Since the time first iPhone was launched by Apple it changed the smartphone industry forever. Over time Apple improved the iPhone but one thing which did not changed was the screen size of iPhone. But all that too changed with the success of big screen Android devices and there were voices from Apple fans to have a big screen phone.
With the launch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Apple did follow the market trend of bigger screen phones. The Cupertino based company brought not one but two big screen phones, iPhone 6 came with a 4.7” screen while the iPhone 6 Plus came with a whopping 5.5” screen. When you consider the 4” screen size of iPhone 5s and other previous iPhones, the move to 5.5” screen with iPhone 6 Plus was a bold move. This was by the company which had previously not shown any interest in big screen phones and had full confidence in its knowing what its customer wants.
As has been the case with all iPhone releases since 2007, both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus became huge hit with the users. Apple was able to sell millions of these big screen phones and earn a huge amount of money. Then came the yearly upgrade cycle to bring on new hardware for replacing iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and Apple happily kept the big screen sizes for year 2015.
Out came iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and the screen sizes were again kept at 4.7” and 5.5” respectively. Even though the screen sizes were kept the same, there were improvements done with the new 6s iPhones which were first for any iPhone released previously. These new features include 3D touch, 12MP iSight camera with True Tone Flash and front facing 5MP camera with screen flash to name a few.
Both these new models were instant hit again and sold millions of units, but there were users and fans of iPhone who did not upgraded from their iPhone 5s and gave the bigger screen iPhones a miss. Apple too did not miss this pattern, there were also voices from users who wanted to upgrade their iPhones but did not want the big screen. These were the people who held on to their older iPhones in the hope that someday there would be a new smaller iPhone for them to upgrade.
Since this was a problem and Apple wants its every user to be on the latest and greatest phone it create. So to make upgrade its users who desired for smaller iPhone Apple came up with a brilliant idea. And the idea was to make a smaller iPhone just like they did prior to the launch of iPhone 6/6Plus in 2014. As Apple was working on this new smaller iPhone there were rumours of this phone coming out to market in March-April time frame.
Once Apple announced its event for March 21st, the chances of seeing another new iPhone albeit smaller became stronger. Apple has generally followed the yearly release cycle for its iPhone but this was different. And although not much time has elapsed since the last year launch of iPhone 6s/6s Plus Apple wants all its users to upgrade, even if that meant hosting a launch event midyear.
All these speculations and rumours came to halt as Apple announced the new smaller iPhone SE. Now earlier leaks suggested the new iPhone to be named iPhone 5SE but Apple removed the ‘5’ and you get a much simpler iPhone SE where SE is Special Edition. The new iPhone SE comes with a 4” back-lit LED IPS LCD display with 1136 x 640p resolution which comes to 326ppi pixel density. As compared to the iPhone 6/6 Plus and 6s/6s Plus the screen on iPhone SE will show less content due to its smaller size.
Although the new phone is smaller in size but it packs the latest internals of its bigger brothers. The iPhone SE comes with the latest 64-bit Apple A9 chip with the M9 motion coprocessor. The iPhone SE also supports hands free ‘Hey Siri’ feature. The new iPhone comes with 2GB RAM and has two variants for internal storage 16GB and 64GB, and as with all iPhones does not support any external SD card.
On the camera side the iPhone SE comes with the same 12MP iSight camera module used on iPhone 6s. The camera supports 4K video @30fps, 1080p video and @60fps and slow motion video recording also. For selfies and FaceTime there is a 1.2MP camera with f/2.4 720p recording @30fps and Retina Flash for low light photography and selfies.
For connectivity iPhone SE supports Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and hotspot. iPhone SE GPS support with A-GPS, GLONASS, also the phone supports NFC for Apple Pay. Like all iPhones, the iPhone SE has also a non-removable battery with 1642mAh capacity. The device measure 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and is pretty lightweight at 113g and considering the hefty weight of 192g iPhone 6s Plus carries.
The iPhone SE is available in four colours Space Gray, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold. The phone is priced at $399 for 16GB and $499 for 64GB, Apple also is giving users the options to upgrade them via offers as well. Considering the prices the phone looks good and considering that specs wise it is similar to iPhone 6s, users who have delayed the upgrade can feel happy.
iPhone SE is expected to be coming to India this month early, the 16GB version is priced at INR 39,000. The Indian pricing translates to $583 which is around $200 more than the price announced for US. Why the high price for Indian market? Well, only Apple can answer but this is really on the higher side.
The iPhone 6s 16GB model is selling at around similar price point in India and I feel the price of iPhone SE 16GB to be around INR 30,000. With this price Apple would have been a real disruptive thing in the Indian smartphone market. Considering the pricing model Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, Lenovo, and LeEco are following Apple will find it tough to break through price sensitive Indian customers, but with Apple loyal base and fan following this could become a hit.
What are your thoughts on the new iPhone SE? Do you think the price is right or Apple could have been more thoughtful while pricing the phone, would love to hear your thoughts about iPhone SE.