Small wonder: Suddenly missing the iPhone SE

If Apple did something then it must be a big mistake.


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It is a day that ends in “y” so it must be time once again to second-guess Apple’s strategy.

Writing for the very nice people over at Business Insider (motto: “We are literally inside a business right now!”), Dave Smith sagely advises that “Apple made a big mistake by killing its smallest and most affordable iPhone.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick.)

Small phones, big mistakes.

Last week, amid the hoopla surrounding the new iPhones, Apple quietly killed off one of the best smartphones it's ever made: the iPhone SE.

Oh, now everyone loves the iPhone SE. Where were you three weeks ago, Dave? Some of us have been loving the SE for more than two years. Get in line.

Mostly pundits dismissed the iPhone SE as being too small and having old technology in an old design. Until Apple canceled it and then it was the best phone ever.

At $350, the iPhone SE was one of the best "budget" smartphones you can buy.

If you’re just tuning in, The Macalope has previously explained this on an earlier episode of The Macalope, M.D. (IN COLOR!), but in returning the base price of iPhones to $449, Apple has gone back to what it’s been for most of the iPhone’s lifespan. This shouldn’t be all that shocking except this is Apple we’re talking about and we’re supposed to get outraged if the company makes its packaging more environmentally friendly (actual argument that has been made!).

This means the most affordable — and smallest! — iPhone is now the iPhone 7, which, at $449, is actually an absolute steal.

Somehow it’s all still a “big mistake.”

Or is it?

To be fair, as much as I lament the discontinuation of the iPhone SE and that particular design, Apple almost certainly has more data to support the fact it made the right decision.

Almost certainly.

So, Smith’s assertion that this is a “big mistake” is not so much Q.E.D. as Q.E.I., quod est inconveniens.

So, as much as I love the current iPhone X-style designs, I do believe Apple got it right with the iPhone SE, and hope to see 4-inch iPhones eventually make a return.

Hey, same here. Apple has shown, however, that it’s less concerned about shipping units than it is about squeezing revenue and profit out of the market. Hopefully it can figure out how to make a smaller phone that does both. But not offering a super cheap phone in a year where it introduced three new more expensive phones is not a “big mistake”. In fact, it’s not even a mistake at all from the company’s perspective since undercutting the iPhone XR might be problematic.

Apple cares about a lot of things, but pushing units for the sake of pushing units is not one of them.

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