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Apple Unveils Smaller iPhone SE, Starting At $399 (techcrunch.com) 158

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has officially unveiled a smaller, cheaper iPhone designed to make a splash in the budget-friendly smartphone market. The new device, called the iPhone SE, looks nearly identical to the iPhone 5S but with a new rose gold color configuration. It's the internal specifications that differ significantly. The new iPhone SE will feature a NFC chip for Apple Pay, A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor, 12-megapixel camera sensor with the ability to capture 4K video, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Unfortunately, it does not feature Apple's new 3D touch functionality. The iPhone SE will come in two models, 16GB and 64GB, priced at $399 and $499 respectively. You can buy the new iPhone starting March 31, and it will make its way to 100 countries by May.
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Apple Unveils Smaller iPhone SE, Starting At $399

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  • Replace "Are you sure?" with "Are you impressed?" in this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    The answer stays: NO.

  • 16GB storage (Score:2, Interesting)

    32GB is the sweet spot for phones right now, and because they can, Apple refuses to produce a 32GB model to force you to pay an extra $100 to get a reasonable amount of internal storage. $499 for the 64GB model is certainly cheaper than the current top-of-the-line iPhones, but a cheap Android with 32GB of storage can be had for well under $399 for truly budget-conscious buyers. If you're locked into Apple's ecosystem and are truly budget-conscious...well, tough luck.
    • Re:16GB storage (Score:5, Insightful)

      by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @02:47PM (#51745939)

      I know, right? It's not like Apple is using flash storage ICs made from special magical dust or anything.

      In fact, their options should be 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. We're in 2016 after all.

      • by torkus ( 1133985 )

        I can see a 32GB option as realistic. Memory does start adding cost, though not nearly as much as the markup.

        16GB though...fills up ridiculously fast if you take more than a very few pictures. Even keeping SMS/iMessage/whatsapp/kik/etc. conversations turns multi-GB very quickly. 16GB iphone = ~10Gb available storage = warning messages before you know it

        $100 for 48GB of memory is ridiculous though.

      • Re:16GB storage (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @04:06PM (#51746775)
        If they started out at 64 GB then they wouldn't get as many people to pay the $100 upgrade for the next tier. That's how Apple makes their money. Make the base model just unappealing enough that people want to spend the extra $100.

        At the volumes they do, we're probably talking about at least a $2 billion yearly revenue loss for them if they made the base model more appealing and fewer people upgrade to the next tier.

        They know exactly what they're doing.
    • Also, Apple tends to view their hardware as superior so with 64GB on their low-end devices, that would make another selling point against low-end Android devices. Price differences aside, of course...

    • I don't get what you're trying to argue here. Apple has always been targeting the premium market with their devices. If someone is budget minded and still wanted an Apple product, they go for a previous generation or second-hand device.
      • by kuzb ( 724081 )

        Yes, they've always targeted the premium market ... and that's why they're starting to lose. The pricing they have was only reasonable when they were the only worthwhile smartphone on the market. This is no longer the case. They wouldn't be releasing a cheaper iphone if they weren't trying to tap the budget market, but it's far too late for that now.

        Apple's consumer rape is not sustainable. Even they've finally figured that out.

        • Re:16GB storage (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @05:13PM (#51747493) Journal

          Yes, they've always targeted the premium market ... and that's why they're starting to lose.

          Mostly because they dominate the hell out of the premium market - probably to the point of saturation. If you've saturated the high end with your product, and want to see more growth, guess where you gotta go?

          The pricing they have was only reasonable when they were the only worthwhile smartphone on the market. This is no longer the case.

          Depends. I have and use an unlocked LG phone that I bought last year... now the thing is starting to bork-up on the home key, and screen misalignment is starting to become an issue. Sure, I got the $200 I spent back out of it, but meanwhile my wife's ancient iPhone 4 is *still* chugging along just fine, years after it first showed up. My next phone? *shrug* Not sure yet, but damn I'm leaning towards something that would hold up better over time...

          Therein lies the whole reason why most folks buy Apple stuff in the first place: It costs more up-front, but you make up the savings over time.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      Micro SD cards are back for the Galaxy S7, so you can put as much storage in there as you like. 64 GB for $20 and 128 GB for $40.
      • Please tell me where I can get a _reliable_ Micro SD for $40. Trust me, I've had Micro SD cards fail, although usually reformatting them fixes it.
        • Well I don't know about this card [microcenter.com], but their smaller capacity ones have worked well for me (largest one I have currently is 64GB) and at $33 for a 128 GB card it would be worth a try.
        • Subscribe to newegg's e-flyer and you won't have any trouble finding some top-quality 128MB MicroSD modules (i only use samsung) for under forty bucks, though you might have to wait a week or two.
        • I've got one of these [pbtech.co.nz] in my Samsung Galaxy S4, and I've had it for about 2.5 years.

          Bear in mind, that $17.25 is in New Zealand dollars, so about $11.68 in your fancy US Dollars. It's always just worked, I'd call that pretty reliable.

    • 16GB is the 1366x768 of the phone world. I have 16GB...on my ancient iPhone 4s.
    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      From what I read elsewhere and a friend who works at a Sprint, 16GB is the common configuration for a majority of Apple users. I got a 16GB iPhone 6s and use only half that amount for the few apps that I use.
      • The reason the 16GB configuration is so popular is because there's a lot of people who feel they have to have the iPhone even if they can't really afford the model they want. Paying the extra $100 for the next level up is simply too much for their budget.

        It's not the apps that generally take up a lot of space, but rather things like pictures, videos, music, and other content. According to this page, the iPhone only has 11.8 GB free [apple.com] out of the box. By the time you subtract the space that the OS takes up, y

        • by creimer ( 824291 )

          The reason the 16GB configuration is so popular is because there's a lot of people who feel they have to have the iPhone even if they can't really afford the model they want.

          Or maybe they want an iPhone but don't care about the tech specs?

          • Storage space is hardly a technical spec at this point. It's not like more RAM or a faster CPU or GPU where having less just means the phone is less snappy but you can still do pretty much everything you want. Lack of storage can really limit what kind of things you can do with the device. Most games or apps will run on some pretty simple phones. You don't need a lot of horsepower to run most of the stuff being released. But having such a small amount of storage means you can't do simple things like keep

            • The additional storage is what iCloud is for, and in most cases that works just fine for most people's purposes. It also provides backup.

      • You obviously don't take 100 selfies every day, like the majority of iPhone owners do! (Especially the female ones, like my daughter.)
    • I don't know, but maybe they're working their way through a monster order of 16 GB flash chips that they placed years ago. Apple may have over-estimated back in 2013 or so how many iPhones and iPads they would sell.

    • ...If you're locked into Apple's ecosystem and are truly budget-conscious...well, tough luck.

      Anyone attempting to claim they're on a budget while locking themselves into the Apple "ecosystem" is going to be in for a shock when people physically cannot restrain themselves from yelling BULLSHIT! at the top of their lungs repeatedly.

      • You can pick up a modern iPhone for under £20 per month in the UK. That's the price of two packets of cigarettes, or a meal for two at one of these burger restaurants that are all the rage at the moment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      And that's exactly why they don't do a 32GB iPhone. They want to sell the $499 model.
      The 16GB model is a low anchor, that's a basic marketing technique.

      And comparing an iPhone with an Android phone on specs is pointless. We all know that you can get more for cheaper with Android, but you won't get an iPhone.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        And comparing an iPhone with an Android phone on specs is pointless. We all know that you can get more for cheaper with Android, but you won't get an iPhone.

        Well I'd say Apple gave itself a pretty damn huge bump here. It's hard to find benchmarks with the 5s, 6s and Sony Xperia Z5 compact (the only other mini-flagship, really) on one page but here [anandtech.com] and here [phonearena.com] and here [ubergizmo.com] combined gives some:

        Basemark OS II:
        iPhone 5s: 1180
        Z5 compact: 1350
        iPhone 6s: 2619

        T-rex HD (offscreen):
        iPhone 5s: 28.7
        Z5 compact: ~55 (approximated from graph)
        iPhone 6s: 80.3

        Manhattan (offscreen):
        iPhone 5s: 13.1
        Z5 compact: ~25 (approximated from graph)
        iPhone 6s: 40.1

        Considering the 5se will have the s

        • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

          The Z5 compact is waterproof, has a better camera (more pixels, a way faster focus at 0.03s and a dedicated button to take the pictures), has a higher resolution display (full 720p), oh and 32GB of storage with the option of a microSD up to 200GB.

    • by kwerle ( 39371 )

      Yeah - I wonder if Apple has even done any research on how much space their users' devices have free.

    • 32GB is the sweet spot for phones right now, and because they can, Apple refuses to produce a 32GB model to force you to pay an extra $100 to get a reasonable amount of internal storage.

      Let me translate that for you:

      "iPhone isn't like Android. Wah! Wah! Wah!"

    • If you're asking "Why does Apple still sell a 16GB device?", the answer is simple: they charge a monthly fee for iCloud storage, so anybody too cheap to pay the extra $100 for memory pays through the nose in monthly fees instead. My daughter can fill up her 16GB iPhone with video and pictures in about a week, but then she's a member of "generation selfie".
    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      Yeah. I love iPhones, but... fuck. Flatline for 6 years and counting.

      http://pixelcity.com/index.php... [pixelcity.com]

      • How is this flamebait?

        This is /. Where a reasonable discussion is easily avoided by a simple flame bait moderation. Why introduce facts when you can simply dismiss another's POV?

    • Why all this craze about storage/price, I bought a Moto G2 for my daughter, it has 8GB internal storage, I added a 32GB UHS1 SD card and formatted it as internal storage, ZOOM! she now has 40GB storage for music, pictures, application, etc. without paying a huge premium.
  • My real 'budget friendly' smartphone was $40 out the door, and that was replacing a 5 year old $30 flip phone I really hated to part with. Since it is used only for making phone calls, I guess I'm a member of the populace that just doesn't get it.
    • I'm in the same boat for the most part. I have a smartphone, but 90% is for calls or the rare text message. It's nice to have the smart features in the rare event you need them (traveling and need directions, etc.) and it's worth it in that case, but otherwise I don't really care much about the apps and other features.

      I don't think you get it just fine, but like me you really just don't care. It's the same thing with social networks. I understand why people like them, but personally I'd rather sit down a
    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <[ude.llenroc] [ta] [7dta]> on Monday March 21, 2016 @03:21PM (#51746245) Homepage

      $40 out the door sounds like you had a subsidized phone - this $399 price is the unsubsidized price.

      That said, "budget friendly" is a Moto G, $179 for 8GB or $219 for 16GB but with the ability to stick in a 32GB MicroSD for $20 more. Those are the unsubsidized prices.

      oh wait... only $11 more now - http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-... [amazon.com]

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        $40 out the door sounds like you had a subsidized phone - this $399 price is the unsubsidized price.

        My mom picked up a TracPhone Android smartphone on sale at our local grocery store for $10. That wasn't a super-special sale price, either. It's still on sale at that price months later. It's an LG with only a 3.5" screen. But it's running Android 4.4 and didn't seem really slouchy on UI reaction time. Plus it's a model that gives you 3x bonus on minutes purchased (when running on a new-customer activation).

        • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

          Tracfone's devices ARE subsidized. Tracfone are stupid and rely on technological measures (bootloader/SIM-locking) to enforce their subsidies instead of legal measures. This gives the illusion of their phones being unsubsidized to the end customer even though they are, but also creates a significant market for bootloader/SIM-unlock exploits - A friend of mine makes QUITE a bit of money finding exploits in Tracfone's bootloaders and selling those exploits to Asian carriers, who buy the phone, unlock it, an

      • I got a nokia 635 for 45$ new off amazon- does everything I need and built like a brick
      • The (unsubsidized) Android phone I bought recently cost $30, albeit it usually retails for $50. Funny thing is the spec isn't much different from the Galaxy Nexus I bought four years ago (worse screen, no HDMI or NFC, but, with $10 microSD card added, more memory, better battery life, and it seems to be faster too.)

        I know you wouldn't be seen dead there (yeah, right), but visit Walmart's prepaid section. The T-Mobile and AT&T phones can be used as-is with existing contracts for the respective carrier

      • My phone was $40, unlocked and unsubsidized.

    • You're obviously not the target market. Apparently the new status symbol is to have the LARGEST phone possible, hence the "phablet" craze. Funny, ten years ago it was fashionable to have the SMALLEST phone possible. Go figure!
    • I know what you mean.

      I bought a Windows Phone a few years ago for $40 brand new on Amazon and put it on an AT&T pre-paid plan. It continues to work like a champ.

      I can think of about a million things that I would rather spend money on than a phone.

      Of course, you and I are not Apple's target market.

      The funny thing is, I don't really know who Apple is targeting with this... perhaps the kids of current customers?

      • They're targeting me, for example. I want an iPhone that fits into my shirt pockets. I'm not in the market yet, but at some point this 5S is going to get old.

    • by kuzb ( 724081 )

      There's nothing wrong with how you use a phone, but there are advantages to considering alternatives.

      Many of us now perform the majority of our communication through text or email. It's convenient, non-intrusive, and good for situations where immediate situational knowledge is not required. A smartphone is well suited to this, a flip phone makes even basic messaging a chore unless it has a keyboard. Unlike a phone call, I don't worry if I'm disturbing someone by messaging them at strange hours or if they

    • Why does small have to be budget? if only it had 3D touch - it'd be a modern phone - just smaller.

      Maybe I need to spend more money on my clothes - do more expensive clothes come with bigger pockets?

      I want it all. But as others are saying - our old iPhone5's are just fine. I'd like to upgrade just because the phone is getting slower and hangs more often.

      For now the SE isn't compelling enough to upgrade. If I was looking for a new phone I'd consider it. I'll wait until October to see what the brand new p

    • It's great that your needs are met cheaply, but that doesn't make you morally superior, or qualify you to comment on what other people want and need.

  • Oh, oh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OpenSourced ( 323149 )

    Apple, one free word of advice, worth exactly the cost. The bottom half of the market you don't want to have. When the rabble, the unwashed peasants, starts flaunting the bitten apple logo everywhere, the beautiful people will flee to other phones with a clearer status seal. And then, the all encompassing middle unbrained layer will lose the daze caused by all that glitter, and start comparing phones like they do cars. Then some day you will announce the iPhone 15, and nobody will come to the party, because

    • Mass-market phones that have sold into the tens of millions are not 'status symbols'.

      • They kind of are. A statement that "I'm not a lobotomized fuckhead that doesn't have 24/7 access to google" Technically even a crap-ass android passes for this, but Apple has that clean shiny feel.
        • A status symbol is about causing envy, hard to do when you acquire what everyone else already has. Getting the popular product, however, means you're getting the support of that product. For example, if you're purchasing a game console, you want the popular one so that you have the best selection of games. A purchase of a PS4 right now would hardly be the move of an elitist.

    • When you sell tens of millions of something it cannot be a status symbol, or if it is it is a very poor one. Nobody gives a shit if you have an iPhone or thinks you are special for it. Nobody I've ever met has bought one with the expectation of gaining meaningful social status. It's just not that special. I have people working for me that make barely over minimum wage who have iPhones and they don't regard it as a status symbol. The meme that Apple users are self absorbed social climbers out of proportion to the general population is ridiculous nonsense.

      • The Phablets are status symbols, i.e. 6Plus. iPhone in general is sold on the principle of "I have to have FaceTime to chat with all my friends that have FaceTime!" Seriously, it's the apps that sell Apple hardware.
    • Nothing keeps you poor like living beyond your means. There are plenty of poor people with iPhones.
    • iPhones haven't been status symbols in a long time, and they still seem to sell in large numbers. It's not what Apple trades in. An iPhone is an excellent piece of equipment that works smoothly and is backed by superb customer support and an infrastructure, and that's what Apple trades in. If you don't find that attractive, fine, but if you don't see how other people might find that attractive, you're not going to understand and are likely to make up bad reasons and make inaccurate predictions from them

  • Apple has officially unveiled a smaller, cheaper iPhone designed to make a splash in the budget-friendly smartphone market.

    I keep seeing this. The iPhone SE being referred to as a "budget market" device. It's not budget-market at all, in price or features.
    Besides the lack of Touch 3D support, it is pretty much the same as the current get "premium market" 6S.

    Have people really been deluded by marketers to the point they measure the value of a device simply based on screen size?

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @03:58PM (#51746699)
    $399 for a current-spec iPhone (without subsidy) is a very aggressive price point. Looks like the low-priced second and third tier Android phones are having an impact on Apple's unit sales.
    • I have owned an iPhone 5 for three years. I love it as much as one can love an electronic device. It replaced a 3Gs. The 5 does all I want it to do and I am in no hurry to replace it. Until apps won't update or run at level that I am happy with. I was willing to not buy an iPhone next time because I don't want a big phone or pay $1000 for a phone. This might make me consider an iPhone in a year or two when this one has reached end of useful life.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      You can have a top tier Android phone for much less than that if you aren't snobbish about Chinese manufacturers.

  • Just saved me some money. I said I wasn't going to buy the new phone to replace the 5s if it didn't have all of the features of the 6s. They didn't need to leave out the 3D touch to differentiate it from the 6s models. The screen size was the differentiating feature. I don't want the larger phones because I can't easily work them one-handed but I'm not going to buy a smaller phone that's deliberately lacking in features.

    When Apple brings out a proper 4" phone again then I'll buy it.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Just saved me some money. I said I wasn't going to buy the new phone to replace the 5s if it didn't have all of the features of the 6s. They didn't need to leave out the 3D touch to differentiate it from the 6s models. The screen size was the differentiating feature. I don't want the larger phones because I can't easily work them one-handed but I'm not going to buy a smaller phone that's deliberately lacking in features.

      Or maybe it wasn't possible? Force Touch works because it measures the capacitance betwe

  • The 16GB model cost AUD 679 (incl GST) which give a pre-tax price of USD 468 at today's exchange rate. That's a 17% markup because we are in Australia.

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