At first glance, it’s easy to see why many people are overlooking the significance of Apple’s new iPhone SE. After all, the device doesn’t feature a crazy new form factor nor does it offer up any technologies we haven’t seen before. In fact, the iPhone SE by all accounts is simply an iPhone 5 jam-packed with technologies Apple originally introduced on the iPhone 6s six months ago.
Nothing special here, right?
The iPhone SE is not only poised to be Apple’ sleeper hit of the season, it’s just the device Apple needs to breathe a bit of life into slowing iPhone sales.
Even though Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models set new sales records over the last two years, Apple’s foray into larger screened devices left many iPhone users out in the cold. The reality is that many iPhone users find Apple’s 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone models too clunky and unwieldy to use. As a result, there exists a surprisingly large pool of iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s users who opted to stick with their current device and not upgrade to Apple’s bigger iPhone models.
Just last month, research data from Mixpanel found that 38% of all iPhone users were still using iPhone models that were released before the iPhone 6. The research specifically that Apple’s lineup of 4-inch iPhone models (5s, 5c, 5) accounted for 32.54% of active iPhones with iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 models accounting for approximately 5.7% of active iPhones.
What’s more, Tim Cook earlier this year said that a whopping 60% of iPhone owners who owned devices before the iPhone 6 was launched still haven’t upgraded to either the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s. And driving home the point that there’s an immense market for 4-inch iPhones, Apple yesterday said that it sold 30 million 4-inch iPhone models in 2015 alone. In short, the pool of iPhone users on the verge of upgrading is remarkably large.
All that said, it’s overwhelmingly clear that Apple, in its zeal to catch up to Android and release larger screened devices, either inadvertently or purposefully ignored a large contingent of users who find the 4-inch form factor ideal. With the iPhone SE, Apple is finally providing an advanced smartphone option for this large group of users.
As we detailed yesterday, the iPhone SE is jam-packed with Apple’s most advanced technologies. From its A9 processor and advanced camera to faster Wi-Fi and LTE components, the iPhone SE is finally a device content iPhone 5 and 5s users can get excited about. Clearly, Apple learned a thing or two from its missteps with the iPhone 5c.
With a March 31 release date, the iPhone SE obviously won’t have an impact on current quarter iPhone sales, but it will extremely interesting to see how iPhone sales during the upcoming June quarter stack up against the previous year.