iPhone SE matters: The right phone for our times

An affordable phone featuring tested technology? Yes, please.


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The Macalope’s long personal nightmare is over. Apple has finally—FINALLY—announced a new iPhone SE.

And he only had to whine about it for 12 months.

It is not, of course, exactly the phone The Macalope wanted—he still prefers the original SE size—but he can live with it and it seems like a nice phone for the price. Not everyone, however, is impressed.

Writing for The New York TImes, Shira Ovide tells us “Why Apple’s New Phone Doesn’t Matter.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Shawn King.)

It’s always great when the paper of record goes to the trouble to tell you why something you’re interested in just doesn’t matter. “That thing we’re writing about, in our national newspaper, is one of those burgers they make from nothing these days that all the millennials are eating. It might seem counter-intuitive that we need to take to our pages to tell you this, but we assure you, it’s not.”

This sure feels like a strange time for Apple to release a new iPhone.

Hey, The Macalope gets it. He’s sitting at home on the couch eating Fiddle Faddle that was delivered by Instacart and watching John Mulaney standup on repeat to try to ward off the omnipresent feeling of impending doom. Why is Apple making us look bad by doing things? Very rude.

This iPhone model hasn’t been a blockbuster, but it’s a nice option for some people.

It’s fine if you like that kind of thing. Whatever. It’s good for you, I guess.

Conditions aren’t ideal for selling stuff.

Oh? Why? Something going on? Surely it would have been on the news.

Millions of newly unemployed people don’t have spare money…

You’d almost think a low-cost iPhone being released right now might actually… matter. Guess not, though. Oh, well. Good to know.

In Brian [X. Chen]’s assessment of last fall’s iPhone models, he said there was no rush to buy a new phone if your current one is less than a few years old.

To be honest, there never was a “need” for most people to buy a new iPhone every year. If you want the best camera and can afford to upgrade, sure, fill your boots. If not, holding on to your phone for 2 to 3 years just makes sense. But sometimes you do need a new phone and if you do, the new SE is a great option if you haven’t upgraded in a while. The Macalope’s used his original iPhone SE for over four years now and, well, he can’t wait until Friday.

A smartphone is now a refrigerator.

A smartphone. A refrigerator. A toaster oven.

A smartphone.

A refrigerator.

A toaster oven.

Are you getting it?

We need it, but we don’t replace our current model when a new ice-making feature comes out.

We still replace smartphones a lot more often than refrigerators, if only because smartphones run on batteries.

While it’s true annual smartphone launches aren’t the monumental events they used to be, The Macalope thinks the 2020 iPhone SE might be the best phone for our times, even more than the phones Apple will announce in the fall. A bit of affordable stability could be just what we need right now.

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