Remember the iPhone SE? Well, you might not have to tax your brain too much in order to do so, because there are still millions of people using this device in the world – we personally see several SEs in active use every time we venture outside, in fact. However, the 2016 device – which was an updated version of the iPhone 5S – was withdrawn from production a while back and hasn’t been replaced, leaving a pint-sized hole in Apple’s phone lineup.
Now, it would appear that the SE is dead for good, despite what seemed like a recent revival. Apple recently put the SE back up for sale on its online store, prompting hopes that it was about to put the pocket-friendly wonder back into full production; it would be a wise move, as many people prefer the smaller form factor of the device. Alas, it was not meant to be.
It would appear that all Apple was doing was clearing out old stock at a discounted rate, and the SE is now gone from the store, indicating that stock has already sold out.
The funny thing is, Apple has never officially announced that the SE is ‘dead’ as a concept, and given that there appears to be demand for a phone this size – as evidenced by the fast sell-through of this ‘dead stock’ – could it be that Apple was simply testing the waters here?
While the iPhone XR has logically filled the gap left by the low-price SE, it’s something of a monster in terms of size; it’s even bigger than the more expensive iPhone XS, in fact (but smaller than the iPhone XS Max).
Given how many people are walking around with SEs even today, it would seem that not everyone is thrilled at having a phablet-sized slab of tech in their pocket – a fact which made recent rumours that Apple was working on an SE successor with an all-body screen, notch and Face ID all the more believable.
Perhaps that will still happen, but it seems like an outside bet at present. Big-screen phones have arguably won, and even Apple – which was once mocked for the tiny displays on its phones – has joined the party with gusto. While a gap surely exists for this kind of device, as people become used to larger phones we may see that gap vanish altogether.
If that is the case, then it’s time to bid farewell to one of the most attractive phones of all time. The iPhone SE still looks great even by modern standards – a reminder of a time when mobiles didn’t all have rounded edges and weren’t so big you needed MC Hammer’s trousers to comfortably store them.