iPhone SE Hands-on: Power in a 4-inch package

Patrick O'Rourke

March 21, 2016 5:25pm

It looks like the recent iPhone SE rumours were almost completely accurate.

At its Cupertino, California-based central campus today, Apple finally revealed a product industry observers have predicted the company has been preparing to release for years: a 4.0 inch smartphone called the iPhone SE.

The handset takes the powerful processor from the iPhone 6s and crams it into a 4-inch form factor. Visually, the phone is almost indistinguishable from the iPhone 5, which has been discontinued with the launch of the SE. It features the same 1136 x 640 pixel display, as well as a nearly identical bezel and rectangular form factor, though the SE’s edges seem slightly more curved when compared to the 5s.

iphone5sedemo-2
The most surprising thing about the iPhone SE is Apple hasn’t skimped on the smartphone when it comes to technical specifications like it did with the budget-focused 5c; it’s clear the SE is a premium smartphone, designed to perform the same as the 6s. It’s worth noting, however, that the smartphone does not feature the pressure sensitive 3D Touch-enabled display included in Apple’s other, larger smartphones.

Continuing with the 6s to SE comparison, Apple’s new phone features the same 12 megapixel 4K-capable shooter you’d find on the 6S, however, the camera bump many smartphone users often complain about is completely absent.

iphonese-1
While I was not able to test the camera for an extended period of time, the SE’s camera app launches at roughly the same speed as the iPhone 6s, and seems to snap excellent photographs.

The same can be said about the phone’s overall performance thanks to the speedy A9 processor, the same silicon featured in the iPhone 6s. While my time with the smartphone was short, high-end, graphically intensive games, performed smoothly, both in terms of load times and actual gameplay. The M9 chip has also made its way to the SE, allowing users to say “Hey Siri” to activate Apple’s personal assistant, a feature that doesn’t appeal to me, but has proven popular with some users.

iphonesedemo-3
Continuing with the SE’s aesthetics, if you’ve held the iPhone 5 or 5s, you’ll be familiar with the design of Apple’s latest device. However, I do feel like specific aspects of the SE’s overall aesthetic haven’t aged well, especially when compared to the sleek looking iPhone 6 or 6s, particularly when it comes to the phone’s glass back and angular design.

During my brief hands-on time with the smartphone, my initial reaction was the SE feels incredibly small, so much so that my fingers felt cramped when typing with it. I’m on the “phablet” bandwagon and prefer larger devices, but there definitely is an audience out there that feels alienated by Apple’s last two larger smartphones. For some, a 4-inch devices is perfect and until now, iOS users looking for a modern device, with the latest technical specs, have had no alternatives.

alltheiphonecolours
One other benefit worth noting is I instantly felt comfortable using the smartphone in just one hand, which is something I wasn’t able to say about the 6 or 6s.

In the end, it’s clear that the SE is designed specifically for a very specific Apple user – one that misses the 4-inch form factor of older Apple smartphones. It’s unlikely, however, that the phone will convince Android users fond of smaller form factors to jump to Apple’s operating system given its relatively hefty price tag.

We’ll have a full review of the iPhone SE in the coming weeks. This story will also be updated with video hands-on impressions shortly. The iPhone SE is up for pre-order in Canada starting March 25th and available for sale on March 31st. The pricing is as follows: 16GB: $579 (CAD) unlocked and 64GB: $709 (CAD) unlocked. The iPhone SE comes in four colours that match iPhone 6s’ variants: Silver, Gold, Space Grey, and new for the SE, Rose Gold.

Related reading: iPhone SE specs, Canadian pricing and availability, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Hands-on: Same tablet, smaller build

  • Mo Dabbas

    The pink one actually looks nice. I think the white glass on the back goes very well with that pink.

    • It does actually. I think the overall design feels a little dated though. I was hoping for a refresh (at least it’s not plastic like the 5C).

    • Mo Dabbas

      likewise, the rumors about curved edges (inspired design by iPhone 6 and 6S) would have made tons of sense for me….. but we get what we get

    • ShaBi

      Hmm honestly, this designs makes much more sense to me. I can’t imagine how many times I’ll drop the phone if it’s that small with curved edges. The edges just makes it that much better to hold in regards to the size of the phone. I’ve been using a 6 since day 1, and was using a 5 prior for 2 years, and I do miss the feeling of holding a 5.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      There is no Apple design that doesn’t make sense to you. This is clear.

    • ShaBi

      You know what else can’t be fixed besides stupid? Prejudice. Cause if you’re smart enough you wouldn’t have that problem.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      Wow…now that’s stupid!

    • danbob333

      what’s wrong with plastic?

    • Sk0ly

      Just a cheaper material. Feels less premium. From a design perspective though, plastic actually makes more sense for phones as it doesn’t have any issues in terms of antenna or wireless charging.

  • Erik Tyler

    Lame as hell. They actually made an S model of an S model, and a 3 year old one at that. They seriously couldn’t make a new design? No innovation…

    • I think they were just listening to the people holding onto their iphone 4, 4s, and 5’s and 5S’s who wanted the technology, just not the size of the 6/6s devices.

    • Erik Tyler

      Did you read my comment? I’m not arguing about a 4 inch model. Apple made an incredibly lazy effort by recycling an old design that’s already been used for two years and then stuffing it with 6 month old recycled parts from the 6S. They couldn’t have at least designed something fresh? Lame as hell in every way…

    • Raj Singh

      Imagine how awkward it would be to see a car company do this, put out a new car with last year internals and even older design. 2017 car with 2016 internals and 2012 model. That’d be weird.
      Apple gets a free pass because they’re apparently serving what everyone wants.

    • Erik Tyler

      Apple is getting very complacent. They get a “free pass” because they’re Apple… Another very successful tech company also got complacent when they were on top and could “do no wrong”. Ever hear of BlackBerry…

    • xanth18

      They get a “free pass” because the only people who buy Apple crap are mouth breathers. 😉

    • I think in this instance, their free pass comes more from the fact that no android manufacturer is touching this segment. Sony is the only one who’s even coming close but their phones are so hard to get its a non starter (also, if we’re talking about complacency Sony wouldn’t really be a good example since they’re also pretty fond of iterative, conservative design)

    • Erik Tyler

      One thing has nothing to do with the other. Apple is supposed to be a design leader and this is their first new 4″ phone in three years. And they took the phone from 2012 and recycled it. This is nothing but a “parts bin” phone. Not exactly what you expect from a top design leader like Apple. This isn’t Sony we’re talking about. And Sony never introduced a phone identical to one that was several years old… No OEM has.

    • Of course it does. They’re getting a free pass because this segment is so underserved that people are elated to get anything st all. It’s like giving poorly seasoned steak to some starving people, no one is going to complain about your culinary skills.

    • thomas nguyen

      Their xperia line look very similar the last few years though

    • Erik Tyler

      Similar is not the same as identical. They never reused a previous design

    • thomas nguyen

      I don’t know, for someone to look at the x3-x5, make for make, it would be hard to identify the difference between the 3. show it to people and they can say that small nuance aside, they are identical in style and look.
      I would say that is the same for iphone 5s -> iphone se
      Iphone 6 -> 6s
      Iphone 5 -> 5s

    • hi

      have you not heard of or something named 911? or the “new” Corvette grand sport?

    • Raj Singh

      The 911 and Corvette has always paid homage to its lineage but it’s always been able to refine its design. I applaud them for it. It’s not easy to do and it’s a lot of pressure.

      The SE is the exact same design. If it works for you, great. I have no problems with that. As an enthusiast, I wanted to see a new design, even if it still looked like an iPhone.

      When a 2017 911 comes out you can expect to see a refined model that retains its lineage. But it’ll be new. It’ll have new lines and new design elements. They’d never put out a 2017 car with a 2012 exterior.

    • The current 991 generation has been the design since 2011. Before that, the 997 body design was launched in 2005. In other words, depending on the timing of the model release, it’s absolutely plausible that a given model would be using the same design of a 5 year old model.

    • Raj Singh

      The 991 is the current generation model. I implore you to point out to me when Porsche has ever released a new generation model using the body of an older generation 911.

      Like I said in an earlier post, as it relates to the auto industry, a consumer model typically has a 4-year life cycle. With phones, it’s usually a 1-year life cycle before a refresh.

    • philandrew

      car companies do do this…… facelifts don’t happen for a few years and often times they’d bring down the bigger engine down the line a year after release…

    • Raj Singh

      There is no way a 2017 Honda Accord or 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish will be released using the exact same design of the Accord or Vanquish from two generations back. No way. They’d retain the legacy and lineage but the exterior would be refined or evolved.

    • Mo Dabbas

      not to mention the massive advancement in the chassis, engines, suspension, dash, …. I can actually go forever.

    • It’s Me

      Car companies make massive improvements on the same vehicle year after year?

    • Mo Dabbas

      he said from two generations back. Not year after year. As an example a 2003 honda accord can’t be compared to a 2015 honda accord. huge difference.

    • It’s Me

      No, but that’s not what he said either.

      A 2017 Accord might look identical to a 2018 and a 2019. The same body and interior usually last more than 1 year. Hence “facelifts don’t happen for a few years”.

    • Raj Singh

      No, my analogy applies to automobiles within the context of the life cycle of a specific generation of a specific product. In the auto industry, that life cycle is usually 4 years. As it relates to smartphones, it’s typically one year before a refresh.
      Analogy and automobiles aside, it’s just weird to me that they went backwards. I want to see something I haven’t seen before.

    • It’s Me

      Well, yeah, but you were responding to a comment that dealt with facelift between years not models. He even said “years” not “models”.

      So, really, I guess you are agreeing with him. Even car companies don’t do big facelifts each year.

    • Erik Tyler

      For a company that’s supposed to be a leader in design, this is BS.

    • It’s Me

      People liked the design and it’s being kept for their entry level model. Is there a good business reason for them to change the low-end up from a design people seem to like?

    • Raj Singh

      My original point and original comment is this: No car company puts out a new generation model using the previous generation body. In your opinion, does reality not reflect that?

      To be clear, I wasn’t responding to a comment. It was MY comment that HE was responding to. He misinterpreted my point, which I then clarified for him. Yes, cars typically don’t get a refresh every year. I agree. But that was never my point. My point was that a car company would never put out a new generation model using the previous generation’s body. I implore you to point out to me when that’s happened. Otherwise, carry on with your pro bono defense…

    • You think it would be akward to see a car company put out a car with a 2.5 year old design??? Do you follow the automotive industry at all? Most car manufacturers keep a model for 4-5 years and powertrains last even longer.

      Were you embarrassed for the current nexus devices when they shipped with 8 month old SOCs? Is it embarrassing for a mid range Apple device to contain an SOC that is currently beating out the brand new S7 in benchmarks?

    • Erik Tyler

      Seriously… It would be a car company coming out with a new model that was identical to one that was out two designs prior. They recycled a phone from 2012. I’m fine with the internals, but everything put together, this is nothing but a “parts bin” phone. No effort was put into making something new.

    • Russell Robinson

      VW did this before with the Jetta and Golf in several markets

    • Raj Singh

      Point out to me when VW released a new generation Jetta (and Golf) using the exact same body as a previous generation model. Not that they’re not allowed to do it but I just don’t see it happen very often, if at all.

    • The City Golf???

      It was literally exactly what you’re talking about. The redesigned MKV golf was released but they kept selling the older MKIV golf as a low end model. I believe it was even still available when the MKVI launched (i bought an MKVI the first year it came out and it’s model year is the same as the last City Golf’s).

    • Russell Robinson

      Take a few minutes to look at cars sold in developing nations. Plenty of examples, the Golf Citi was a MKI sold in South Africa for 25 years. Although they did upgrade it slowly over time it was the same car. Sometimes those models bleed over into Canada (as Hunter mentioned the City Golf ).

    • Raj Singh

      That’s fine as long as you’re cool with that. Personally, I don’t like it. I expected something different, not more of the same.

    • FTR_Part_deux

      Don’t need to imagine car companies doing it, because they already do. RAV4 2.5l 4cyc engine has been used since…2009? Nissan’s 3.5l 6cyc has been used across how many vehicles (Maxima, Altima). VW’s VR6 engines were used in their Golf & Vetta models for soooo many years. Subaru WRX 2.0L turbo engine has been used forever as well.

      So you’re wrong saying Apple is getting a free pass, unless you want to turn a blind eye to the example you’ve used.

    • Raj Singh

      I disagree. I don’t think I’m wrong. I’ve followed the tech “media” for years and I have seen them consistently lambaste other OEMs for releasing a phone that looked even vaguely similar to previous iterations.

      That said, On internals, you’re right. Car companies share chassis with other car companies. They share parts, components, technology, engines, et cetera. But point out to me any vehicle that has been released with the exact same body as a previous generation model. As an example, the Honda Accord was released in 1976. That was the first generation Accord. Since then, they have released subsequent models. Have they ever released a new generation model using the previous generation body?

    • FTR_Part_deux

      What’s the benefit of having an updated external look, while maintaining the same internals, as you mentioned in the car industry? You put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. The internals matter more than externals.

      As for your example, imagine if the first gen Accord still used that same 1.6L, I4 engine in a current model Accord? Sure the external design is different, but that little engine only put out 68hp! Lol.

      Internals matter more than externals.

    • Dutchie65

      That happens all the time. New engine, new transmission, other fuel…

    • TP

      They actually did. VW had City Golf and City Jetta as competitor for Yaris and Fit. They were not successful, but still sold in decent volume.

    • Nadefrenzy

      You mean like the Camry 2014.5 and 2015? Same engine and practically everything else.

    • Is it for laziness or price. The $400 usd price point they hit was a lot lower than people were expecting. This thing has a high end camera and its chipset is beating even the current crop of SD820 flagships.

      Given a list of corners to cut to get the price low, it seems aesthetics was the primary choice (with performance being almost un-touched). It seems that sometimes Apple can’t win with people. The company is commonly derided as valuing form over function, then when they do the opposite they’re slammed for not paying attention to design.

    • Erik Tyler

      It’s nothing but a “parts bin” phone. Literally. Look at the Nexus 6p, Moto X, etc. Top tier phones can hit this price point without literally using designs from several years ago. They could’ve had a fresh design with the same price point. Apple just demands outrageous profit margins… This phone is a prime example of their greed. And 16GB… Need I say more…

    • I’m not arguing about them likely taking higher profit margins. Within that framework though, many expected the price of this to be higher, if a recycled design helped then slash a few buck of them price I’m good with that. Maybe I’m biased because I actually prefer the 5s design to the 6/6s

    • Alistair Brogan

      Where is my parts bin phone? I want a nexus 5 with a snapdragon 820 for a low price, not what i got…. 200 dollars more and not faster….

    • gommer strike

      Not “parts bin” when it’s using the latest and greatest(until the iPhone 7). This iPhone SE is faster, has more memory than the iPhone 6.

      The true measure is not what you, I, or anyone thinks here. Sales are the only thing that matter. If this thing sells – well – then that speaks for the customer base who wants this phone. You aren’t the target audience for this device, so why the uproar?

      You realize the easiest way to kill something is by ignoring and not talking about it, right?

    • thereasoner

      Screen is old parts bin, no 3D touch
      TouchWiz ID old parts bin, using slower version.
      Design, case and build machineries old parts bin

      If this thing sells then all that Apple will have accomplished is cannibalizing it’s own more profitable flagship sales because no one is switching to an iPhone that already looks several years old out of the box. Apple cheaped out on design here. The specs for the most part are good but they should have put their greed aside for a change and produced a design more in line with their latest offerings imo.

    • gommer strike

      I wonder why making a profit is viewed by so many as “greed”. People don’t have to buy anything from Apple, let’s not forget that. But if people do? That’s their choice.

      I’m not the type of person who criticizes others for what they buy or choose, but that’s just me.

    • Cornfed710

      Exactly, for $399USD They obviously didn’t want to spend money redesigning the exterior and focused everything on the internals. I think it was a great decision.

    • John Mcarty

      I agree,
      even many people I know still using iPhone 4S / 5 / 5S and telling me they want to get another iPhone but their screen is just too big.
      If Apple can capture all those people (none from Android), I bet this will sell just many as iPhone 6S
      not to mention its cheap (least for American) $400 or FREE under 2yr contract.

    • thereasoner

      …for the useless unexpandable 16 GB version. There should be no such thing as a 16 GB phone that records 4K video. For Canadians the decent storage size will cost $700+, hardly cheap when you consider what you can get for that!

    • Will

      what small screen size phone can you get for $700 that is comparable to this please explain

    • Mr_Smoosh

      I imagine it’s obvious why they called it the SE instead of the SS 🙂

    • John Mcarty

      You can say all you want but it is pretty impressive to fit all that into 4″ phone and thats innovation to me
      This might be news to you but there are many people been waiting for a flagship spec’ed phone in a small screen size
      and none of android manufactures were able to deliver but SONY (Compact series)

      Once Samsung can fit all of S7 (at least CPU / GPU / Memory / CAM) into S4 size for $400 to $450 I am sure it will sell like no tomorrow as well

    • Hugh Jorgen

      And it comes with a free magnifying glass

    • Sunny Lee

      …Because everyone walked around with magnifying glasses before phablets came around, right?
      Sorry, if the hyperbole was funny, I’d reply differently.

  • I kinda want it… lol but then i always kinda want a new device when they are announced.. i want the new microsoft 950, i want the Priv, I want the supposed s7 mini lol i want i want i want…

  • Raj Singh

    Sony has been doing this for years. In my opinion, the Xperia Compact is a better package.

    • Worse processor, worse camera in any real world test, the NA version doesn’t even have a fingerprint reader. Then there are all the QC issues which is usually something I wouldn’t care too much about, but when your only method of getting the phone is to import it (read: no warranty) it becomes a bit concerning. Obviously it has it pluses as well (waterproof, battery life, sd card), but it isn’t that cut and dry which is better.

    • John Mcarty

      I love SONY compact series but we all know Z5 Compact is one overheating POS…
      Thanks to SD810 🙁
      can not wait for their upcoming compact series with SD820 it will be amazing

      Xperia compact series is better for Android users
      iPhone is always better for iPhone users

      Those two will never change

    • Brad Fortin

      “Sony has been doing this for years.”

      And Apple’s been doing this even longer than Sony. Big whoop.

    • Raj Singh

      Patrick pointed out that the new iPhone comes in a powerful, compact package. I’m pointing out that powerful 4-inch phones have existed for quite some time. Sony has been doing it for years. So while you say big whoop… I could say the exact same thing about the SE… big whoop. But I won’t say that because phones with <5-inch displays shouldn't have to compromise on specs and it is important to bring something like this to the market for iOS users, like Sony has been doing with Android for years.

    • Sunny Lee

      What? Sony’s compact phones have always been 4.6 – 4.7 inches, same as the iPhone 6S. I don’t think Sony (or any major Android manufacturer for that matter) ever released a powerful 4-inch phone in recent years.

      You’re using “4-inch” and “< 5-inch" interchangeably, when in reality the difference between 4 and 4.7 is near the same (~0.1) as the difference between 4.7 and 5.5, the average size of a phablet. A pretty big difference if you ask me, considering 4.7 – 5.0 are considered "normal" while 5.5 are considered "phablet".

  • FTR_Part_deux

    Bogus that they’re still parading an entry level device with 16gb. As an iPhone 5s 32gb user, it’s disappointing. Would have liked to have seen the same beveled glass panel that the iPhone 6/6s gets too. Not a homerun for iPhone 5/5s users, but perhaps it’s more directed towards current iPhone 4/4s users to persuade them upgrade.

    As least we have iOS 9.3 to play around with. 🙂

  • BigTurk

    “Power in a 4-inch package”

    -no woman ever

  • Techguru86

    People are holding onto their older IPhones because Apple has outpriced the newer devices and contracts are so expensive, and the carriers well fa more 5s/c and 6’s because of it’s pricing, sad though that Moto G 3rd gen has a far more powerful screen and good device for so much less, this is the price Apple should have gone

    • Mo Dabbas

      funny fido just called me (like literally 30 minutes ago) to upgrade my phone with a new contract and the guy offered me an iPhone 5S for 0 dollars. I lol’ed at that offer…..

    • It’s Me

      call rogers. They are literally giving away the S7 (with conditions) if that is more to your liking. $0 is an awesome deal for a pretty sweet phone.

    • Mo Dabbas

      yeah, but I have 6Gb of data and unlimited calling for 60….. nobody gives that anymore. That’s why I’m not changing fido

    • Techguru86

      Wind does but they don’t have towers every where

    • Mo Dabbas

      me is in quebec tho… we don’t have wind here. and I travel a lot so around canada. so wind is out for me at this point.

    • It’s Me

      And look at how well the Moto G is selling….

      As far as people holding on because Apple outpriced them, that would apply to Samsung too. Neither Apple nor Samsung seem to be suffering from ignoring your advice.

      This is why some people run multi-billion dollar companies and some people work behind a cash register. Wonder which one knows what they are talking about.

  • Not for you

    ” It’s unlikely, however, that the phone will convince Android users fond
    of smaller form factors to jump to Apple’s operating system given its
    relatively hefty price tag.”

    I gave serious consideration to Sony’s Z5 Compact which sold for CAD$700 until last week. Ultimately decided against it after reading up on its software issues (even after the Marshmallow rollout).

    However, this device has my attention. If I could avoid having to use itunes, apple would have my money already.

    • It’s Me

      Don’t need iTunes as much as in the past.

    • I don’t think you need iTunes for much anymore. You can use streaming services for music, I use google photos for my pictures, pocketcasts, etc. The only thing I really do in iTunes anymore is backups.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      I have an old 4s for my car. I use Mediamonkey for syncing and music management. It requires itunes to be installed, but I’ve never run it. Mediamonkey just needs the communication files for syncing. It also uses the same library for my android devices.

  • jay

    There is a market. A lot company’s using still smaller phones and with a good price. Agree with a S model from a S model but why changing what was good. I liked itbut that was three years ago and now time changes so not a phone I would buy. I think they sell on eBay now the Nexus 5x for 329$

  • Techguru86

    Why is there a hands on video for a phone that’s literally already been released in a shell of a device that was released 3 years ago? Make a hands on video if it offered something different hardware wise at-least, everyone’s seen the 5s and 6s

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      All about dat rose gold bro…

  • ERYREB

    Look at the size of those bezels. That is one ugly phone. Even with the baby screen, it’s not even that small because they don’t know how to shrink the bezels like other manufacturers.

    • The top and bottom bezels aren’t relevant in phone handling. Only the side bezels (or more importantly the absolute width of the phone) matter.

      Between the two options of them not knowing how to shrink the bezels or not wanting to shrink the bezels, I think you’d need to hate apple to a logic blinding level to really believe the former.

    • ERYREB

      So a 10 metre long phone wouldn’t bother you? Don’t be so silly.

    • When were talking about differences measured in mm, and you need to extend it to differences of several meters (several orders of magnitude above what we’re talking about) to make a point, you should accept that you’ve lost the argument and have no valid point.

    • Sunny Lee

      Dat hyperbole though. Akin to:
      Oh, a needle prick doesn’t bother you? Then a stab from a machete shouldn’t bother you either right?
      Seriously, what is this argument.

    • thereasoner

      The huge top and particularly the bottom bezels are relevant if a home button is further away as a result.

  • tedstriker3

    for 600 bucks its actually a pretty good deal. I’d seriously consider this phone for sure.

    • thereasoner

      Actually, for decent storage so you can put that 4K video recording to good use , you are look at +$700 . You’d have to want that low resolution 4″ screen really bad for that price considering that you can easily get a GS6 for that and save a few bucks or the best phone in the world currently available in the GS7 for less than $200 more.

    • Sunny Lee

      Or, you know, instead of wanting a “low resolution” 4″ screen, just wanting a 4″ screen.
      I’m starting to sound like a broken record on the comments here, but clearly you’ve completely missed the whole point of this phone’s release. Why are you offering a 5.1″ phone as an alternative to a 4″ phone? The whole point of this phone is that it’s small.

  • I want this but my one worry is battery life.

  • FlamesFan89

    I’m not sure I’ll ever understand the attraction to both the yellow gold and rose gold colours for phones. They are far too gaudy for my tastes.

    • Sunny Lee

      I’ve had some friends openly admit that they bought the rose gold 6S because it’s the only way to differentiate the 6 from the 6S at a glance. Not to say that it applies to everyone.
      At least it’s infinitely more subtle than the 5C, the iPhone for kids.

    • FlamesFan89

      why am I not surprised that someone would choose the colour on their iPhone based on some perceived social status.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      Probably time to get a few new friends. That’s pathetic. Sure they can do what they want with their money. But when you act so superficial and get called pathetic don’t cry.

    • Sunny Lee

      Hey, I’m not one to judge. Hell, there’s countless people in Toronto riding high-end cars that cost 10x more than my “lowly” Honda Civic.

  • gommer strike

    The iPhone SE, contrary to what so many of you guys seem to have misperceptions on, wasn’t ever meant to have an “all new design”. It was intended from day one to be a classic device but with updated internals, and catering to a very niche audience. We all have friends and family who have stubbornly stuck with their older iPhone 4/4S, looked at the iPhone 6/6+ and deemed those devices far too big.

    This is the device for *them*, not for you, Mr. Phablet.

    • thereasoner

      Still, a refreshed design following the 6/6s was overdue here. Apple went cheap in the design department using off the shelf parts and machinery for the build. Now status conscious iFans are getting a phone that looks several years old already out of the box.

    • Brad Fortin

      “Now status conscious iFans are getting a phone that looks several years old already out of the box.”

      On the flip side of things, “status conscious iFans” with a 5S can try to pass it off as an SE!

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      iPhone classic SE in rose gold.

  • Sk0ly

    I am no Apple fan but this is a good plan. There are a large amounts of holdouts who were upset with the increase in size that came with the iPhone 6. Also, there aren’t any decently specced android devices in the 4″ size category. This could be a big win for Apple and that kills me lol. The plus is that any success will mean that Android OEM’s will be back to making high end 4″ phones.

    • thereasoner

      Sony does already with the Z5 compact and although Samsung skipped the mini version of the S6 they were already doing those for the S3,4 and 5. As far as putting flagship specs in them, rumors are that Samsung will return to a mini version this year but I don’t see the need for high end specs in that segment. It never did anything for Sony and Samsung could risk cannibalizing it’s more profitable flagship phone sales, something that Apple is risking now with this phone.

      Personally, I think that the market for devices this small is limited anyway so maybe Samsung will go with better specs now, same with the other OEMs that do small versions of flagships but sales will be limited regardless.

    • Sk0ly

      Not exactly. The Z5 compact is 4.6″ which is a fair bit larger than this. It also is significantly more expensive than this (which is fine as I want to see a higher end small device). I wouldn’t really count Samsungs offerings as their Galaxy S mini series was specced significantly lower than their flagships.

      I don’t see the issue with speccing out a smaller phone. Why does the larger model need to be the flagship? Offer your flagship in sizes to accommodate every user. In the case of Apple, like I mentioned, they had an entire group of users who have held on because they were not ok with going to a larger device. Those people will now go and buy this because, lets be honest, iPhone users don’t typically even look at alternative products.

    • thereasoner

      Let’s not forget that everyone with a 5s/5c are not “hanging on” to the small form factor. Many of those users are still within a 2 year contract and are waiting to upgrade to the larger and better 6/6s.

      That and the reason why you might not see a “speccing out” small mini model from Samsung is the cannibalism of more profitable models previously mentioned.

      Good point on the screen size difference between the SE and Z5c but we will never see an Android OEM go that small with a well spec’d device, Android users would have none of it as they are used to slightly bigger screens with smaller bezels in every segment .

    • Sunny Lee

      These “facts”… where are you getting them from?

    • thereasoner

      Really? The iPhone 6/6s have been out for 18 month approximately, that leaves tons of people still on contract with the 5/5s/5c with up to 6 months to go before upgrade. How are these people “hanging on” as its those who I was obviously referring to!

      You don’t know anything about the costs in the mobile industry apparently. It’s been reported that it costs just over $200 US $ to make the 6s, even if they can make the SE for half that( they don’t, not with the latest internals) the 6s is still making Apple way more money! Let’s round off and do the numbers;(US $)

      $250 to make a 6s subtracted from the price of $769 – $1029 = $519 – $779 profit margins!
      $125 to make a SE subtracted from the price of $399 – $499 = $274 – $374 profit margins!

    • Sunny Lee

      The insults are coming already? Dang you move fast. Allow me to challenge your very, very flawed logic.

      iPhone 6 was released 18 months ago, this is true. But your argument is suggesting “tons of people” bought the 5S exactly when the iPhone 6 came out! the 5S came out a YEAR before that, or 30 months ago.

      But let’s go right ahead to your other argument, which is the meat of the problem. First, you’re quoting a non-official analysis. Second, they state clearly that there’s a big limitation to the numbers, because they don’t account for research and development, which we know very little went into the SE considering identical design. They also state a big chunk of the costs go to the new display with 3D touch, which the SE doesn’t have. You’re only discussing the pure costs of the components and nothing else. It’s a flawed and “dumb” argument.

      And lastly, the biggest problem: you’re comparing a 5.5 inch to a 4.0 inch phone! Those are two completely different markets. You forget the whole point of this phone: it’s a mini version of a normal sized phone. There will be no “cannibalization” because people who want phablets aren’t going to buy a 4-inch phone, and people who want a 4-inch phone and have been waiting for a new one to come out aren’t going to buy a 5.5 inch phone. “Honestly, how can you be so dumb?”

    • Not for you

      ” Android users would have none of it as they are used to slightly bigger screens with smaller bezels in every segment”

      Androidcentral is running a poll about this, and 33% of the 5600 votes thus far have indicated an interest in smaller (relative to what’s currently available) phones. That doesn’t mean they all want devices with 4″ screens of course, but it suggests there’s more interest in smaller devices than you think.

    • thereasoner

      Yeah, I could see 4.7″ as the sweet spot. My HTC ONE M7 had that size and I liked it. The smaller you go from there however, the less interest we would see imo.

    • Sunny Lee

      “The smaller you go from there however, the less interest we would see imo.”
      You seem to love making blanket statements. Thanks for speaking on behalf of me! /s

    • thereasoner

      Only those in a loony bin could possibly speak on behalf of you! LMAO!

    • Sunny Lee

      Uh, alrighty then, that came outta nowhere. Guess we’re moving right onto the kiddy phase?
      And your mom’s obese! LMAO!

    • thereasoner

      imo means “in my opinion” so NOT speaking on anyone’s behalf but mine.

      You just never get tired of being wrong do you? Lol.

    • Sunny Lee

      Uh, sure?
      I’m not sure if you’re trolling or not, but considering you actually took the time to pull up numbers, Im’ guessing you’re just a bad debater.

      But why not, let me refute your statement AGAIN (4th? 5th time?), which I guess you enjoy for some reason. Yes, you are once again technically correct that “IMO” means “in my opinion”. But your statement “The smaller you go from there however, the less interest we would see imo” IS speaking for more than yourself (note the actual meaning of “we”).

      For example, if I said “People would be happy if all our taxes were increased 50% IMO”, would you say that I’m not wrong? Or “I think we would prefer having winter all year round IMO” (to honor the current shitty weather); would you say I’m right because I simply said IMO? No, of course not, because it doesn’t make any goddamn sense at all, there are plenty of people who do not like winter. You’re saying that your opinion is that everyone shares your opinion, which is pretty stupid.

      Keep it coming, I’m enjoying this. But come back with something more substantial; proving you wrong is the mental equivalent to a colouring book IMO. I think we’d prefer if you got an education IMO.

    • thereasoner

      I’m sure you’re trolling and I’m sure you’re an ldiot if you think I’ll waste time reading your BS nonsense!

    • Sk0ly

      That isn’t really correct though. The 5S/5C are currently 3 year old phones. These people have likely already renewed. There are a lot of people (I hear people complain all the time) that want a small phone with high end internals. Whether it be preference or for small hands which represents a lot of women.

      Speccing out a smaller phone doesn’t cannabalize the larger flagship sales as that market was never going to buy a large phone anyways. Instead, it just provides them with a better phone in their size range.

      As for your last point, no, you won’t see an android 4″ phone unless the 5SE is wildly successful. In which case, you will see likely a 4.3″ to 4.5″ android phone. Since the bezels and front panel footprint tend to be far smaller on android devices, this will be about the same size phone with a larger screen.

    • thereasoner

      Yes they are almost 3 years old, the 5 and 5c that is however there was no iPhone 6 available to buy just 18 months ago so everyone at that time that wanted an iPhone was getting one of the 5c, 5 or 5s. For Apple that means 10’s of millions of people still waiting for their first chance at a 4.7″ iPhone because they have up to 6 months left on contract for the only iPhone available to them at the time which were those 4″ phones previously mentioned.

      Many people seem to be making the mistake that the iPhone 6 has been out for 2 years plus, it has not, many are still waiting to upgrade to a 6 or 6s.

      I agree that those who want the larger iPhones aren’t going to consider an upgraded 5s in the SE. That said, those who really wanted a 4″ iPhone but resisted a 5s because of older specs can now get an SE thereby cannibalizing larger and more profitable iPhone sales had only the 5s/5c been the only 4″ choice available. Same for those who don’t want to spend that much on a new up to date iPhone 6s but still want an iPhone , they can now take the less expensive SE instead of having to come up with the extra cash. That too will cost Apple some profits though I agree it should be minimal as most customers probably don’t fall into those categories.

      I’m thinking 4.3″ to the already available 4.6″ for small Android offerings if they are to offer the latest specs in the smaller form factor. 4″ is out of the question, Android OEMs dropped that size years ago.

  • Pigs Can Fly

    They look way too much like the iPhone 4/4S.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      4 & 4s= Best looking iPhones ever. That design still remains top of the heap to this day.

  • Hugh Jorgen

    There must be something inherently wrong with apple phones if these sheep need a new one every 3 or 4 months. Sure glad I stayed the feck away from that crap!

    Baa baa apple sheep
    Here’s your new phone
    Give me 800 bucks
    And you can take a one home.

  • Iain Simpson

    look at the bezels on that thing, LOL. I’m sure the a9 has been under clocked in this thing and it wont run as fast as the 6S, such a waste of time I think and seems like Apple are running out of ideas.

    • Will

      Its clocked the same

  • slayerizer

    I got mine with Videotron without being on the 65$ contract. I was on the 55$ plan that I got 2 years ago with a 3GB data plan. The rep told me that i don’t need to change plan, if I beefed up my plan to reach 60$ or more, i was eligible to get the iphone for free.. So I added visual voicemail option 5$ to bring my plan to 60$ (-5$ for multiservice rebate) and got the deal for 55$ monthly. So unlimited calling + visual voice mail and free iPhone! Wife is happy!

  • Fogman

    I don’t understand Apple strategies. The iPhone SE is replacing the 5S but they should have stop selling the 6 and 6+… I’m still waiting for the 6s/6s+ price to go down as they are overall too pricey. Only Videotron is offering a good deal right now (March 24) on the SE.

  • Will Fung

    Why would you call it a glass back?

  • jay

    OK the iPhone looks good and maybe I buy one. I think I can use it as work phone. I don’t need nothing special there just a phone that I can put in the otterbox….

  • iPwn8599

    is it just me – or has the smart phone market just been ridiculously stagnant the last several years?