iPhones have mostly been considered an expensive brand of smartphones. Apple seems to have decided to focus on the lower segments of the market by launching the 2020 iPhone SE version. At just US$399, it is far cheaper than the lowest-priced iPhone 11 model that comes at US$699.
A cheap iPhone
The 2020 iPhone SE will remind you of the iPhone 8 design. It comes in three colors — black, red, and white. Compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the SE version is far more compact. However, this does not seem to affect gaming comfort at all. The bezels on the SE look a bit dated for a smartphone belonging to 2020.
The phone comes with a 4.7-inch display and a resolution of 1334 X 750 pixels. The display reproduces 111.2 percent of the sRGB color gamut and is rated to have a brightness of 625 nits. The panel will adjust the screen’s color temperature depending on the ambient light conditions thanks to its True Tone feature.
The camera is the standout feature of the iPhone SE. A casual user might not even find a difference between the camera performance of SE and the highly-priced iPhone 11. It comes with a 12 MP rear camera and 7 MP front-facing camera. The only drawback is that it does not feature Night Mode.
So if you are someone who takes a lot of pics at night or in dark places, this phone might not be for you. Performance-wise, the SE comes with the same chip that is used in the iPhone 11 model — A13 bionic. Hence, loading apps, transcoding videos, games, etc., will be a smooth affair.
Now, there is a US$300 difference between the SE and the entrant iPhone 11 model. The major features you will be sacrificing for this will be a larger display, the ability to view full HD videos, and a slightly better camera. When it comes to battery, the SE delivers about 13 hours of video playback when compared to iPhone 11’s 17 hours. For people who have been obsessing with owning an iPhone but have always thought of it as too expensive, Apple’s latest SE model is the perfect bang for the buck.
Just like other companies, Apple has been hit hard by the CCP coronavirus outbreak. Though the SE version is selling better than expected, the overall picture looks bleak. In February, the company had already admitted that it would see a decline in sales for the March quarter due to slow sales in China. Since then, the COVID-19 virus has spread globally, meaning that sales in other regions will also suffer.
“The most difficult challenge from COVID-19 for smartphone brands is the negative impact on consumer confidence or purchasing power after the pandemic outbreak, resulting in consumers preferring to choose lower price/spec models or to stop purchasing smartphones,” TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in the note, as reported by CNBC.
Kuo estimates iPhone shipments for the June quarter to fall by up to 25 percent YoY due to the pandemic. In the U.S., iPhone sales fell by 56 percent in March compared to the same month a year earlier as per an estimate by KeyBanc Capital Markets. The SE version might act as a double-edged sword for Apple in these economic conditions.
On one side, it can attract customers who would have avoided an iPhone due to the higher pricing of the earlier models. But on the other side, customers who were already planning on getting an iPhone might decide to save money by buying the SE model rather than iPhone 11 or the upcoming iPhone 12.