  • It would bifurcate iPhone launches. So, instead of a massive September spike and then a slow drop off for the rest of the year, there'd be something of interest in March as well.
  • It would get a newer 4-inch device out sooner. That could prompt upgrades during what's traditionally been the slower mid-cycle period for iPhone.
  • It would clear the September event, allowing Apple to focus on the iPhone 7 story without any complications or distractions.
  • It would help the 4-inch iPhone seem fresher, since its specs would be compared to the previous flagship rather than the next one.

For people who've been waiting for an updated device with the 4-inch display size, they no longer have to wait. For people who want an iPhone but at the lowest cost of entry possible, they get a better-than-ever version of just that. In other words, Apple gets to better serve both upgraders and first time buyers.

It's a growth step rather than a leap, and it doesn't serve those who want a 4-inch iPhone flagship. At the bleeding edge, though, smaller isn't cheaper. It's often more expensive.

And there are other ways to better address that market as well.

iPhone SE bottom line

The iPhone is my primary connected device, so once I went Plus there was no going back. From the expansive display to the long battery life, I love everything about it. I'm not everyone, though, and different customers have different needs.

If updating the 4-inch iPhone size gets even a small percentage of the market to upgrade or cross-grade, that's a large amount of sales at iPhone scale. If it gets a significant percentage, then it's huge.

If you've been waiting for a smaller, perhaps less-expensive iPhone with more modern specs, would an iPhone SE interest you?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • iPhone 5se? Who comes up with these names? Say it's an iPhone mini and call it a day. If the rumors are true (and there are too many leaks for it not to be), and battery life is better than 6 and 6S, then they will have two customers skipping the 7 to get this instead--both my wife and I are not satisfied with the size and battery life for 6 and 6S.
  • What's wrong with the battery life of the 6 and the 6s?
  • Nothing, but the bigger the battery the more likely you'll get more usage time out of it. Sent from the iMore App
  • People who think that the iPhone 6 and 6s don't have good battery life should take an Android phone for a spin one day. You best believe they're going to be running back to their beloved iPhone half-way through the day. Back when I had an Android phone I could barely get four hours of usage out of a full battery charge and that was with light usage. That same kind of usage on my iPhone 6 Plus leaves me with 75% battery at the end of the day with more than enough power to spare to get me through another day.
  • I can agree with that, I got such terrible battery life out of Android phones. The 6 Plus battery life is great for me
  • Not sure which android phone you are using, but i just got home being gone 9 hours and am at 70%. That's with moderate usage. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I had a Samsung Note 3, it drank battery life like a child does a juice box. The Galaxy S4 that I had before that one had battery life that was just as bad if not worse than the Note 3. I had a Galaxy Nexus before the S4 and even that had **** poor battery life. I now have an iPhone 6 Plus. I have left that piece of garbage that is Android behind. I have swore that I will never use Android again.
  • Not sure what you are talking about here the battery on my note 3 lasted me all day. I see people with iphones charging them at noon because the battery is almost dead. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I don't know. All I do know is that my Android experience was horrible whereas my iPhone experience has been nothing but good. I have friends that have also switched to the iPhone as well and they too have had a better experience on the iPhone than they ever did on Android. After several Android phones and now with the iPhone 6 Plus, I have become an iPhone believer. My next phone will definitely be another iPhone. Sent from the iMore App
  • Every android device I've used (note 1, note 3, S4, S5, LG G3, note 4, nexus 7, nexus 7 2013) have all had Rubbish battery life. At least on the Samsung phones you used to be able to carry around a spare battery. The iPhone 6/S plus has amazing battery life. Sent from the iMore App
  • Ridiculous. Stop spreading fud. Here is a table of the longest lived batteries on gsmarena . http://www.gsmarena.com/battery-test.php3 As you can the iPhone 6splus is bested by many android devices.
  • I don't give a **** about what that web site says, real world usage has shown that Android battery life sucks. What did they do? Run the benchmarks on an Android with no apps loaded on it? That's where Android sucks! On Android apps can run indefinitely in the background sucking your battery life until it's dead. On Apple apps can't do that, they are automatically put to sleep after a certain amount of time as per iOS's strict power management utilities. Android doesn't have such power management utilities so apps can keep running and running and running until you have no battery life left. Not only that but there are a number of Android apps that are known to be battery life killers. So please, take your Android loving self out of this place and go back to where you belong... in the Android camp. The rest of us who are iPhone users know that the iPhone has SUPERIOR battery life to ANY ANDROID DEVICE. There's no convincing us here.
  • Far be it from you to let the facts stand in the way of your opinion. : ) Posted via my HTC One M7
  • Whilst slightly agressive (but then, we are all fans of one platform or another, here) I do have to agree with the old adage that there are lies, more lies and statistics. Depending what you want to 'prove' we can all collect stats to back up our personal opinions. In the end it is real world usage that counts, and that will depend on so many factors that no individual can claim they have the definitive 'proof'. I have had many phones over the years, with good and bad battery life, from all sorts of manufacturers. What really counts is only ever my current experience, which is an iPhone 6, and lasts plenty long enough for my needs
  • The math on that website is completely arbitrary and has nothing to do with actual use. It's kind of like artificial benchmark tests.
  • My Droid turbo disagrees. Carry on.
  • Smaller phone means smaller battery. Even considering pushing less pixels and a less power hungry processor how do you figure a smaller phone is going to get better battery life than a bigger phone with a bigger battery? I'm not saying it's impossible but it is very unlikely. I also don't think the goal of the 5se is battery life. Those of us that prioritize battery life got the Plus variant and are loving it.
  • Honestly, if you can't be satisfied with 6S battery life it's time to re-assess if your relationship with your device is healthy. I'm not trying to sound sanctimonious or making excuses for Apple, but in general people really do spend too much time staring at their devices and it's not healthy. I see couples in restaurants not talking to each other but with phones in hand eating in silence. If that's not the definition of a bankrupt culture, I don't know what is.
  • +1 Posted via the iMore App
  • ^^this.
  • I understand and support your opinion in social / family settings, but I use the crap out of my phone at work. Emails, spreadsheets, pdfs, messages, Safari. I usually have a car ride or two between job-sites, so I have a chance to top off. But even the days when I don't, I have enough juice to get me home - iPhone 6.
  • Whole heartedly agree. I don't use Facebook but my wife does and she can drain her 6+ under 15% by the end of the day because she is constantly on it or text messaging/snapchatting, etc. I have a 6s+ that comes off the charger at 6AM. I mainly use productivity apps such as my calendar, notes, email, etc. I also listen to music and podcasts in the car. Rarely does my battery get below 75% before I end my work day at 6PM. Even at night sometimes I will play games and am hard pressed to run it below 40%. Blindly staring at the phone for hours on end seems to be the problem, not battery life.
  • Who's your wife Snapchatting with all day? Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Lol, her two best friends. They live in other towns and the three of them have entire conversations via snapchat through out the day. And yes, I'm sure its her friends. We work in the same office and I hear it all. Day. Long...
  • I just wanted to comment on Mr. Brown's question. That was funny. It's nice to see a sense of humor - and the husband took it as humor as well.
  • No, not at all, just demand more from your phone instead of always giving them a free pass. The + phones help for sure, that's the type of battery life you should expect.
  • I agree with your sentiment but I think you're confusing your observations with real world needs and habits. My wife always forgets to charge her iPhone 6+ and also always complains about its battery life. Many iPhone users are just not interested in tech so they never make the distinction between technology and convenience. In other words, realizing your devices are consuming too much of your time has nothing to do with battery life.
  • Nonsense. You still have to decide if it's an iPhone 5 mini or an iPhone 6 mini and "se" for special edition actually makes more sense than "mini." If it were an "iPhone 5 mini" it would make no sense because it wouldn't be any smaller than the four other iPhone 5 models. If it were an "iPhone 6 mini," it wouldn't makes sense because it has none of the features of the iPhone 6 line other than a general superficial resemblance.
  • Speaking as someone currently awaiting the arrival of an iPhone 5s after destroying his iPhone 6 in a fit of pique (because I'm smart that way), I say this: I don't need an iPhone that's cheaper. I need one that's SMALLER. Apparently I'm in a minority here, but after owning that g****** 6 for a year and a half, I came to regard it with abject hatred. It's an objectively better phone than the 5 I upgraded from in every measure, but the size of it was an irritation to me every time it was in my hand or my pocket -- which is to say, if I wasn't actually asleep, that thing was bugging the **** out of me in one way or another. For me the iPhone 5 form factor was perfect. What I want from Apple is this: Take the iPhone 5 and put all the current internals in it, but leave the case alone. Make it thinner if it pleases you, but leave the size, shape, and location of the controls ALONE.
  • Exactly! The 5se is for people like you. We all have different priorities and needs out of our iPhones.
  • Totally agree with @joerobot (although perhaps not as vociferously). We have a 6 and a 6s in the family that I occasionally use. For occasional use, the size is fine (and probably better than my 5s). For daily or constant use, the 5s is a better size in my hand and in any pocket. Another of my use cases is running. I usually put the 5s in a LifeProof case for running and dislike the size of it at that point. For 30-60 minutes of running it's noticeable but not quite annoying. I assume anything larger than a 5s would be a step (or two) higher on the annoyance scale.
  • I hear ya man.... while I think the iPhone 6S is a perfect sized, perfect phone, I did start out this cycle with a 6S Plus. I loved the screen and the OIS but after a few months I started getting annoyed with the limitations the size of the phone imposed upon me. So I swapped it for a 6S and couldn't be happier. Sometimes a smaller phone can be better.
  • Yep. Put an A9, 2GB, 3D touch, 5mp/12mp cam, 1080p screen. Go full blown flagship and see how well it sells. (I bet millions) Don't skimp. I would rather have a 1080p than 3D Touch...
    Personally I think 3D touch is stupid and useless 99% of the time, maybe leave that feature off. Pricing: $599 16GB, $699 64GB, $799 128GB.
  • @joerobot: I agree. I'd also like to see 2GB RAM and 128 GB storage.
  • I'm with you. I had a 6 for three months, then sold it and bought another 5s.
    I use my phone a lot in my job, but I also need my other hand free. I am more able to work one-handed with is handy darting around from meeting to meeting.
    And it feels so much better in my hand. I appreciated the screen size of the 6, but I have an iPad Mini for what I would have used the larger screen for. My 5s is for everything I do while away from my desk.
  • Apple is foolish for not making a plastic shell 6. I was a power user of blackberries, and iPhone 4, 5c, and now 6. The reason I liked the 5c was because you could use it naked and never have to worry. It was literally a Lego brick. I'd buy one in a heartbeat, iPad included.
  • Excellent point
  • I agree (especially on the idea of a plastic iPad or iPad mini), except ... one of the advantages of making them plastic instead of aluminium would be that they could be produced far more cheaply and thus have a much more reasonable selling price. Apple on the other hand disagrees with this. They think "premium plastic" is a thing and still charge an arm and a leg for them. I buy an iPad mini and a 16GB iPhone every year for roughly a thousand bucks each and I love the hardware and the software, but if iOS could be made to run on the crappiest $100 plastic Android tablet, I would switch in a heartbeat. Apple doesn't understand that there are people out there that like their technology and design ethos and want to stay in the iOS garden, but are what is commonly known as ... "poor." What good is it to make the best products in the world if you have to be a rich a-hole to afford to buy them? What actual good does that do the world? It *is* possible to make great products that are actually affordable. Maybe someday Apple will discover this truth, (but probably not).
  • An A9 with a 4" form factor sounds like a good long lasting combo. And your whole smaller = cheaper (or at least perceived that way) has some merit even if Apple did go with a premium 12" macbook that went against this. But the economics have changed. Gone are the contracts for the most part. Here's what a customer sees in the store:
    Iphone 6S+ 31.25 a month
    Iphone 6 27.08 a month
    Iphone 5se 22.92 a month It's a difference of basically 4 dollars a month between the 6 and this new "cheaper" phone. Why bother? For most people, about 4 dollars a month won't mean much at all in choosing. There is no 99 dollar tier to fill anymore. Just make premium phones and don't worry about "entry level" or "cheaper."
  • TL;DR version Apple loves you and is amazing!
  • Larf!
  • Everyone expects the smaller iphone to be cheaper. I think that feeds into the "bigger = better" mentality that's ruining the smartphone industry for small handed people like myself. It also makes it harder for manufacturers to put top tier specs in small phones because they think small phones can't compete with larger phones at the same price point. I would actually be okay paying the higher prices if that means feature parity with the 6S. that means A9 cpu + Force Touch + 2+ GB RAM + Better Camera. Anything less and I'm waiting till next year for the upgrade. It's been 2+ years for me so waiting another isn't that much of a stretch
  • Just make it a 6s Mini and give it basically all of the same features of the 6s and charge $100 less. With the 6/s format it could be the same physical size as the 5 but with a slightly bigger screen.
  • I think the phone that they release has to be compatible with the emerging markets. Most of the Western buyers will be fine with the 6s/6s+. They need to release a _cheaper to manufacture_ phone in order to sell it at a lower price point in countries like China and India.
  • I'd happily pay the same price for a smaller phone. I don't even necessarily expect the same specs as the iPhone 6 or 6s (although a faster processor and Apple Pay would be nice), but I really hope I can get at least 32 GB of space and it has at least all the features of my current 5s. If they can deliver that, I'm a happy upgrader. If they go to all the trouble of manufacturing a smaller phone and the biggest option for storage is 16 GB, I'll be buying up a couple of spare 5s's.
  • I LOVED the form factor of my iPhone 5S, but I upgraded to the 6 and now the 6S primarily because of the NFC chip and A8/A9 processors. Losing 3D touch (if, as analysts have predicted, the 5SE comes devoid of that feature) is not a deal breaker for me---someday, it will be a cornerstone feature, but it has a long way to come, and I find myself forgetting to use it most often. But for the smaller form factor, and given that the 5SE most likely will include the NFC chip, count me in. I doubt I will miss the larger screen, and the ability to type (truly) one-handed and (once again) carry a more portable device is 100% worth the switch.
  • I wonder if choosing the latest A9 processor for the 5se is the reason that Apple recently reduced orders for iPhone 6S components? If they go with the A9 then the 5se will cannibalise more of the iPhone 6/6s sales than with an A8 chip. They may even discontinue the iPhone 6 as it would be slower than the 5se. The 9to5mac report mentions them trying both the A8 and the A9 in the 5se, so maybe once they decided on the A9 then they knew they would need fewer 6 / 6S components. This may have started all the rumours of reduced demand for the 6S, despite seemingly good sales. Just a thought.
  • I'll be getting a 6s Plus in March so and I already have a 5c and had a 5s but I agree with Rene here, if this 5se attracts a significant amount of customers looking for a 4 inch iPhone then it will be huge. Sent from the iMore App
  • I don’t want fewer features. I don’t want less power. (With the recognition that smaller means less battery and fewer pixels...those things are OK.) I don’t want less expensive. I just want smaller.
  • The Plus models are the best, I have the 6 s Plus and looking toward to the 7 Plus. Sent from the iMore App
  • I love the size of my 6S. The 6 is the reason I left Android completely. I always flirted with the 4 through 5s models but none of them kept my attention because the screen size on my Android phones were perfect for me. When the 6 released I never looked back to Android. So the 5se wouldn't be for me. Too small. The 6 Plus is too big. The 6 is just right.
  • I love my 5S,design,size,the works. It's been the best phone I have owned to date. I would wish for a flagship iPhone,the size of the 5s,but packing a bigger screen. A dream,I know. If Apple could make the entire display of the 5s,your actual display,on screen fingerprint scanner, that would be amazing. I would consider getting the 5se,but that would depend on lifespan of the device. I don't want to buy a phone in 2016 with the chip from 2014,I just won't buy it. I'll also not be happy with just one gig of ram,we have moved on,one gig would be a step in the wrong direction. Give me the specs in the 5 size & I'll buy it. Sent from the iMore App
  • What I want is a smaller physical device with a larger screen area. I have an iPhone 6 and it's too big to use with one hand. I want the 1080p screen of the 6+ in the form factor of the iPhone 5. Shrink the side bezels, integrate the home button into the screen-- ultimately the goal should be to cover the top surface with workable screen.
  • Not sure why anyone down voted you. The iPhone has huge bezels and I, like you, want a phone with a 5" screen in the size of the 6s. Apple could easily trim the bezels and make the overall size smaller, without making the screen smaller.
  • " ... The iPhone has huge bezels ..." Actually the iPhone has the smallest bezels both by size and by proportion of ALL iOS devices so that's a pretty strange characterisation. Any argument about bezel size should really start with the iPads (especially the mini)
  • An iPhone with slimmer bezels would be my ideal iOS device. I find the current bezel size a bit too thick for my liking, so making them slimmer for a larger display without making the overall size bigger is a plus in my books. My only question is the position and shape of the TouchID sensor.
  • I'm all for a smaller phone but what i really want is an iPhone where the power button is not directly opposite the volume buttons. This is the most annoying design flaw. I still have a 4s I use as a back up and find it ergonomically best to use.
  • For me, an ideal button placement is a location where they are easy to reach and position in such a way that they do not oppose each other, so that you don't hit 2 buttons when you mean to hit one. They also need solid tactile feedback and also has to be easily distinguished from each other by feel without looking.
  • Because I want one because my little phone doesn't hold my information and my contacts my apps
  • Looking forward to it Sent from the iMore App
  • The iPhone 6/6s 4.7" is too big for one-handed use, and a bit too big in my pocket...but my old iPhone 5 screen looks tiny now. I would have preferred Apple made the 6/6s 4.3", but no wider than the 5 (smaller bezel), then you could still one hand it and have a bit more screen real estate. I won't go back to a 4" screen, but would prefer a 4.3"...one-hand-able and better fit in my pocket. But, Apple stupidly left the size decision up to one person, one who must have really big hands and thought "reachability" would solve the problem for one-handed use, which is totally ridiculous. But, a 4.3" iPhone is not likely at this point, so I don't expect it, sucks, I'll have to put up with 4.7" for who knows how many years. It would make sense for all iPhones to be Apple Pay compatible, so this is obviously happening. Sent from the iMore App
  • They'll shrink the bezels in upcoming models. You can fit a 4.7 in screen on the current 5s (look at the 2013 moto x for comparison).
    I bet you won't have to wait long either as I'm sure the 7's will bezel shrink finally.
  • Wouldn't you have to increase the device's width a little? 4.7-inch is the diagonal size.
  • I'm aware of this. The iPhone 5 is 58.6 mm wide and the moto x is 65.3 mm. Pretty minimal increase in width. The bezels on the sides of a 5 aren't exactly the thinnest you know.
  • This is crazy talk. 7.3 mm is a LOT on a device of that size. It's a f*cking HUGE difference on an item that general only changes size by fractions of a single millimetre each year. It would also require a complete redesign of the whole iPhone aesthetic. It would have to be a chunkier, shorter, wider phone completely out of character with every iPhone that had gone before. Their branding would have to change as well as all the other models.
  • Like Gazoobee said, 7.3 mm is ashitload when you're talking about widening the device. The Moto X looks like a whale compared to the 5 even if the iphone does have a huge forehead/chin. http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/reviews/137487-image/Motorola-Moto-X-...
  • I went from a 6 plus back to a 5s. Why? UX or user experiance, plus has great battery, screen, but fails to just "fit". When I hold my 5s I think to myself "wow this is right" I cast aside the popular belief about bigger screens, and I found I enjoy my 5s more. So I am on top of this phone. It will have the A9 since Apple will discontinue the 6/6plus anyway this year. Thanks for the article Rene
  • Yes, I'm interested on a smaller iPhone. As a matter of fact, I'm still using my 5s (and I have a 6 too, but I'm still more partial to the 5s). However, I wish that Apple made a 4.3 inch screen size one instead of a 4-incher.
  • Not interested about the size and the front colour, iphone 6s plus rose gold is the best apple ever made Sent from the iMore App
  • I think there are a lot of people who prefer a smaller phone so at least Apple is making a phone for them. Personally I couldn't use anything smaller than the 6S plus. Sent from the iMore App
  • If the new 4 inch is going to a success it needs current hardware . No 2 year old processors , apple pay capable , hey Siri capable. Apple can save money on the screen and still produce a flagship small phone. No 5se garbage call it the iPhone 6s mini or 6s classic and watch the cash roll in
  • Why would Apple release a new 4-inch iPhone 5se this spring? Because they care about consumers. :) Only kidding! This, admittedly less technocentric website, offers sometimes similar views. ! Spoiler alert/ trigger warning: The article mentions stock value, scroll down past first paragraph to avoid. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35401668
  • Finally; have been waiting for an updated, small phone. My main device is an iPad. So until iPads get cell-voice capabilities, an updated companion phone that can be stuffed into a pocket so all i need.
  • For me, the 4.7" phone is the perfect size. 4" is too small, and 5.5" is too big.
  • I tried using a 4S after my LG G4 crapped itself due to a motherboard issue that LG explained 3 days after my phone died. Man, after using a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch device, the 4S is extremely tiny by comparison. To the point where it's actually pretty darn hard for me to hold and use (I have big hands). The iPhone 6S Plus is actually more suitable for my big hands in the case of the iPhone. But overall, I kinda prefer the size of the LG G2. If you need to know, my G4 is being repaired. It'll return as my daily driver soon.
  • I only care about the phone I own. I would get a rumored phone if it lowered my rumored phone bill.
  • well all this is in north america. how many iPhones apple sells in europe? here in north america kids are forced buying iPhones because iMessage. my son could keep my wife old motorola X but no he needs iOS so iPhone 5c which is slow and small. when i ask him if he wants a note 3 but no iPhone or nothing...
  • Still running my 5 into the ground. Never had a case, i am pretty careful but it survived a drop or two with only minor cosmetic damage. New battery 6 months ago, never drops below 40% by nightfall. I would consider switching to the mini phone if it had all the bells and whistles, but otherwise sorry no phone that needs two hands to use is going to have room in my pocket.
  • This might be a good fit for my dad. He wants a smaller phone and he's very familiar with iOS, so perhaps a 4-inch iPhone with iPhone 6 or 6S performance would be the kicker. I'm more of an Android fanatic, but I do enjoy using some iOS devices, like my iPad.
  • I'm all for a smaller iPhone. Daily I have issues with the size of the 6S and wish I had my 5S back.
    What's keeping me is I want the flagship phone. I want the curved glass, faster Touch ID and beautiful camera.
    Battery life has always been perfect for me. Except in the longest of days, I never worry about not making it through. Maybe it's because I don't play games or use Facebook. I wish the smaller phone could be just as powerful. A size choice just like the Plus is.
    I want a 6S but in the size of a 5S. All the features, even at the same price.
    7 Mini, the 7 and the 7 Plus
  • Surprised Rene left off what's gotta be a key demographic for the 4" phone -- children. If the 6 is big enough to turn adults away, it's gotta go double for middle schoolers and young high schoolers. I realize that seems like a first-world problem, but I bet they're a sizable piece of the market, as Exhibit A, the colorful 5c suggests.
  • It was probably intentional. It's completely irresponsible to give a cell phone to a child and the less promotion of that sort of thing the better.
  • "If you've been waiting for a smaller, perhaps less-expensive iPhone with more modern specs, would an iPhone 5se interest you?" I was waiting for a smaller, less-expensive iPhone with more modern specs, and when the 2015 iPod Touch came out, that met my needs: https://funksjon.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/yes-the-ipod-touch-can-replace...
  • I flirted with the idea of going back to my 5s and selling my 6s before getting the 7. I loved how compact that phone was and the square design. After using the 6 and 6s though, that 4" screen is just awful. I used if for about 10 minutes and realized the trade off wasn't worth it. I still agree with what you said previously about nobody really wanting a smaller screen, so much as a smaller device. The size in hand is a little too big with the huge chin and forehead. I think Apple can get over itself a bit and lose the symmetry and shave off the top considerably and even a bit around the home button on the bottom , as theres a millimeter or two there to lose as well. Between that and a tighter bezel, the phone would feel better in hand. No need for a 4"screen anymore, keep the business model of selling the previous generation at a discount and let's move passed this 4" nonsense.
  • Here is Apples newest problem, they are trying to create a good, better, best lineup as android makers have. I for one do not want to carry around a phablet phone, I also do not want to have a second rate iPhone with a smaller screen that lacks the specs of the bigger flagship. We never had to worry about this with iPhone, the newest phone had the top specs, best of the best! The 5c didn't work for them what makes Apple think a 5se with inferior specs will work? It's fine to have three devices in your line-up but don't make the same mistake Samsung has made, make them all top of the line specs and let the customers decide which screen size is best! Sent from the iMore App
  • For me, it needs to be as close as possible to the current models (i.e.: 6s and 6s+) in terms of hardware. I don't want a 4" second-class-citizen. How far it deviates, will determine if I buy it or not. But, I'm also unlikely to buy a 4.7" phone, they are just too big. And, I'm not going to spend much money on outdated tech, hence, why I don't have a 5s. Also, I'm not sure where this perception of bigger costs more comes from. Phones used to cost more the smaller they were! Do you remember the little flip-phones that could slip into your shirt pocket back when most other cell phones were nearly the size of traditional phone handsets? I get that people who use one as a primary computing device (at least while mobile) might tradeoff size to get more screen space, but that simply isn't my situation. I want a phone-sized-phone that is also a smart-phone, and I'll use my iPad or laptop when I need more screen space. Apple used to make a product for me, they no longer do (aside from the iPod touch).
  • First of all, Apple is not going to address the "I want something cheaper" crowd before they take a shot at the "I want something smaller" crowd. As was stated, over 60% of the user base has not upgraded or moved to a larger device. If Apple is developing a small iPhone again, then it will be a smaller flagship model (iPhone 6s mini), not an updated older model - that model is around specifically for the inexpensive crowd and will remain so and is set to be retired later this year. With it out of the way, the only 4" option would be the 6s mini, at least until the Spring when the iPhone 7 mini is released. Releasing a device mid-cycle means that costs will be way down. Any manufacturing kinks would've been worked out, any assembly obstacles overcome, component costs would've come down as well. This means they will be able to offer the smaller model for the $100 less and still maintain their margins. I also think Apple knows that there might be another huge wave of upgrades when the device is released and wanted to do it when they had the capacity for it. There could very well be hundreds of millions of older iPhone users chomping at the bit waiting to upgrade and just do not want a larger phone. This makes the most sense given Apple's propensity to sit at the top of the market and only dip their toes down market when they've exhausted all viable options. Making a 4" flagship model is the last option before they move down or move on to something else.
  • Doesn't seem plausible to me, the iPhone 7 would take the $200 contract spot, the 6s $100, and the 6 FREE on contact. What space would the supposed 5se take? If they made a iPhone 6c and stopped producing the regular iPhone 6 that would make a lot more sense with Apple's history. If Apple decided to make the iPhone 6c smaller than the 6, well that's their prerogative. Kind of a dumb idea to me personally. I don't buy my phone on contract anymore anyway but I don't see an argument for an iPhone 5se except for form factor, which i think would be smarter to on a 6c.
  • I have small hands and find that everything I use a phone for is easier/more enjoyable on my 5S than my 6. even watching videos didn't seem any better on that 0.7 inch bigger screen. in fact some things were harder due to the size (the shape of the 6 sucks but I'm only focusing on size here) I mean why do people think bigger phones = better? Or that small phones have to be cheap? Of course apple is going to make their bigger phones more expensive because they know people think this way (ie bigger = better). They know a customer will spend more on a bigger phone so that means more profit for apple. However some people like me don't want a cheaper a phone, or one with worse specs, they SIMPLY WANT SMALLER! This is where Sony wins with the z1/z3/z5 compact! Even HTC that was one of the last OEM's to keep their flagship @ 5 inches are going to make the m 10 5.1. I know it'll probably have a smaller bezel so it'll be smaller overall than the m9 while still having a bigger screen but I don't care. I want 4 -4.5 inch phones AGAIN **** IT LOL! Apple is the only smartphone OEM that realizes that people like me exist and are actually doing somthing about it by introducing the 5SE. It doesn't hurt that I vastly prefer iOS to Android lol (the quality of the app store store is so far ahead of the playstore, the app permissions on android is garbage compared to iOS, Android sucks at managing background resources, it is so much less work on iOS to stick at a rock solid 60fps in standard GUI. stuff like lists, collection views, etc. It's certainly possible on Android, but it's harder. In particular because the profilers that come with the dev tools are so primitive compared to Apple's Instruments.app, which is heaven.) BUT I DIGRESS!
  • I would love the formfactor of the iphone 5/5s as my daily phone, should they be able to get similar camera qualities and battery life to the 6s plus inside of it. Totally wishful thinking but yea....
  • I would pre-order the iPhone SE now if I could.
    Can't wait to get back on a 4" screen.