The iPhone SE is expected to replace the iPhone 5S in the portfolio and update the four inch form factor of the 5 series with the internal hardware of the 6S series. The device looks almost identical to 5S including the chamfered, sharper edge of the device. The only difference is that the edges will be finished in matte unlike the iPhone 5S. The phone will come in space grey, silver, gold and rose gold. The smaller model will include an NFC chip for Apple pay alongside the mush faster A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor. Apple also claims that it has been able to reach LTE speeds that are 50 percent faster than previous generations.
The camera has been upgraded with a 12 Mega pixels sensor and the ability to capture 4k video. This is the camera as seen on 6S and 6S plus. The camera has the ability to capture and view live photo, Apple’s GIF style feature that captures a couple seconds of video before and after the picture is taken to result in a moving video like final product. Apple has included the same LED functionality in the SE. It means one can take snaps in the right lighting conditions with the smaller model. The flagship feature on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S plus offers deeper interaction with various applications on the iPhone through hard taps and long taps is not present on the iPhone SE. It also includes night mode which changes the coloring and brightness of the display to better suit one’s eyes in the evening and early in the morning. It will also include password protected (Touch ID) notes, app suggestions in health and more customized news.
However, SE is an awkward handset for Apple. It comes in the middle of Apple’s normal iPhone update cycle. It offers very little which is new and comes at a time when questions are being asked about its retail performance. Some of the cons have been listed below:
Diluted Expectations: Apple failed to manage the expectations ahead of the launch of iPhone 5C with analysts and commentators expecting to see an aggressively priced plastic handset to grab market share from Android. Apple might be secretive but it can still exert some control over the message. Moreover, there is a less demand for land grabbing device.
Less Demand: The internet can provide a lot of amplification to a small group of supporters. Without any doubt, Apple had feedback from consumers as well as the anecdotal evidence and analyst reports that people want a smaller phone.
Question mark over 3D Touch: One of the areas where there is not a huge confidence is the inclusion of 3D touch in the screen. Introduced with the 6S family, this allows iOS to register the different levels of pressure on the screen and offer alternative options, popup menus or new UI views. For 3D touch to really make a difference to iOS, it needs to be on as many devices as possible.
Longevity for more updates: Apple is expecting the iPhone SE to have a long and fruitful life. The iPhone 5S has been struggling to stay at peak performance with iOS 10 and while it will likely receive updates, the SE gives Apple a platform that will be good for another three to four years of OS development. The extra horsepower will help upcoming features (no doubt with a lot of encryption going out in the background).
Family sharing gets another bullet: One of the fascinating services of Apple is family sharing. One can purchase app, music or games to be shared around family members. The iPhone SE is an attractive entry level smart phone for children but also a good purchase for an older relative. Thanks to family sharing the drive to stay within iOS is strong-especially for households where a single monthly subscription is churning out music across three generations of users with numerous Apple devices.
Managing Inventory: Adding in a new four inch screen is going to complicate the supply chain management. Historically, this has been the strong point of company. However, it is widely assumed that Apple’s misjudged its iPhone stock levels after the launch of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S plus.