Rationally sized phones
Few model numbers
Phablet sized phones
Gimmicks everywhere (Animoji, AR, etc..)
Lots of confusing model numbers
Fits in my hand
Cheap to self replace screen/battery
Has a headphone jack
Apple is following the same path they have done since the original iPhone. They have always had models at different price points.
They seem to be slowly losing market share, though.
May be better UX design would solve that. Any controls should be at the bottom part of the screen. But iOS is not there anyway.
I got a Note 1 phablet after my iPhone 4 as an experiment. It was an audacious device where Apple had gotten stagnant. While the galaxy note 1 was a premature priduct, the phablet form factor was a constant constant piece, and it nearly ended the use of my iPad. My android phablet remains in my life/because Apple missed the boat on screen sizes and is playing catchup.
The phablet phenomenon is real and a calculated tradeoff.
Phablets have cut into other markets and for most people globally if a movie is the Mir primary computing device, the phablet is more appealing. In the case where summertime doesn't use a phone much, they often have a tablet, laptop, etc.
Not having a headphone jack remains a pain, Bluetooth ear buds need to be at 20 hrs of battery life to get wider adoption.
MacBook Air was released in 2008.
Mac Mini was released in 2010.
The Mac Pro didn’t overlap wih the iMac Pro as it does now.
The iphone overlapping 7,8,Xs,Xr.
iPad Pro 10.5 overlap with regular iPad.
Steve Jobs was only alive during the early days of the iPhone where Apple was focused on implementing basic features like 3G. We are in the era where what you call gimmicky features are all that is left.
And customers are asking for bigger phones and more phones at different price points. This myth that Steve Jobs never listened to customers is just that a myth.
I'm very disappointed they didn't use the edge-to-edge screen ability to reduce the physical size and keep the screen size the same. A 4.7 inch screen in an iPhone X design would be perfect for me. It would be barely bigger than the SE with a much bigger screen.
This applies to the SE, too -- keep the screen size and makes the bezels smaller.
In a way, the iPhone XS is a step back from even the iPhone 6, because it's bigger.
Apple seems to be doing things arbitrarily nowadays, like Dell and other OEMs that Apple (fans) loved to mock years ago.
"Available at authorized resellers"
I'd love an SE sized super-budget iPhone (for kids).
I have an old 6 that is quite snappy on iOS 12 beta for everything but intensely graphical new games. I really don't expect to replace last year's X for at least 2-3 years. It wasn't that long ago that it was crazy to keep a phone longer than a year.
Now, AppleCare really needs to be extended a year to 4 full years from 3.
For some reason, this isn’t enabled by default, but it’s a big enough usability improvement that I would actually consider a large X-family iPhone because of it.
Besides, the slightly bigger body of the X (ignoring screen size) makes it slightly less comfortable to hold in my hand.
That's only marginally larger than the iPhone SE's 4.0" screen.
I use an iPhone SE, but only because it was ~AU$400 cheaper than the 4.7" iPhone 8.
Edit: I'd like to be on the record as having said I think these large screen size phones are, for my use case anyway, ridiculous. I work in a metal fabrication workshop and have to have my phone on me. There's no way a 5.8" phone is going to last more than a month in my pocket.
You can not extend a smartphone and give feature like OLED, Neural Engine etc without considering affect on the battery.
They want bigger device to solve many those issues. If they release the iPhone SE update they can not compete with other iPhones in terms of feature and performance.
Also it have huge involvement of iOS updates also. When they release iOS update you have to think all the device these updates support else people will make noises.
That was borne out by my experience with the SE when I first got it, having better battery life than any other smartphone I'd owned.
My plan for now is to hang on to the SE for another couple of years, with battery replacement when it gets too tired.
The reason I don't totally discount the SE is the effective lowering of prices by Apple in the new line-up. They clearly want to grow on the lower end of the price band now.
I would want to go back to stock Android after I retire this SE, but when I look around I don't really see a decent 4 inch stock Android phone either.
Bad idea for whom, and why? Because of your personal preference for a smaller phone? Clearly, the market doesn't agree. Well TBH, I don't know the market numbers, but surely Apple doesn't cull their lineup of products that are selling well?
I was thinking about replacing my SE with whatever was announced today, but instead I'll be continuing to use it until it dies/isn't supported any more. Maybe I'm alone on that, I dunno.
Edit: I was wondering if an Apple Watch / iPod Touch combo could be an option but it seems they don’t play well together.
The iPhone 7 still carries the flag for price conscious customers today, even if it is more expensive. The SE was a very unusually strong low end value proposition by Apple standards at 349 dollars for the 32GB handset, and I suspect this _much_ more than size mattered. Cheap small sized Android handsets have never really sold in remotely meaningful numbers in recent years (and Sony made some resonably solid designs), which gives me further pause as to how well "small" as primary feature sells now.
It is definitely a shame for those who did value the SE for its size, but iPhones are unabashedly mass-market devices, and for better or worse bigger appears to sell. I do think an imaginary SE design with the full size screen design of the X with FaceID etc would be a gorgeous looking little device though...
The best clue that the small phone market is actually a small market is to look to android: the smaller phones don't sell particularly well, especially in the premium tiers. The only company really making a go at the small phones is sony, and they're basically failing.
Pretty sure no one in this thread knows more about SE sales than the product people at Apple making these decisions.
Then the release a bunch of only-big iphones, which sell more than the previous generation of iphones, and they go "Aha! We're on to something here!"
Like, there's a ton of reasons that sales of a new gen of iphone could be higher than previous, or that the note sold more than some other iphone model, etc, without having anything to do with physical size of the device.
I for one am absolutely desperate for a galaxy s1 sized device with a headphone jack, long battery life, and reasonable performance, regardless of thickness. I would probably pay 800 dollars for such a device. It's just me here and now but judging from other comments I've seen I bet I'm not alone.
Sorry for the snark but damn this trope was stale 4 years ago. Apple has more than enough money to throw at researching whether or not it's worth it to make a particular size phone without first producing said phone.
Nope, I don't work at Apple, I have no idea how they do market research. They sure do know how to make money, though.
Imho, it's harder to convince people a "smartphone" is worth USD $1k+. But a laptop / tablet replacement? That's reasonable(!) compared to a MBP...
Given Apple's build costs don't scale with device size (++screen, +battery, +gpu/mem), selling the same internals in bigger devices for more is a win.
So you continue expanding device size and price until you discover the market boundaries. And unlike Samsung S*/Note, Apple has the ability to say "These are the only form factors this generation, if you want the newest iPhone..."
Only if those customers buy the bigger device, and if smaller phones require the latest internals. If these people stick with their older/smaller devices, you've lost a sale. If you can get away with 2-year-old internals in these smaller phones, it could be much cheaper to produce than the latest flagship.
I don't know what Apple's margins are on these devices, but a couple months ago AT&T was offering the current (final) iPhone SE for $50.
> Apple has the ability to say "These are the only form factors this generation, if you want the newest iPhone..."
True, but the SE was never about appealing to users who wanted the newest iPhone.
From a technical standpoint, they could have released larger phones before they did. What stopped them is that UIKit and iOS apps were not designed to handle multiple screen sizes or any screen except for the 4 inch iPhone and the 9.7" iPad until iOS 7 and support improved in IOS 8.
So .. they couldn't?
Software - they didn’t have the framework to allow for it.
It would have been like all of the Android phones that copied the notch before the OS was ready.
If Apple is shipping 7nm in iPhones, that's actually incredible.
Edit: After doing a bit of research, it seems like Intel is actually the odd duck out and TSMC is doing the fab on these chip runs as well as the fab on Huawei's new chip with dual Neural Processing Units. It's actually just Intel that's failing to produce smaller and smaller chips (again, TSMC is producing 7nm for this Apple run as well as Huawei's new chip).
7nm on a (relatively) small ARM is also a different world to 7nm on a chip the size of the latest Intel's.
See this presentation from Mark Bohr from Intel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApWOf6J858Y
Actually Global Foundries just announced they are abandoning 7nm for the short term.
Sounds like GF is dropping out of Moore's Law's race entirely, and changed their strategy to focusing on improving the higher nodes instead:
You'll have to remove my SE from my cold, dead hands. It's not just one handed operation, it's simply a much better size and I'm yet to see any reason I'd want a bigger one.
Many of us on HN are probably in the first group. I look at my phone as a portable computer that's a big compromise for portability; as soon as I am within range of an actual PC, I will switch to using that. (Example, my phone is great for checking when the train is going to arrive. But before I leave for the station, I've already checked the schedule on my computer.)
That usage pattern probably places us in the minority. Many people are using their phone to do things that they can't do on a computer; Snapchat, Instagram, games, etc. Those simply don't run on computers. But they suffer from the same ergonomics complaints that we do, so they make a good market for computer-shaped phones. And that is what Apple is releasing today.
https://www.sonymobile.com/us/products/phones/#filter= (ctrl+F for "compact").
There's also unofficial support for the more recent XZ1 Compact.
Sony had really improved on this aspect of late (actually kinda got rid of that questionable design and form factor that was ubiquitous in Sony phones). It seems they figured they need it back for some reason.
Could realistically be a holiday release or 1q 2019, especially since they won't have a Red phone to release then.
There will be a thriving SE market on eBay.
Secondary actions may still require a second hand, but most primary actions should not.
Apparently I would think wrong, but what's the issue? Is it just not possible to manufacture a high-quality small phone for a mere 1% of the world market? Plenty of Android manufacturers are making decent phones for much smaller market segments than that...
You do that in an indirect manner, by requiring NFC, thus eliminating 4-inch phones, which don't have NFC: https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/documentation/De... (Cmd-F nfc). If Apple had updated the iPhone SE with NFC, this trick wouldn't work any more, and I'd be forced to do UX design for 4-inch phones.
Till I find product-market fit, I don't want to be distracted by overhead like this.
Not bashing on your decision, just generally curious. If so, that sounds like a lot of work to make custom interface layouts for a half dozen devices.
Taking your example of expand/collapse, when you implement it, it's more complex than it appears when watching a Youtube video: you now have to handle three states: a collapsed state on small screens, an expanded state on small screens, and big screens, which don't have expand/collapse. This imposes more work on the designer to design for these states and make sure they're all usable and look good, perhaps with animated transitions between them. On the engineers, who have to deal with multiple code paths and edge cases. On QA, to spend more time trying to test more scenarios on different devices. Everything sounds simple till you code it up :)
Now, if you could eliminate this complexity by not having to collapse the control in the first place, that would be simpler. Maybe there's enough space on the 4.7-inch screen for that.
UIs scale up better than down. I prefer to do UI design for the smallest supported screen size. If we choose to support 4-inch screens, we may have to choose a UI design that's not optimal for 4.7-inch and bigger screens, which the majority of our users actually use. Whereas if 4.7 was the baseline, we may be able to come up with a better design for most of our users.
All these problems are, of course, solvable, but if they take X amount of time to solve, is there something more beneficial you can do in that time?
Guess what's worse than an app that doesn't support your particular model of iPhone? An app that supports all possible devices and configurations, but that doesn't solve a problem users care about. Then all the time and resources that went into it go down the drain.
Not being able to replace my current distract-o-phone with another comfortably-sized one might be the thing that convinces me to give the new Nokia bananaphone a try.
In stark contrast is my Moto X2, after 2 years of heavy daily use before my current phone, and one screen replacement is still chugging along pretty well on its archaic version of Android.
The argument that iPhones have superior hardware and build quality resulting in longer usage is negated by this constant push for upgrades. I think I know where I am headed for my next phone.
I do admit however I would have liked to see an X in the same size as a base 8.
Reminds me of Fury Road: "I had a baby brother! And he was perfect in every way!"
Sigh. It's enough to make me nostalgic for Windows Phone.
Even within the Android ecosystem, it's very sad that innovation is stymied. The only ones that even try are LG and they always fall flat.
There's a long list of different Android phones I'd like to see:
- Keyboard / Accessible phones. My mother in law has some disabilities that prevent her from using a touch-phone and she's using an Android phone with keyboard for messaging. Once it breaks, I'll be hard pressed to find a replacement
- Small size phones with decent specs. Lots of people are very vocal about that, a current coworker spent a lot of time searching and got frustrated, the only small phones available were basically dumbphones
- Specialist phones, I can't believe we still don't have phones with physical camera button and better swappable lenses (I think Sony tried that one, and there are some add-ons).
Sure there are a lot more undeserved niches.
I looked into phones with physical keyboards a couple years ago for my mother, and I couldn't find anything except an old LG feature phone that hadn't been manufactured in years.
I had a Samsung S3 mini that was a bit slow but worked alright. Battery was a problem, but the phone was old when I got it. It worked well for most things except extensive reading.
I had an Alcatel Idol 3, and the display was pretty low resolution for its screen size, but I would get almost two days of battery out of it between charges. Unfortunately the physical power button broke.
Sony xz2 compact
I am going to take a good look at the phone again soon, but I honestly can't recommend Sony to anyone who isn't tech savvy and/or doesn't intend to root it (I guess I should have after all -- by now many hours went into configuring it, and since you can't back an Android phone up properly, I'd have to redo all of that).
To me this new Apple Watch was the star of the show.
For people with aging parents that don't really use mobile phones, I could many watches purchased as safety devices. (Though the battery life doesn't make it ideal for that...)
Fall detection, heart rate abnormality detection, wouldn't seem to be the type of things you'd want to only use for a short time each day anyway. You could presumably use the ECG feature on multiple people, however.
Source: I worked on a fall detection app for the Apple Watch last year.
The ambiguity there is abused by many companies on the fringes of consumer health and cosmetic products.
> A 510(k) is a premarketing submission made to FDA to demonstrate that the device to be marketed is as safe and effective, that is, substantially equivalent (SE), to a legally marketed device that is not subject to premarket approval
Things are different for the federal government. It's an institution of last resort, so the normal ways of thinking about personal finance don't apply. It can't open a "savings account" anywhere, because every other institution on Earth is smaller and less reliable.
And the debt is owned at ~50% by the government itself or the Fed and ~20% by various non-federal investors (pensions, mutual funds, local governments, individuals) with the rest being owned by various non-US entities.
Even when it was the post-Jobs Ive and Cook it was still captivating, but this is just tiresome.
The constant "This is the best X that Apple has done, or the best X in an iPhone/iWatch" was seriously grating. Well, duh, new year, new products. If this wasn't better then apple wouldn't be releasing it....
The iPhone announcements were, I agree, quite tiresome. So much so, I closed the window a few minutes into Schiller's discussion of the chips in the new models.
I suspect it's because I can only do so much with a phone and nothing in the "smartphone" space jumps out to me as "revolutionary". It seems that innovational leaps in mobile computing will depend on what software becomes available.
Either/or, not both.
What would really be revolutionary is a phone that wouldn't shatter when I drop it.
Nothing in todays announcement makes me want to upgrade my current iPhoneX. Better graphics on a tiny screen? Yawn. The basketball tracker demo was neat, but those are very specific use cases.
The Apple Watch looks like it is really coming into its own. They should have closed with that.
You know what would have really blown the doors off the one more thing? If the iPhone Xr started at $499. That's how you grow the market.
But I guess if you're a trillion dollar company you don't have to try all that hard to think different.
Especially the exaggerated adjectives. Everything's "gorgeous," "beautiful," or "stunning," even if it's just a featureless black slab like every other phone for the last 5 years.
Geeks would go though which feature set from J2ME, or Symbian OS were being made available, specially on Nokia and Sony-Ericson models.
Previously he's felt a bit dry at times.
I'm eagerly awaiting the Pocophone F1 release here in Uruguay.
Low-end disrupters (think steel minimills and discount retailers) come in at the bottom of the market and take hold within an existing value network before moving upmarket and attacking that stratum
But, as a phone, I think low end disruptors are here, and I can't understand why people would pay 3 or 4 times as much as needed for a phone - other than that they have the money, and they want the phones for reasons unrelated to performance (aesthetics, perceived quality, privacy, etc.).
Xiaomi in particular is trying to erode that particular Apple barrier, their flagships are already objects of desire in India, China and in my country (Uruguay).