The Apple iPhone SE: Gamble or Good Deal?

Apple has been known for both its spectacular successes and its sometimes spectacular, though forward thinking failures.

This, for instance, changed computing forever.

This, for instance, changed computing forever.

This, much less so.

This, much less so.

And then there's this travesty.

And then there’s this abomination, featured in the direct-to-VHS Steven Seagal “classic” Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.

Innovation, unfortunately, is often married to failure, though failure to innovate is even more destructive.  A huge complaint that people have had about Apple in recent years since Steve Jobs died, is that the iPhone in particular, while continuing to be a stable mobile platform, has been very limited as far as design is concerned.

"Introducing the iPhone 8! The 8s is the size of a surfboard and comes with a five foot stylus!"

“Introducing the iPhone 8! The 8s is the size of a surfboard and comes with a five foot stylus!”

The iPhone spurred a huge technical and social revolution, and its release changed the way the world has worked in less than a decade.  The things that computers were just marginally competent at doing now can be done intuitively and in your hand.

"Behold! The cause of and solution to all of modern life's problems!"

“Behold! The cause of and solution to all of modern life’s problems!”

It comes as no surprise that while the iPhone 6 generation is mostly praiseworthy, there seems to be a fundamental lack of real game changing innovation.

"Of course, not all innovation ends well. Oh also, introducing the iPhone T-800."

“Of course, not all innovation ends well. Oh also, introducing the iPhone T-800.  It has a neural-net processor; a learning computer.”

Maybe that’s why it comes as a bit of a surprise that the newly unveiled iPhone SE is basically iPhone 6s hardware, inside of an iPhone 5 case.  It’s like a reverse turducken of iPhones, yet instead of ruining three to four otherwise delicious birds, the SE actually addresses a huge problem that consumers have had with the iPhone in recent years.

"No son, you can't just have some mac and cheese. Eat your poultry pile."

“No son, you can’t just have some mac and cheese. Eat your poultry pile.”

The iPhone 6 generation, in particular, has seen a wave of fatigue surrounding the idea that bigger is better.  Furthermore, the 6plus has a glaring design flaw for any normal human who keeps the phone in a pocket.

bend apple

Q: Why did the 6plus not want to go diving? A: It was afraid it would get the bends!

Even the 6 and 6s have been the source of lament for people with smaller hands, with claims that the newer phones just feel like a bar of soap with rounded corners.

A problem that Marco Rubio has never had, unlike some people.

A problem that Marco Rubio has never, and will never have, unlike some people.

The iPhone SE, which stands for “special edition” may not seem like a game changer, but it brings back a style of phone that consumers actually liked, with the hardware that continues to put the iPhone in a class of its own.

"Sentient Entity"

“Sentient Entity”

While it seems like Apple may be making a bit of a gamble on this reversion to an old design, bringing back this style of phone may be what it takes to get consumers that have defected to Android back into the Apple fold.

apple store

“One of us! One of us! Gooble gobble! Gooble gobble!”

Still, it’s easy to be cynical about the design, and it’s entirely possible that this is less, “what the consumers want” and more “tired rehash.”

under siege 2 apple

Pic not related.

Ultimately, with a $399 price tag, the iPhone SE is not a terrible deal, and while it may not be a reason to trade in an iPhone 6 or 6plus, for those that want to get an iPhone for the first time, they could probably do a lot worse than the SE if they’re looking for good design and functionality.

"For the aggressive hipster set, here's the iPhone throwback edition."

“For the aggressive hipster set, here’s the iPhone throwback edition.”

                  

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Brendan