The iPhone SE, not the Mini, may be the future of Apple’s smaller smartphones

The new iPhone SE announced by Apple

Apple’s new iPhone SE 2022

Screenshot / Apple

Despite its slightly higher price tag of $429, New iPhone SE It’s still the cheapest (and smallest) iPhone Apple sells. This new price also pushes the iPhone SE a little closer to Apple’s iPhone Mini lineup, which starts at $599 for iPhone 12 mini and $699 for iPhone 13 mini.

Apple is bridging the gap between the two smaller iPhone lines in more ways than just pricing. The 2022 iPhone SE comes with the same chip that powers iPhone 13 And 5G support among other improvements. The launch comes on the heels of reports that Apple won’t release a new “Mini” version of the upcoming iPhone this fall. Meanwhile, Apple is already rumored to be working on another new iPhone SE that could be launched next year.

These reports with Tuesday announcement We suggest it’s the iPhone SE – not the iPhone Mini – that’s shaping up to be Apple’s smaller budget phone of the future.

iPhone SE gets a big upgrade as the future of the iPhone Mini is uncertain

iPhone 13 mini

iPhone 13 mini

Sarah Teo / CNET

Apple does not share data on iPhone unit sales by model. But third-party reports indicated that demand for the iPhone 12 Mini was weak. Meanwhile, Apple cited the 2020 iPhone SE as a key growth driver in its previous earnings calls.

Asian financial news outlet Nikkei Asian Review reported in July 2021 that Apple won’t release a new iPhone Mini next year due to slow sales. Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s predictions also didn’t mention the new Mini as part of Apple’s flagship iPhone lineup, according to MacRumors.

After the launch of the iPhone 12 in 2020, market research firm Counterpoint Research reported that the iPhone 12 Mini represented just 5% of Apple iPhone 12 sales during the first half of January 2021, Reuters reported. The iPhone SE of 2020 was also one of the 10 best-selling phones of 2021, according to a Counterpoint Research report published on Tuesday. While other iPhone models such as iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 11 appeared on the list, the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini were all absent.

Meanwhile, Apple cited the iPhone SE as the reason behind the growth of its smartphone business during its fiscal year 2020 third-quarter earnings call. CEO Tim Cook said the phone’s small size and affordable price made it attractive to those who were keeping their devices. for a long period of time.

The new version that Apple announced on Tuesday is very similar to its predecessor from 2020, but with some major improvements. The new iPhone SE supports 5G – which may not be important today but will be as carriers continue to evolve their networks – and runs on the same chip that powers the iPhone 13. The new model also has a longer battery life and an improved camera, Apple claims.

If the rumors are to be believed, Apple has plans to improve the iPhone SE as soon as next year. The company could launch another iPhone SE model with a larger screen in 2023, according to forecasts by analyst Kuo and Ross Young, CEO of market research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants. MacRumors reported on the results.

The larger iPhone SE that supports 5G will also be a worthy replacement for the iPhone 11, in case analysts’ predictions are accurate. Apple’s $499 iPhone, which lacks 5G support, falls between the new iPhone SE and iPhone 12 Mini in terms of price. If Apple releases a larger iPhone SE in the future, there is a chance that the phone will also adopt a more modern design similar to the iPhone 11 or XR. A leak from Chinese website MyDrivers suggested that Apple might implement a design like this for the SE, according to 9to5Mac. However, that claim was in reference to the 2022 iPhone SE – which turned out to be false as it still had an iPhone 8-inspired design.

iPhone SE Advantages – and Disadvantages

Apple iPhone C color assortment 4 APP 220308

2022 iPhone SE

an Apple

The biggest advantage of the iPhone SE, of course, is its price. This also gives the iPhone SE a very clear audience. At $429, the iPhone SE is for people who just want an iPhone without spending close to $1,000. Those interested in the iPhone SE probably aren’t interested in getting the most advanced camera or OLED display. They just want a new phone that is reliable and familiar and they won’t feel outdated any time soon. The addition of the latest Apple processor and 5G will definitely help with that.

It’s the same reason Apple’s $329 iPad is so attractive. Like iPhone SE and Apple Entry-level iPad It has an outdated design and lacks many of the features found in its more expensive siblings. But it’s a versatile device that delivers solid performance for the price.

You could say the iPhone 12 and 13 Mini audience is also clear. These devices are for people who want the latest iPhone, but prefer smaller phones — which are hard to find in 2022. But as I wrote in previous columnI don’t think the price gap between the standard iPhone and the iPhone Mini is big enough to give it a premium place in Apple’s iPhone lineup. This is especially true now that the new iPhone SE has arrived with enhanced features.

However, there are still some aspects of the iPhone SE 2022 that look outdated and could make it less attractive as a long-term phone. It only has one camera lens, which means you won’t be able to capture wider scenes with a secondary ultra-wide lens as you can with the iPhone 12 and 13 Mini. The front camera has a 7-megapixel sensor, compared to the 12-megapixel camera on the iPhone 12 and 13 Mini selfie cameras. It also does not support millimeter wave 5G, the faster flavor of 5G that is only available in very limited areas.

But some people may not consider these factors when buying a new phone. Or they may be willing to make those concessions to save hundreds of dollars. However, features like 5G millimeter wave support and high-resolution cameras may be more important several years later, as carriers expand their networks and we continue to connect to video meetings from our phones.

Only Apple knows what its product pipeline could look like for the rest of 2022 and beyond. But it certainly tells us that rumors about another iPhone SE surfaced even before the 2022 model was announced, all while the future of the iPhone Mini looks uncertain.