Other What is the rationale for no iPhoneX mini / SE ?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by darkus, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. darkus, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018

    darkus macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2007
    I know there are all sorts of thoughts and rumors, I dont keep up with it all fully but I am a lover of the size of the iPhone 4-5-SE. For example, I owned my 5C from 2014 until just a few months ago (only changed it because I broke it badly), and upgraded to the SE. Love the SE to death. For me its not about money, simply the form factor.

    With that said, I do understand why Apple makes bigger phones, thats just where the market is right now so they should make more and more high end phones there so more power to them.

    But I guess my question is what is the rationale for not making an SE update that keeps up with the iPhone X? The rumors for the mainstream iPhone lineup seem to revolve around a refresh of several phones all in the iPhone X / Plus size range. The last rumor I had read for a small iPhone was that a new SE was coming out at WWDC but that didnt happen so I was let down a bit. Of course trusting these rumors seems to fail alot, but I was hoping to understand the rationale, if we can understand the rationale then we can get a handle on if a smaller form factor iPhone will ever be in the cards with the newer iPhone X design (no home button, edge to edge display, etc...)
  2. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040


    Mar 19, 2008
    None "yet" you mean..

    I think the smaller phone situation is going to get more love than we think and be part of the normal Fall lineup/release honestly.

    The SE/smaller form factor has been a huge hit and it was a surprise to Apple and I think they have internalized that data and broadened the scope of what we'll see in the flagship lineup this Fall.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2018 ---
    You and me both - I simply won't buy an iPhone that's much physically bigger
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Hard to know the reason for particular rumors (perhaps that's why they are referred to as rumors :D )
    Maybe the "rumor-monger" just doesn't like the small form factor, or ignores that part of so-called research about upcoming tech.

    AFAIK, many parts of world seem to prefer those smaller phones. I seriously doubt that Apple would abandon those markets.
  4. tonybarnaby macrumors 65816

    Dec 3, 2017
    I’ve been told the se is primarily to be a cheap phone for developing nations. I guess they don’t think the current one needs a refresh yet. Relentlesspower tends to always comment on SE threads and seems to know quite a bit.
  5. JPack, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018

    JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    It's like asking why Ford is eliminating nearly all sedans from its North American lineup.

    Phablets to Overtake Regular Smartphone Shipments by 2019, with Phablets Expected to Hit 1 Billion Units by 2021, According to IDC

    The data shows devices >5.5" overtaking regular smartphones by 2019. If the 4.5"-5.5" segment is already in decline, why would Apple update the SE except to serve emerging markets?

    Every major market in the world is moving towards phablets, including emerging ones. For example, the top selling smartphone in India last year was the 5.0" Xiaomi Redmi 4. This year, the Redmi 5 has a 5.7" display.

    New smartphone usage trends also encourage phablet ownership. Apple is positioning the iPhone as an AR navigator and encourages viewing the world through smart eyes. You can't do that with a small display. Apple is also ordering a whole bunch of TV shows. Small displays don't encourage media consumption.
  6. Newtons Apple, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018

    Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    While I think Apple is going to greatly improve the SE, maybe even a OLED screen, but not to the point that it competes with it's higher prices devices.

    Does not matter how bad you want it, it would not be something that Apple will do.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2018 ---
    From what I have seen some comment even when they know little.

    There is little doubt that most phone consumption is for larger phone. You need to be tickled that Apple is one of the few that still offers such hardware. Yes, you should be thankful.
  7. justint1989 macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2017
    The only reason it’s shifting is because that’s what’s being produced. The plus series since the iPhone 6 Plus has always had “more” features. Better display, better camera etc... starting with the 7 Plus an extra GB of ram. Most people are going to buy what gets you the top of the line. Smaller phones for several years have had gimped specs. The SE was truly a top of the line device minus a couple things, putting it right on par with the 6S during its launch. Even Apple was surprised at how well received the SE was/is. If sales drop off it’s only because they haven’t done a refresh and it makes no sense to buy yesterday’s tech. Not everyone needs or wants a large display. That’s where the iPad comes into play. I have the SE and I have an iPad. I like having the smaller device to carry around for day to day usage. If I really want to consume media for an extended period of time, the iPad comes into play. I had the 6 plus and 6S Plus. Great phones, but just too big. Even the X with its reduced footprint is a no go.
  8. JPack, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018

    JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    So what you're suggesting is, no smartphone manufacturer has "figured out" that consumers want a small premium phone?

    Not Apple, not Samsung, not Huawei, not Oppo, Google, LG, Sony? None of the top or bottom smartphone manufacturers have launched small phones. Even Sony's latest Xperia Compact phones are as large as iPhone 8.

    Either every smartphone manufacturer including Apple has a dimwitted market research team... or perhaps consumer preferences have shifted to phablets.

    The SE + iPad usage model you describe died in 2014 when Apple introduced iPhone 6 Plus. For a few years, Apple bet on the small phone + big tablet strategy. Apple had 5" designs on the table but held off until 2014. Meanwhile, Samsung had been selling Galaxy Note since 2011. Today, it's clear betting on big tablets was wrong as phablets grew while tablets sales are stagnant.
  9. justint1989 macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2017
    Tablet sales for the iPad have been back on the rise, or do you ignore that? So to say that model died is ignorant at best.

    Consumers do not have a choice when it comes to smartphone sizes. You could not buy a new one, but then you’re left out in the cold. Clearly the market is there for smaller devices, Apple figured that out when the iPhone 5S made up quite a large chunk even after the 6 and 6S debuted, hence why the iPhone SE came about. You can read several articles citing that. In fact straight out of Apples mouth was how surprised they were on the reception of the iPhone SE.

    To address why others haven’t done it is quite simple. Its ignorance. Bigger is not always better. For most consumers a larger phone will work as it replaces the tablet and that’s fine. But there’s a large market out there that does not want a dinosaur on their pockets, it shows trough sales numbers of the SE.
  10. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I would love to see your response on the days I come into work with my bag loaded with a 17" PowerBook G4, a 17" MBP and a Thinkpad, while carrying my iPhone 6s+, my iPhone 5, my iPhone 4s and my 6th Gen iPad. Which has happened.

    All of that while sitting down at a desk with a Mac Pro running 3 displays, next to a PowerMac G5 with an HP PC behind me to my left.

    I travel light when I just carry my 6s+ and my 5. :)
  11. justint1989 macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2017
    I wouldn’t have a response, because if it works for you, that’s great!
  12. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    In the previous quarter, Apple sold 9.1 million iPads. That's up 2% year over year. During that time, Apple launched 3 new iPads, one of which was the cheapest in Apple's history. Compare that to 15 to 20 million iPads Apple routinely sold per quarter back in 2012-2015.

    So yes, the SE + iPad usage model died. It died quite spectacularly.

    Sure, there's a market for smaller devices. How big is that market? It's been over 2 years since iPhone SE was launched. Apple hasn't bothered to refresh it. Actions speak louder than words.

    Apple is always "surprised" at the sales when it launches new iPhones. It's part of the PR machine. The SE is no different.

    You're claiming there's a large market for small smartphones, yet neither Apple, Samsung, Huawei, nor countless others have capitalized on this.

    Either you're wrong, or Tim Cook should be flying you to Cupertino to be part of their executive team.
  13. x-evil-x macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    Im curious about a full screen SE. I never wanted to go back to a 4" phone after having a larger one but a 4" form factor edge to edge I can be it closer to the 4.6" screens would be interesting to see. I do think the X is the perfect size in terms of larger screen to body ratio coming from a + model they are just ungodly large. But I might also be interested in a full screen + model around the 6.4" size. Its going to be an interesting year or two
  14. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Maybe someday, but don't see it anytime soon. As the SE is the entry phone, would guess a new SE to not change much from current, ala the 2018 iPads. Manufacturing lines are setup to build the form factor, the tech in them are cost-effective and proven (eg. iPad still uses Touch ID vs. Touch ID 2). Minor spec bumps to keep them viable and cheap.

    So, could see an SE with spec bumps on storage, processor, but not going to see edge-to-edge, loss of home button.

    If anything drastic, can see that the 6-7 (non-plus) line becomes the new SE. Again, proven tech, cost effective, and manufacturing lines already in place. A new SE for next two years with 7 and then 8 processors. Then can maybe get SE gen 3 that is more X-like. Or just keep that form factor alive with previous processor bumps (drop previous model(s) main boards into old chassis, much like current 8).

    Now, the future "cheap" flagship seems odd to me, as the non-plus models have outsold the plus models (https://www.macrumors.com/2018/01/22/iphone-sales-breakdown-4q17-cirp/), and now you are rolling out a jumbo foot-print of a phone which might not sell as well as current "cheap" flagships. And yes, for the conspiracy theorists out there: could it be so that sales drive to the pricey XI?
  15. x-evil-x macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    They could change the whole se lineup cost to be more in line with the other phones just slightly cheaper. I see them going this route instead of having a budget SE phone. edge to edge, no home button, new chips in line with new phones, upgraded camera ect...
    Then they would drop the normal button iPhone 8's in place of smaller medium and large X style models. The SE would replace the size of the current 4.7" phones. They might update the form factor to the 6's and on style even though id love to see the more squared sides I think it would look better with a full screen form factor. I still miss that style of phone over the current rounded edges.
  16. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    I believe a mini X when I see it.

    To me, the whole thing about the SE was, all Apple had to do was to stuff 6 electronics into a 5 case, I mean they could sell more phones without creating a new manufacturing line by re-using the money they had already invested fabricating the 5 casing. The "people want a smaller phone" was just a side P.R.
  17. EM2013 macrumors 68000


    Sep 2, 2013
    Majority of people don’t want a tiny device. The 8 is tiny enough.
  18. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Is it really the majority?
  19. Crow_Servo macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2018
    More people are looking for a plus sized iPhone X than an SE sized iPhone X. There’s a chance we don’t see much improvements to the SE. Maybe a tiny internal refresh, but I doubt it gets the edge-to-edge treatment. Most people see the SE as old fashioned or as an interim phone.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2018 ---
    Yes, I’d say it is the majority.
  20. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    Let's read what Tim Cook said 100 days after the iPhone SE was launched.

    Apple (AAPL) Q3 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

    "Our initial sales data tells us that the iPhone SE is popular in both developed and emerging markets, and the percentage of iPhone SE sales going to customers who are new to iPhone is greater than we've seen in the first weeks of availability for other iPhones launched in the last several years.

    Overall, we added millions of first-time smartphone buyers in the June quarter, and switchers accounted for the highest percentage of quarterly iPhone sales we've ever measured. In absolute terms, our year-to-date iPhone sales to switchers are the greatest we've seen in any nine-month period, and our active installed base of iPhones is up strong double-digits year over year."

    1. Apple added many new iPhone customers and many of them are switchers.

    Why would there be so many switchers now? If there were so many 4-inch lovers, wouldn't they have switched during iPhone 5 or 5s? Why wait until iPhone SE? What changed with SE? Price. In other words, many iPhone SE customers are price-sensitive and were previously using low-end Android devices. They finally switched.​

    2. Apple added "millions of first-time smartphone" buyers.

    Where the heck do you get millions of first-time smartphone buyers? U.S.? China? Europe? Obviously not. In other words, these consumers are from emerging markets like India and Africa. They came from "dumb" phones like Nokia 100.​
  21. CrazyForCashews macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2018
    Your post makes too much sense, and that's why I don't like it yet like it at the same time.

    Please Apple, show the SE some love, one last time.
  22. akash.nu macrumors 604


    May 26, 2016
    do you just carry devices for the sake of it or are you addicted?!
  23. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    If you look where the market has shifted, The iPhone SE as popular as it is, still primarily is a very small demographic consumers who would be willing to upgrade to that specific model iPhone, because it is dated in terms of specifications and hardware. I think iPhone SE serves three purposes, (1) first time iPhone buyers and (2) for those who specifically who are not interested in having the latest technology, but ultimately wants the smaller form factor. (3) Being a global phone in other countries like Asia and India where the other iPhone models are unobtainable because of how expensive they are.

    The overwhelming trend of those who have upgraded to larger phones has been on the rise for years because of two things, the larger display and longer battery life. Also with larger phones comes included having more technology and camera capabilities. That’s where the marketing really is if you look at the trend of how smart phone manufacturers are trying to shift the consumer to purchase the most expensive, largest smart phone available.

    For example, when the iPhone 7 released, almost 90% of Apples marketing was geared towards the dual camera introduction with iPhone 7 Plus, hardly any marketing was even given to the 4.7 iPhone model.
  24. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    It wouldn't surprise me if the smaller form factor is going away. Apple will only be releasing 3 new iPhone's in September, the cheapest will be the 6.1" with a LCD screen which will be accompanied by an OLED iPhone X successor & an iPhone X 'plus' at around 6.5" with an OLED panel (the OLED models being the flagships). All 3 will use FaceID.
  25. akash.nu macrumors 604


    May 26, 2016

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