The new Apple iPhone SE (2022) was never going to be the most desirable iPhone, but it received a rather cold welcome, whereas its predecessor enjoyed some positive comments. Those can be summed up as “it’s cheap” and “it’s small”. Of course, that was back in 2020 and things have changed since.
Starting with the first, the new model costs $430, $30 more than its predecessor. This is without taxes, mind you. In Europe, the new SE starts at €520, you can get some very capable Androids for that kind of cash. If you want to stick with Apple, an iPhone 12 mini costs around the same in some regions, unless you insist on getting it through Apple.com.
And that brings us to the second part, the iPhone SE (2022) is small, but the mini is smaller. Not to mention that the mini has a larger, sharper display, a more capable camera (including an ultrawide module) and things like MagSafe.
The iPhone 12 mini didn’t exist in early 2020 when the second SE was announced, so “small” and “cheap” were true back then. The iPhone SE (2022) arrives in a different world with new expectations.
Looking at the poll results, most people who want an iPhone want something more capable than the SE. Surprisingly few people are interested in upgrading from an older iPhone. Part of that is probably because the outdated design – we don’t mean just the looks, but having a screen that’s barely above HD resolution and a single camera is a tough sell these days, even for a “cheap” phone.
We’re not ready to write off the iPhone SE (2022) yet. The second-gen model made up a significant portion of Apple’s global sales for the second quarter of 2020 – 28%. However, many buyers were upgrading from an older iPhone and (according to our poll) the third-gen SE won’t be able to inspire such an upgrade spree.
Also, the SE (2020) wasn’t as popular as the iPhone 11, which made up 40% of sales in that period. The 11 is still available brand new, by the way, for $500. Its chipset is a couple of generations older, so you’ll miss out on 5G connectivity.
With the iPhone 11 and 12 mini so close in price, not to mention competitive Androids, the new SE model may not reach the popularity of its predecessor – we will find out when analysts publish their findings next quarter.