Are we going to see a refresh on the iPhone SE next year?

steiney

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Who thinks Apple is going to release a "flagship" 4 inch iPhone with their fall refresh this year? Who thinks they are going to just let this iPhone SE ride for 2-4 years?

I can honestly make a case both ways. On the one hand, Apple could be testing the waters with this SE to see how customers will respond to a 4 inch phone again. If the SE does well, Apple might swap it out for a matching design 4 inch model this fall (or next fall?). On the other hand, Apple could be just putting this out there at flagship spec just to shut up the people like myself who have been howling for a 4 inch model.
 

estabya

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Jun 28, 2014
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Who thinks Apple is going to release a "flagship" 4 inch iPhone with their fall refresh this year? Who thinks they are going to just let this iPhone SE ride for 2-4 years?

I can honestly make a case both ways. On the one hand, Apple could be testing the waters with this SE to see how customers will respond to a 4 inch phone again. If the SE does well, Apple might swap it out for a matching design 4 inch model this fall (or next fall?). On the other hand, Apple could be just putting this out there at flagship spec just to shut up the people like myself who have been howling for a 4 inch model.
I have a feeling it's more of the latter. I really don't see them cutting their profit margins on a 4" phone by coming out with a new one in 6 months. The SE should be plenty powerful for a couple years. I would guess that this fall when the 7 series comes out the SE will stay the same price, and the 6 series will be dropped in favor of the 6S phones. IMO that makes for a more coherent and sensible product lineup.
 
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Traverse

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I don't think the SE will be consistently updated. I think it'll stay on the A9 Chip for two years, but I could be wrong. The SE is functioning as a budget phone.

How can they have a flagship product without all the features (3D touch?). I guess it will depend on if the 4" size is a bottleneck for actually fitting the new hardware inside.
 

steiney

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I have a feeling it's more of the latter. I really don't see them cutting their profit margins on a 4" phone by coming out with a new one in 6 months. The SE should be plenty powerful for a couple years. I would guess that this fall when the 7 series comes out the SE will stay the same price, and the 6 series will be dropped in favor of the 6S phones. IMO that makes for a more coherent and sensible product lineup.
I fear you're right. I just don't understand why they are so dismissive of the 4 inch folks. They said in the release Monday that the 4 inch folks accounted for 10% of active users, or some number around there. That's a decent little chunk.

I don't think the SE will be consistently updated. I think it'll stay on the A9 Chip for two years, but I could be wrong. The SE is functioning as a budget phone.

How can they have a flagship product without all the features (3D touch?). I guess it will depend on if the 4" size is a bottleneck for actually fitting the new hardware inside.
That's a good point. It is lacking a couple features and is significantly lower priced, which I was pretty pleasantly shocked about so I think it definitely qualifies as a budget phone. But I do not think the lack of 3D touch is a matter of fitting the components in there. They just want to differentiate it from the big boy phones.
 
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Ladybug

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I doubt a flagship 4 inch will drop this fall but perhaps the next and only IF the 4 inch took the lead in sales over other offerings. I think they will try to keep this phone as their low end. JMO
 

Traverse

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That's a good point. It is lacking a couple features and is significantly lower priced, which I was pretty pleasantly shocked about so I think it definitely qualifies as a budget phone. But I do not think the lack of 3D touch is a matter of fitting the components in there. They just want to differentiate it from the big boy phones.
I think the SE is a budget phone that (right now) has matching specs, but will fall behind.

The real questions is if Apple will have a flagship line composed of 4", 4.7" and 5.5" and I and doubtful because I think maintaining full hardware equivalency and an acceptable battery-to-size ratio will be difficult. Moving the chasis up to 4.7" and especially 5.5" gives Apple a lot more room to play with.
 

estabya

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Jun 28, 2014
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I fear you're right. I just don't understand why they are so dismissive of the 4 inch folks. They said in the release Monday that the 4 inch folks accounted for 10% of active users, or some number around there. That's a decent little chunk.
Plus, whether or not the SE even gets an update will depend on sales. If it does poorly, it will be the last 4" iPhone. Hell, maybe the SE will recapture a large portion of the market that had conceded to buying a larger phone. Only time will tell.
 
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steiney

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I doubt a flagship 4 inch will drop this fall but perhaps the next and only IF the 4 inch took the lead in sales over other offerings. I think they will try to keep this phone as their low end. JMO
Yeah, I've been hoping this SE does really well for that same reason. I'm gong to buy one if they don't do a 4 inch flagship this fall.

I think the SE is a budget phone that (right now) has matching specs, but will fall behind.

The real questions is if Apple will have a flagship line composed of 4", 4.7" and 5.5" and I and doubtful because I think maintaining full hardware equivalency and an acceptable battery-to-size ratio will be difficult. Moving the chasis up to 4.7" and especially 5.5" gives Apple a lot more room to play with.
That's a fair point. There would definitely be less power consumption with a small screen, but I don't know if that would be enough to help. I guess I just really hate the fact that they used that old case design. Kills me.

Plus, whether or not the SE even gets an update will depend on sales. If it does poorly, it will be the last 4" iPhone. Hell, maybe the SE will recapture a large portion of the market that had conceded to buying a larger phone. Only time will tell.
Indeed! I am anxiously awaiting finding out.
 
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lordofthereef

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I think the SE is a test product. It's conservatively priced with relatively conservative build (very little retooling for the chassis and none for the screen). If it sells gang busters we will likely see a yearly refresh, perhaps starting 1.5 years down the road.
 

mariachi4

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I think the SE is a test product. It's conservatively priced with relatively conservative build (very little retooling for the chassis and none for the screen). If it sells gang busters we will likely see a yearly refresh, perhaps starting 1.5 years down the road.
Yup. As of now SE is a flagship phone with reasonable price. Very unusual for Apple. When 7 serie comes out in Sep 2016, SE will not be updated at all. Then when 7s serie comes out in Sep 2016, most likely a price drop and a spiritual follow up of the SE. Just my thought.
 
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pojo1806

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I could see a split release, the main phones (7/7+ etc etc) staying as September releases and the SE could be a 2 yearly update every March. I don't see it being a yearly update, the iPhone only gets an S cycle every year and I don't believe they would do an SES (lol wut?) next March.
 
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mattopotamus

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Initially I was thinking it would be bi-yearly, but I really think it is going to sell way more than apple anticipated. If that is the case, I can see yearly updates. There is no way they update with the 7 though.
 

BMcCoy

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I think the choice of name (SE) implies it will be staying around for a few years.
That is, avoiding the use of a number (the rumoured '5se') allows it to sit comfortably with the iPhone 7, 7s, even 8...
It might well get improvements next year, perhaps a 5mp front camera, but still be the iPhone SE.
 

steiney

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I think the choice of name (SE) implies it will be staying around for a few years.
That is, avoiding the use of a number (the rumoured '5se') allows it to sit comfortably with the iPhone 7, 7s, even 8...
It might well get improvements next year, perhaps a 5mp front camera, but still be the iPhone SE.
This is probably the biggest piece of evidence pointing towards Apple taking forever to update it. I thought the same thing.
 

mattopotamus

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I think the choice of name (SE) implies it will be staying around for a few years.
That is, avoiding the use of a number (the rumoured '5se') allows it to sit comfortably with the iPhone 7, 7s, even 8...
It might well get improvements next year, perhaps a 5mp front camera, but still be the iPhone SE.
such a good post, and I could not agree more.
 

lordofthereef

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Nov 29, 2011
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Yup. As of now SE is a flagship phone with reasonable price. Very unusual for Apple. When 7 serie comes out in Sep 2016, SE will not be updated at all. Then when 7s serie comes out in Sep 2016, most likely a price drop and a spiritual follow up of the SE. Just my thought.
Not to mention the fact Apple apparently isn;y making too many tweaks with the 7/7s design architecture. Thinner, yes, but ultimately more similar to the 6 series than any "number jump" (for lack of better words) has been to the previous series. I can see the next SE in 1-1.5 years taking on this design architecture as well.
 

0007776

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My hope is they update it annually. Unfortunately I would guess that they will leave it until the 6S is due to be discontinued and possibly upgrade it then.
 

steiney

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The SE is it. There will be no upgrades.

Apple finally gives you people a small phone and we see nothing but complaints!:)
Haha, no, I'm certainly not complaining. I'm just curious what Apple's future plans are so I can help myself along with the purchase decision.

The "SE" may get no upgrades but I get a feeling there will be an 7S Mini, 7S and 7S Plus September 2017.
Everything is so messed up now with the timeline. If they are going to incorporate the 4 inch model into the flagship line up, the time to do it is with the 7 release. It feels like it would be much more clumsy to do it on a "s" release.

My hope is they update it annually. Unfortunately I would guess that they will leave it until the 6S is due to be discontinued and possibly upgrade it then.
I sure hope not! That's a long time, if you mean completely discontinued regarding the 6S.

The SE will not be refreshed every year. No need to. The 5s is still on sale as we speak.
I don't think it is anymore. Maybe by other retailers with remaining stock but it's not on Apple.com anymore.
 

0007776

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I sure hope not! That's a long time, if you mean completely discontinued
That's what they did with the 5S. They waited to replace it with a new 4" phone until it got to the point that it would normally be discontinued. I hope that Apple updates the SE regularly, but I'm not expecting them to.
 

steiney

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That's what they did with the 5S. They waited to replace it with a new 4" phone until it got to the point that it would normally be discontinued. I hope that Apple updates the SE regularly, but I'm not expecting them to.
That's a very good point.
 

PDFierro

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Sep 8, 2009
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There is no way the SE gets updated in September. Maybe again in March next year, but I doubt that too. I think it says a lot that Apple made the SE be as powerful as the 6s is...it could last 2-3 years easily. It's also going to depend on sales, but I think this thing is going to be a hit.

And I'm OK with it not being updated every year. I'm just glad we got the 4" iPhone back, and a powerful one at that.
 
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