A lot has been written about the new iPhone SE. Pick your favourite tech blog for coverage and product reviews. I particularly liked Ben Thompson's take on the iPhone SE. And the Wall Street Journal had a good review. Major highlights include -
- the 4" phone (or iPhone) market was served by yesteryear's models.
- top of the line internals, or 6 months old internals, however you look at it.
- few things missing, like the latest TouchID and 3D Touch.
- $50 price drop.
All of this is good, but can we speculate anything else from the iPhone SE? Will the tea leaves give us a hint? Here is my reading -
- Most folks, including John Gruber and Jason Snell, think this model will be on a two year cycle. I think this would be an annual event. Refreshed models served every March, with internals from top of the line iPhone. The simple name "SE" suggests that. And I don't think the 30 Million 4" iPhones that Apple sold is a small or a one time market. Apple looks to be shoring up the bottom of the high end smart phone market.
- The price gives us a hint on Apple's eye towards large, developing markets like India and China where Samsung and others sell a ton of phones just below this price range. Sweet spot for Apple.
- The price reduction may be a hint to the success of Apple's services, viz. App Store, Apple Music, iTunes Store, iBooks Store and Apple Pay. Perhaps Apple can earn more from these services, so much so that the price reduction is a fair bet? I expect major overhauls will be announced this year for the App Store, Apple Music and Apple Pay is coming to a ton more countries.
- Will we see a similar price reduction on the marquee phones? Nope.
- Apple decided to go with $50 less price rather than a 32 GB model. This surely looks like a big tell that the iPhone 7 will have at least 24GB memory, if not 32GB.
Pure speculation. True tea leaves reading. Lets see how these go... ;)