I have an 11" Macbook Air, and I love it. The size and weight is nice, the keyboard is great, the touchpad is precise, I love that it has MagSafe, and I consider the ability to plug in DisplayPort monitors and my USB-A devices a must-have. Newer laptop models don't have compelling features my Air lacks, and take away things I like. I have no incentive to upgrade, and will definitely explore other manufacturers when it eventually wears out.
It's frustrating when a company makes products that suit your needs well, and then changes its mind. I just don't seem to be in Apple's target market anymore.
I am also not planning on upgrading. The iPhone X family looks great. Amazing screen. I don't care about a home button or a headphone jack or whatever the improved battery life is. Until I can be guaranteed a seat on the subway, it's all a net negative because I can't actually interact with applications during my commute. (When I'm not commuting, I have a 32" monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse which is WAY BETTER than a 6" phone and my finger.)
(More honestly, I don't see $1000 in value-add over my current phone. I don't need the latest gadget to be happy... but if it makes me $1000 happier over its lifetime, sign me up.)
I feel like it's a cultural thing. "Designed by Apple in California" where you just drive to work so a bigger phone is only a benefit (larger battery, easier-to-read text when you're using the phone). But in NYC, small is a huge benefit, and it's a shame that the transit-deprived West Coast tech companies don't understand our use case here.
Ahh, you nailed it and I've bitten my metaphorical tongue to avoid saying loudly: the damned mobile phone ecosystem is designed and tested by people in giant suburban, car environments like California. Not subway takers. Not pedestrians. The giant two-handed phone design obviously is torture on a subway. With navigation buttons even Andre the Giant would have had trouble reaching.
You know what else, though, shows the bias? Apps that think they're always connected to data. Even Spotify, with its glorious offline ability to play music, hangs stupidly in its main home screens (the one that has the we-made-this-for-you playlists). Other video playing apps with no real caching or notification or awareness to the user when there's no data.
There are many examples of blind spinning waiting type hanging behavior, as if no one can fathom using a phone during a commute that isn't in a car (or a red yellow and green type of bus?)
Samsung, on the other hand, has been producing huge phones that no one is going to be able to use with a single hand since a long time ago, and has no problem selling them in places like Hong Kong. It doesn’t seem to me that it is suburban culture that is inflating the size of phones.
(Don’t get me wrong. I like dense urban environments, public transport, ability to use apps without internet connection, and, at the same time, smaller phones.)
I feel like the bigger and more important modifier is whether your phone is your primary computing device.
1) To show off.
2) A battery life hack. (Number of pixels to illuminate goes up like the square, volume of the battery in the phone goes up like the cube... so larger phones will have better battery life. This was a huge, huge, huge concern on Android when the big Android devices started showing up. Remember the days when your Android phone couldn't even last 8 hours in your pocket at work? That is when the big Androids started showing up, and Apple introduced large phones after that.)
3) Most people don't use PCs anymore, so their phone is their only computing device.
These three concerns obviously weigh into the equation in addition to usability on public transit.
But really, New York is kind of unique in how over-capacity the transit system is. Tokyo is similar. Bought a Japanese phone recently?
It would certainly explain a lot. The dreaded ad-driven 'engagement' obsession rearing its ugly head again.
I don't think culture has much to do with it.
Apple's market cap is over $1 trillion. They sold over 40M iPhones last quarter. They have way more data than either of us do, and the market has spoken: there is not enough demand for small phones to justify a separate SKU.
(Also, as a fellow strap-hanger for 6 years, I just shoved my phone in my pocket and listened to podcasts while riding. But I know everyone has a different use case!)
EDIT: Folks complain on one end about Apple’s lack of product focus and on the other end about cutting out SKUs that do not make sense at their enormous scale.
As much as you all love the SE, it went untouched for years at a time. I imagine there were no components that made sense for the smaller SKU as Apple transitioned to larger phones (and batteries, crucially). It is also a low-ASP phone to begin with, which makes less sense for a company who increasingly makes “luxury” tech products.
I won't buy a large phone, which in 2011 meant I could buy the best phone on the market and in 2018 means I'm facing a future with some phone that just doesn't match a 2011 iPhone in looks, style and maybe even functionality and objective quality.
I'm sure they have great reasons, but it is very tempting to wave a fist in the sky and yell "why do they have to keep changing things?". The Apple ecosystem was great for me, and now I'm being forced out. It is like watching open source projects try to nuke themselves out of existence with the Big Trendy Rewrite; except Apple is wildly profitable and successful.
Making things at the scale that Apple makes them is hard. If the SE was a great business idea, Apple would keep doing it.
Maybe they will make another one in the Spring. It's not dead dead yet.
This was also true, ten years ago, of the iPod Touch. It was the reason for the iPhone 5C. It's at least partially the reason for the iPhone XR today. It's also the reason Apple keeps selling the iPhone 7 and 8.
The problem (for consumers) is that, eventually, you run out of the tailings you were using to make one of these "byproducts", since you never signed on to produce more of them. (That being rather the point of the whole process, from Apple's perspective.)
Once the supply contract for iPhone 5S "chassis" components is run through, that'll likely be the end of that form-factor. No device Apple has produced since then has that form factor, so there are no hand-me-down components to repurpose into a new device of that form-factor.
It’s just business
Apple will probably sell 70,000,000 in 90 days this quarter. I think they know how to sell a lot of phones
Margin = profit / sale price
Markup = profit / cost
Profit = sale price - cost
I frequently meet people that are not aware of the above.
apple got caught 'behind' in the 'bigger phone size' competition, and it seems they'll keep going bigger.
you could keep the 'high margin' on an se-sized phone - people would buy it anyway, because they want that size.
Guess how much a 128GB SE goes for now, if you can even get one?
Let's not pretend this is some natural result of "the market". The UX of most iOS apps, including Apple's, has been steadily getting bloated with bigger buttons, bigger labels, more padding in text fields, and reams of whitespace. This is personally annoying, but manageable on the bigger, newer phones. On iPhone SE it means that many apps can be maddening to use - with only a little bit of content visible on screen in some situations.
iOS 7 on the iPhone 5 form factor was great. iOS 12, not so much. Apple clearly sees no future for the smaller phones and their UI designers consider them an afterthought. It's little wonder that only diehards are willing to put up with this kind of UX compromise.
This born-and-raised Californian also rides the subway (bart) to work every day, and I'll have a hard time giving up my SE for similar reasons to you. Don't let assumptions about what California is like get in the way of a good argument.
Clearly app developers had already abandoned the size, but worse I realized how horrible all the apps had become. Apple iOS apps are now the same complicated disasters as every other platform. I was hanging in there with my Mac Book Pro 2011 hoping for a new machine that deserved to have Pro in the name and now I knew that soon there wouldn't even be an iPhone that I could use with one hand (comfortably - Yes I have heard all of the Apple apologists and Android phablet fanatics)
It is difficult to remember how lost we were, Microsoft Vista, Donut and BlackBerry. Steve changed the world one last time, but can't imagine Apple will again.
The iPhones sold off within a day and the Mac Book Pro 2011? To a musician with a rig that connects to Firewire.
I get the elegance argument about 4/5/SE design, but the screen size thing is just the market speaking. A lot of people use their phone as primary computing device and a bigger screen is nice when it's your only device.
Never have I had to hold a cell phone to do so.
A lot of people use it as a time for reading, and your phone is the logical thing to use for that purpose.
Apple is happily going off in a nonsense direction where their products are less and less useful because they are less complete and therefore less “self reliant” as devices.
See that’s what people don’t articulate. It’s not that the design changes are bad. Some are great. It’s that the balance of great design and great utility is what made apple impossible to beat as a phone and a laptop, and then there was the fact that they were seamlessly integrated (something apple has still failed to fully exploit — their stuff could be mind blowing). This is what made the brand great, and I feel like people miss that part of the argument.
When you bought a 2013 MacBook Pro, you didn’t need to buy accessories because it had it all - hdmi, usb, etc. - and it was useful without any additional accessories and met or exceeded my needs in almost all circumstances. I didn’t need a dongle to present and I didn’t need a cable adapter to charge my phone. When I packed for a conference I would grab my laptop, a power supply (that I could trip over in hotel rooms while working with no worries and that neatly wrapped up), and an hdmi to dvi adapter in case the projector failed, but that was it. Now I feel like Apple has externalized all of that utility in an effort to boost margins or go thin, and it’s basically made the devices reliant on a host of adapters, both for phones and laptops (and actually the 2013 Mac pro was the same problem).
Apple needs to understand what made them great was that they weren’t the ultimate steak knife, they were the ultimate survival knife, and get back to building the most useful, thought out and self-contained devices like they used to. They had a sweet spot, but we’re going back to the Apple cube across all product lines again, and nobody wants that.
The pro computer failure and the move away from nerd needs to slab of glass has lost balance and is heading into design over substance. The pendulum needs some rebalancing.
Except it didn't have VGA which is still popular in conference rooms to this day, so you needed an adapter for that. Some people probably needed an adapter for Ethernet as well.
Not to mention you needed a MagSafe 2 charger instead of a universal USB C charger.
> effort to boost margins or go thin, and it’s basically made the devices reliant on a host of adapters
They did it on the MacBook because USB C is more convenient than having specific use ports. The same reason you're happy that the 2013 MacBook had two USB three ports instead of two PS/2 ports and a serial port.
As for removing the headphone jack from the iPhone, they did it because you can send audio over Bluetooth or lightning. No reason to include a redundant port that does only one thing.
This mythical device does not exist. USB-C PD includes 5 different power profiles and even if your adapter is big enough subtle compatibility problems still pop up - my colleague's laptop complains about his adapter every time you plug it in for some reason. The situation is better than when every PC product line had their own power connector, but if you were in the Mac ecosystem you already mostly had the same thing because every laptop just used the same of Magsafe connector.
USB-C also brings back the problem of tripping over the power cord and sending your $3000 laptop careening towards a wall or the floor.
> As for removing the headphone jack from the iPhone, they did it because you can send audio over Bluetooth or lightning. No reason to include a redundant port that does only one thing.
What if I want to charge my phone and listen to music and own really nice headphones that don't need to be upgraded every year? Oops, can't do that anymore without this monstrosity: https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAH9D7KY71...
I've been using the top rated "budget" Bluetooth headphones from The Wirecutter for a year now (Jabra Move) and they blow. Like most bluetooth devices, the connection only works "most of the time", sometimes they connect but don't identify as headphones (?) and I have to power cycle them.
They also weigh noticeably more than my previous favourite, portable, wired headphones (Sennheiser PX 100-II) with worse sound quality to boot. I only noticed this when switching back to my wired headphones after I forgot the Bluetooth ones at work and realizing that the wired ones felt almost weightless by comparison. If this is the best that Bluetooth headphones in the ~$100 range have to offer, I don't want it.
Oh yeah, and I have to charge the fuckers every day because what I needed was another device that's useless unless I remember to plug it in constantly when I'm not using it.
Those are deprecated anyway. All you should need to know about a charger is the max wattage.
Right. It should be that easy, but in practice not everyone is going to implement the spec correctly. If you call Apple support when someone else's power adapter doesn't work I guarantee they will tell you that only official Apple power bricks are "supported".
At the moment, in practice, I've mostly seen USB-C chargers showing up with newer tablets, not laptops. So if you need to bum a charge from someone you're probably going to get a charger that's too small.
It does exist. Yes, there are issues like the ones your colleague experience but most of the time you can charge your phone, MacBook, or Windows laptop with the same USB C charger.
> USB-C also brings back the problem of tripping over the power cord and sending your $3000 laptop careening towards a wall or the floor.
You can buy an adapter for this if it's really something you're worried about .
It should also be pretty clear by now that Apple expects most of their users to not be using their MacBook while it's plugged in. The majority of MacBook owners will rarely need to thanks to the improvements in battery life over the past five years or so.
> What if I want to charge my phone and listen to music and own really nice headphones that don't need to be upgraded every year?
You can't. Again, most people never use this functionality. It is unfortunate for those that do but that's why the adapters exist. Much like the lightning to USB 3 adapter I have for my iPad. It would be convenient for me if I didn't need that adapter to plug a midi keyboard in, but the amount of people actually plugging midi keyboards in doesn't merit including a USB port on the iPad.
All of your complaints about bluetooth headphones are perfectly valid. Some people like them, some people don't. Lucky for you, a $9 dollar adapter for your wired headphones will solve all of your problems. Hardly even worth complaining about, especially if you were willing to spend ~$100 on a set of bluetooth headphones.
Saved those adapter, charger, hassles and all my existing gear works great!
Same for ports. I will not purchase one of these all in one port devices.
Charge and listen happens all the time in cars, BTW.
MIDI is not comparable to the charge and listen case.
Besides, a whole lot of people hate dongles. I am one of them.
And yes, I stepped right off the Apple train the moment I heard these things were coming. Did not look back.
I have things from the freaking 80's, like great headphones, that work just fine. Got other things to spend my money on, and chasing adapters down really is not one of them.
I don't think I'm THAT much of an exception. I sit at an open-ish desk all day and wear headphones to block out ambient noise. I also need to charge my phone at some point in the day if I want it to last through my commute in the evening. This means that I often need to charge while listening.
Given the popularity of open offices and limitations in phone battery life, I don't think this is so rare.
Nothing has come close since.
But even just swapping in an 1366x768 IPS panel for the TN panel of the same resolution makes a great difference. And those you can find fairly cheaply.
And then a couple years later when the next next generation comes out, suddenly that worst-thing-ever-that-was-going-to-bankrupt-them turns out, actually to have been amazingly great and darn near perfect, so why did they go and mess it up!
I don't know what sort of bubble the product manager or whoever lives in that makes that a reasonable tradeoff. Sure, it might seem neat on paper that they have reduced the height 13% and total volume 18%, but in practice, well...
I’m considering getting a MacBook but I’m thoroughly uninterested in a new(ish) one.
You could go older but there's no need unless you want a DVD drive. And you'd sacrifice CPU performance and maybe memory capacity.
Alas, it seems the Apple official Refurb store sold the last of their 2015 MBP models earlier this year. The earliest ones I see now (in US/UK/HK stores) are 2016 models.
External hard drives are mostly USB3, and I don't know anyone with an external GPU.
1: "The 2015 revision brought the modern Force Touch trackpad and used the space savings to increase the battery to 99.5 Wh, just under the 100 Wh carry-on limit for most commercial airlines" from Marco Arment, https://marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-ever
it turns into the twilight zone with the rebuttals they come up with. mostly it is related to the sells and extrapolating that to consumer satisfaction.
I don’t have a problem with Esc being on the Touch Bar because it’s the leftmost target and nothing is that close to it. Maybe I’d feel differently if I was a regular vi user.
The first gen felt like typing on a flat surface for me, whereas the newer ones feel really nice to type on.
> That weird bar at the top, a keyboard that just feels horrible to type on, and a shiny screen that is just not for me.
There is no touchbar on MB, so they could not been offered that.
I say this more and more each day. I'm in the same boat with the SE, and it's also the same with the MacBook Pros for me. I bought a refurbished MacBook Pro last October, the one from 2015, the last one with a great keyboard.
It seems that April 2016 was the peak of where Apple and I aligned.
I would gladly pay £1000 for this phone to be a first class citizen again, it feels like apps aren’t optimised or suitably spaced for the small phone. But I _love_ the size, the design. The touchID- everything is where it feels like it should be. Ugh.
FWIW. I even jumped to android to get my tiny-phone fix. But Samsung crapware pushes me back.
Examples? I was shopping a while ago and the _only_ option I saw was Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact.
The design language for the XZ2, particularly the weird back, is unappealing to me too, and the button configuration hearkens back to the Z3 (still, IMO, their most satisfying design).
1) I moved to all bluetooth back in 2012. Headphones and wires have always been a nuisance for me. I'm not sure why Apple removed the headphone jack - but I never felt the need for it. I don't even carry the dongle anymore.
2) I loved the HTC One's display. I don't like screens that are too big and hard to handle but the iPhones were always too small for me - too hard to read anything. I switched to iPhones only after the 6 - and yes, that's because finally it had a screen size that I liked.
3) I did love Magsafe - no doubt about it. But I'm ready to let it go as well. I can now go to pretty much any desk at my office and plugin a Dell usb-c dock - that's shared with PCs and start working. At my permanent desk, I have just one dongle/adapter to which everything is hooked into - it's actually simpler than my previous setup where I had a 4-port USB Dongle + Display port Cable + Power adapter to plugin/disconnect. Now it's just one cable to plugin to my computer. And yes I have tried some docks as well - it was still at least two.
New Apple very much seems to optimize for their profit margins and gimmicky features at cost of usability.
I think Steve Jobs may forever be remembered as the CEO who legit gave a shit about usability.
As another poster downstream pointed out, they could be saving the release of the new SE for another announcement in 6 months to avoid cannibalizing their new flagship phones
The announcement is basically telling those users (and there are millions of them!) that it is time for a change.
The decision is good business sense. And given they often announce products in Q2 as well they will have data of demand for new phones, and also how many have exited the Apple ecosystem due to price, and then in March they should be able to decide whether or not in best interests to release an SE2 or bring back the SE1.
As to margin above it should also be pointed out that the components in the SE are now aged. To do the same again, and take latest components and stuff into a smaller form factor will take a major engineering effort as new components and usage is for a larger cavity inside. To take all those and stuff them into a smaller space is actually like inventing a whole new phone - one literally has to rethink the physics of everything. Big investment.
Also if they continue to sell the SE it means they and suppliers must continue to produce the components and parts. And for much of this that means factories worldwide, including here in mainland China where i live, need to keep running nearly obsolete processes, equipment, and that wont be viewed well by their investors unless it is a cash-cow.
This is done for business reasons. When a company gets bigger than most global trading blocs the decisions they make have enormous global trade implications from the mine to mainstreet.
For me it’s not an issue of being able to use it with one hand. It’s an issue of having a phone that itself is just small. It fits easily in my pocket where I barely notice it. I don’t want a phone that feels like an iPad in my pocket. I don’t want something that feels way better than my wallet in the keys+phone+wallet combo that I always have with me when out in public.
It is light to carry around and I can throw a case on it and it still a reasonable size.
Absent the introduction of another smaller model, I guess I will be forced to upgrade to a larger phone in the future if I want to stay with iOS (which I do) but I will be doing so with no enthusiasm.
Welcome to the future.
Surely not having to redesign case, mechanical switches etc should give scope for more margin, not less?
This is what the author of the article should have written. Instead he's filled his piece with inane bollocks.
"It honed that design to a cutting edge and then, when everyone expected the company to leap forward, it tiptoed instead, perhaps afraid to spook the golden goose."
It's really difficult to look at the iPhone X and not see a company leaping forward. Look at the critical reception and customer satisfaction. This is a phone which was widely considered to be a huge leap, and which Apple explicitly acknowledged at the unveiling.
> It was the best object Apple ever designed, filled with the best tech it had ever developed. It was the best phone it ever made.
At the time, arguably. There's little disagreement that the processor, camera, screen, GPU, and security in iPhone X is better.
> To me the SE was Apple allowing itself one last victory lap on the back of a design it would never surpass.
Just such a painfully bad take. Staggering.
Honestly, after you try a retina MacBook display - you can't possibly think that it's not a compelling feature worth upgrade. My old macbook air's screen looks like complete garbage now after I use new macbook pro's daily.
> Newer models don't have compelling features my SE lacks
While I do like SE design too - the camera on that thing is just horrible by today's standarts
In a vacuum, I guess the Retina display is nicer?
It’s not something that I really find very noticeable, personally.
Out of curiousity, is there any advantage of DP compared to HDMI? I've never had anything that would use it, and HDMI makes more sense as a standard-to-upgrade-to, coming from DVI monitors. Quick googling suggests HDMI has twice the data bandwidth as well.
(not that Macs offer much in the way of HDMI ports anyway...)
I'm not sure why it's so hard for people to understand that Apple's market is people who want to be cool.
They don't sell hardware devices, they sell coolness.
These people don't care at all about how the phone/laptop is. It doesn't matter that you only have USB-A adapters or mini-jack headphones, if Apple says that the new cool is USB-C and AirPods, you are going to buy that and then snicker at people using the "old stuff".
It's like in the joke: the only thing worse than not having an iPhone is having last year's one.
I used Windows laptops from various OEMs up until I switched to a Macbook in 2011.
The quality of the software (all the UX/UI beauty and reliability of Snow Leopard, iTunes used to be good) and hardware (touchpad was revolutionary, backlit keys, great keyboard layout for toggling sounds/brightness, built-in HD camera) was YEARS ahead of the competition, which is just now starting to catch up.
If you look at the market now, all the laptops look like knock-offs of Macbook design, and the software is evolving to be that way as well.
Apple was ahead of its time for usability and a frustration-free experience, but it's a stretch to say any of their new products are cool. Apple Watch/Airpods/iPhone 10X SE are not cool...they just signal that you have a lot of disposable income
I'm always surprised by this. I remember trying to use iTunes back when I had an iPod Video and it was a piece of garbage. I guess it's different in osx?
then take a double shot if you're going to try to use the new versions of itunes
Here's the history of Cadillac tail fins of the 1950s and 1960s. Each year, the tailfins were re-designed to make the previous year look un-cool. Apple follows that approach. The new models are not better, just different.
(The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado  was "peak tailfin". The tailfins almost reached the height of the windshield. We'll have to see how far Apple pushes their "notch".)
Unless your definition of "being cool" is wanting the best, I'll take that.
the best would have a headphone jack
Apple is now a fashion & lifestyle company. It sells the brand first and foremost. Every thing else is secondary.
As long as people keep buying MacBooks in absurd numbers, apple will keep going down this path.
Do these people need a $2000 MacBook to edit photos, consume media and work on office ? No.
Do they still buy MacBooks ?
And there you have it.
You're also of course distorting the average sale price of Apple laptops, which is way under $2000.
Apple sells user privacy and products that work better and last twice as long as the competition. Everything else is secondary.
As an aside, you don't seem to have mastery of when the Jony Ive era began, at least not if you are referencing a post about the iPhone SE being the best.
not a chance. my original black macbook had the dvd drive replaced like 4 times before they replaced the whole computer, because it never worked in the first one. my 2011 macbook pro was never able to use bluetooth audio due to known and common bluetooth audio buffering problems, it struggled to age, even after upgrading to 16GB of ram where mac os x seemed to just say "thanks, i'll take all of that now", and eventually petered out as the trackpad diminished and the wireless card stopped working, rendering it useless as a laptop. my 3 year old ipad air has been having random reboot issues and recently just stopped turning on. apple will "repair" it for $300, which is around 50% of the original price. my brother, who buys nearly every iPhone and iPad version, has the same problem with his iPad air, and his iPhone 7s plus completely stopped working literally one day after the 1 year warranty ended. apple would do nothing. i don't own a single apple product that still works, and i take good care of my stuff. meanwhile, my lg phone and surface pro, which take way more abuse in that they actually leave the house, still work. i have never owned an apple product that just works, and i don't know anyone who has.
Before and after he stopped taking nearly all design cues from Braun and Dieter Ram's work.
The iconic designs were from before.
The Design Museum has a better background of his career. You should be able to spot a few more borrowed ones, and not just by Apple. https://designmuseum.org/designers/dieter-rams
I've talked with a lot of people about why they stick with Apple. Why the pay so much and then pay even more money for accessories. No one really has a compelling answer they just shrug and say "it's what I've been using" or "I'm bought in."
I think people are aware of the ways their being nickeled-and-dimed, I just don't think people care enough to switch. And I kind of don't blame them.
Switching ecosystems is a lot of work. If your whole music library and playlist collection is on Apple music, exporting it to Spotify is time consuming and confusing, you may not even know you can do it with a tool. You'd also have to learn a new OS, re-buy any apps you've previously purchased. It's a pretty big hurdle to switch.
I made the jump from MBP to Surface and I’m very happy with that choice. Great screen and keyboard, thin and light enough for anyone reasonable, swapped VirtualBox for WSL and that’s great too. Still waiting to see any of these ads people claim W10 is infested with too.
I just wish they'd decide that quality, reasonably priced hardware without gimmicks was the new cool.
The smartphone industry's decision making in the last few years has been... bizarre. I've been an Android user up to this point because I appreciated the vast feature set, open architecture and diversity of hardware that I could find. That initially meant settling for a lot of the quirks and general cheapness of early Android phones - Apple had them all so thoroughly beat on polish. With the advent of really good high-end phones from Samsung and others, and the great advancements in Android's software, it seemed to me that we were getting to the point that there was no particular reason why anyone should prefer an Apple smartphone over any of the other high-end options.
The phablet craze and the ridiculous explosion in screen size should have tipped me off that something was very wrong with the industry. It didn't make sense to me that literally no-one would offer a phone that was small enough for one-handed use. And then they started eliminating the headphone jacks. And then... the notch. Multi-billion dollar development teams started chasing each other down degenerate design paths. The modern smartphone is this weird art project that's uncomfortable to interact with, and doesn't have a lot of basic features I use. Swappable battery? Expansion slot for microsd? Rare, and getting rarer.
Worse, Google seems to have totally abandoned the initial premise behind Android, and every handset manufacturer has erected a walled garden filled with bloatware and with no expectation of any future support. If I'm going to live in a walled garden, I would rather live in a nice one.
I won't put the iPhone SE on a pedestal. It's older hardware, and you're definitely sacrificing some battery life and camera quality (two of the few positives of these modern phablets). But I can reach across the whole screen with my thumb, and I can listen with any set of headphones I want, and it's really very pleasant to use - after only half a day of use, it has just seamlessly disappeared into my life. Exactly as it should.
It's the first smartphone I've ever used that I actually enjoyed.
(Even though it is rather inconvenient and cumbersome to move data from or to the device.)
... which allows me to treat everything in my iphone as a filesystem and pull items off / delete them / add them, etc.
I am not sure I could be an iphone user without this tool.
Is it really that hard to believe that most people like phones with larger screens and there's little reason to include a third way to output audio from your phone (in addition to Bluetooth and lightning)?
I'll kind of give you the notch, but I honestly like the look of the iPhone X quite a lot.
> Worse, Google seems to have totally abandoned the initial premise behind Android, and every handset manufacturer has erected a walled garden filled with bloatware and with no expectation of any future support. If I'm going to live in a walled garden, I would rather live in a nice one.
I'm asking because I'm torn between Xperia XZ1 Compact and the iPhone SE...
edit: forgot the "Compact" part...
As someone who's in the likely unique position of carrying an iPhone SE and an XZ1 Compact in their pocket every day (and a Pixel), I'd recommend the iPhone SE:
- The iPhone SE is 20% lighter, which you notice over an extended time of using both phones.
- The camera on the XZ1C is frankly abysmal. The iPhone SE has a far better camera.
- I think the iPhone SE runs iOS better than the XZ1C runs Android.
- I think the XZ1C has better battery life.
- The XZ1C has a MicroSD slot.
- You can install open source ROMs and MicroG if you want to own your device.
But, using an OS made by an ads company is starting to get a bit creepy, so maybe it's time to switch.
This might have been fine if Sony's camera app wasn't a trainwreck compared to the 3rd party developers'. It also meant that image quality in other apps like Snapchat suffered. I was never 100% clear on whether the better camera algorithms were available to 3rd party devs if they bothered to implement them as a Sony specific feature, or if they were entirely locked to Sony's own camera app. In either case, 3rd party camera apps were bad.
Similarly, if you unlocked your bootloader you'd lose those image processing DRM keys and the camera turns into hot garbage.
> Sony has updated the text of the bootloader unlock warning on its website to be clear about the camera impact. It reads, "...the removal of DRM security keys may affect advanced camera functionality. For example, noise reduction algorithms might be removed, and performance when taking photos in low-light conditions might be affected."
I don't know whether they're still doing this nonsense or not. Other than that it was a decent phone. They didn't mess with the OS too much. I don't hate Android as an OS, but it seems like whichever OEM you pick you're just deciding which particular flavor of bullshit you want.
I wish Sony will keep this line alive, Apple SE was only real alternative when I was buying the phone . . .
Seems the same to me
The XZ1 itself is quite a large phone, 73 mm wide. I find those quite awkward to use.
By selling what the market wants? From sales figures it is quite clear what people want and it's probably because the phone is most people's primary computer outside of work. That's not the case for a typical HN user, but big screens make a lot more sense when you don't come home to a computer.
What are you talking about, Apple knows this more than anyone. Why do you think they abandoned the SE?
The 6s and SE were their last remaining headphone jack phones. Maybe they’re trying to force the wireless headphones change as well as pave a way for new models. The SE actually sold more this year. But adding it’s 8% made it a clear 33% model replacement.
- Costs $650 less
- Does everything I need it to
- Does it one-handed
Maybe the goal is to make phones so uncomfortable to use that you won't want to take them out of your pocket.
- Use more materials to make larger phones
- Make the phone more difficult to grip securely
- Wrap glass around the edges so it can always land on glass no matter how you drop it
- Move control center so far away that you have to let go of the phone to reach it
2 thoughts: web browsing is a bit grim and the need for using 2 hands seems irritating, especially as you’ll be scrolling a lot on a small screen.
Obviously you lose the heart rate monitoring, but apparently people do this.
Edit: Someone did it nicely already - I could quite happily use this. https://twitter.com/MatthewSchneier/status/61039642844413132...
Tho... how much functionality does the watch have if you don’t pair it with a phone?
1) Because the iPhone SE was a new phone with flagship quality 6S guts, and I'm commenting on the apparent direction of Apple's new phone development.
2) The iPhone SE was price dropped to $350, so with the 7's new price drop it's $100 more expensive, not $50.
3) Everything I said about the XS applies to the 7 too, if not as strongly. It’s been a continuing trend.
4) I’m looking from the perspective of an existing SE customer, many of which will be looking to replace their phones this year or next. No current SE users are interested in replacing a 2.5 year old SE with a 2 year old 7 for $450.
- Will lay flat on a surface without requiring a case to do so
This is why my iPad Pro has a hard case instead of just a smart cover. The whole reason I got the damn thing is that you can write on it with a stylus, but somebody at Apple decided "Let's make this not lay flat on a table because people are buying a tablet to use it as a camera."
The only thing I've ever taken a picture of with it is probably a whiteboard.
With "Continuity Camera" or whatever it's called (1-click to take a photo with your camera and automatically import it into a program on your Mac), this becomes even stupider. Take the camera bump off and do that with phone to iPad. Everyone has a good camera on their phone already.
A more likely reason is that it‘s easier to pick it up from a table if it isn‘t flat.
Nothing they released after it makes sense to me. Too big and they deleted features I want while adding nothing useful to me. I wasn't expecting an SE2 so I wasn't disappointed when it failed to appear.
This iPhone and my MacBook Pro 2015 are the last Apple products I'll expect I'll ever own. Not out of spite but because they no longer make things I need, or even want.
I still feel the SE is a bit too small to be my main phone, but I do wish they kept making a phone that small. I know my sister prefers it, I prefer it for my second phone, a lot of people liked it.
Plus the 5S/SE industrial design is 10x better than any phone that came before or after. It's just beautiful, it's easy to hold, it's durable. It's just a great small phone, even if I think it's too small for my tastes.
Much like you, I believe that the SE is absolute perfection.
Even with my large hands, I don't personally have a need for anything larger. The only benefit, for me, is that I could have a larger playing field for Galaxies  -- but that's about it.
Combine the form factor with the fact that 11.3.1 is an excellent version of IOS that is also jailbroken, and I've pretty much covered the bases for my needs and desires.
With the SE and talk of the SE2 (RIP), I was really hoping that smaller phones would catch on.
Macbook-wise, I'm on a late 2013 15", and I love it. I'm quite protective about both of these devices, as there doesn't seem to be anything comparable coming down the pipeline.
I'm on this boat too. SE and 2013 MBA user here. I like Apple much more than any of the competitors but their recent products are far away from my needs. I don't know what my "upgrade" path will be.
The iPhone XS itself is 13mm wider than the S.
As someone who uses an iPhone 7 Plus with one hand, I'm surprised that 13mm would make a difference. I'd be curious to hear what you thought after using one for a week.
13mm is nearly 1/4 the length of my thumb. I do not have unusually sized hands.
I wish I'm wrong and they release SE 2 after reaching their margin profits with X series.
We'll make it thinner, regardless of optical limitations, just leave a camera bump. We want edge to edge display, but need a camera on the front and can't quite put it under it yet: behold the notch. We will assume Gordon Gekko was ahead of its time and simply have everyone use preposterously large phones.
So a maxed out screen size on an SE body would give you a better screen than the 7, but in a smaller phone. How is this not an obvious direction? Lag the other hardware by 1-2 years to keep costs down a bit and avoid directly competing against the XS. I'd still buy it.
Apple has lost my business for upgrades with their new product direction in both laptops and phones
But we are not their target market anymore - it's the people/enterprises that can splash out $1-2k every year for the latest pic taking and video watching tech
And there are enough people out there to keep the company's revenues booming and the market happy
Would love to see someone focus on our slice of the market again, I just don't know if it can be done in a profitable way at this point
I have an SE now, and I am totally dejected about these big phones. I don't live on my phone (like the rest of the world seems to). I want something that fits unobtrusively in my pocket and that can be easily manipulated with one hand.
Fie on Apple!
I was playing with my 4S yesterday. I like its heft and size.
I would love to have a replacement board for it to run whatever.
Someone mentioned this in another thread, but I think there's a huge market for an iPhone "Nano," something between an XS and Apple Watch in size, but that has 85% of the functionality of the XS. No gimmicks, no bullshit, just a beautifully made "utility" device.
Every iPhone made by Apple after this, in my view, is a “wet soap”. They’re all so slippery and bound to fall from one’s hands easily. I personally cannot hold them without a case that mimics flat and better edges, essentially changing the shape of the phone to that of an iPhone SE and also increasing the weight. What a lost opportunity to make a great device again in every respect, Apple!
From a consumer’s standpoint, Apple seems so shortsighted and completely out of touch with what people love (not jut like), want and desire. Mac mini, now iPhone SE...voting with your wallets alone won’t help while ASPs of new iPhones are more and profits are increasing. Write to Tim Cook over email and let him know why you’re switching. Maybe, just maybe, when the good times start to turn bad, Apple may realize its follies and change course.
These kind of articles also help, but consumers need to voice their thoughts to Apple. Send emails to the top people and also write on Apple’s feedback page.
Consider for a moment that it's actually you that's out of touch with what people love, want, and desire.
They sold like 200 million iPhones in 2017. Hard to believe that they don't know what consumers want.
I sympathize: I actually prefer the original 3.5" screen iPhone. Even the 4" screen seemed a bit too tall for comfort. I finally decided if I was going to need two hands periodically anyway, I might as well bite the bullet and go with a large phone.
But I definitely like having a phone that fits comfortably in my pocket with my wallet - and that I can use one handed.
Couldn’t they ditch the notch by having the speaker on the edge of the device? I have no problem hearing the speaker with my phone pulled away from my ear.
iPhone X series is great fit for you then since it doesn't do that. Face ID uses an infrared dot projector and independent viewer to do a 3D read and then that goes directly to the independent security processor which acts as a black box (all cryptographically tied together, just like Touch ID). There is no photo of your face being taken let alone going anywhere. You can quite literally and trivially (as in I just did it right now) completely cover the front facing camera on an iPhone X and it will unlock with Face ID just fine.
If you're just worried about the mere existence of a front facing camera period then you should physically block it or drill it and inject it with black epoxy or something of that order.
>Couldn’t they ditch the notch by having the speaker on the edge of the device?
The notch is pure function defining form where the function is Face ID and a front facing camera. Face ID is a very valuable and important security feature, even if they ever figure out how to get Touch ID to work again through a screen. And a huge proportion of the market wants a front facing camera (as long as it's sufficiently secured, which Apple does a decent job of in iOS). Maybe they'll figure out how to profitably mass produce those features through a screen too someday but I don't see the notch going away in the mean time. Speaker function is by far the least important role there.
But I'm sure they'll re-introduce a revolutionary new fingerprint scanner soon enough.
I doubt it. Having to use TouchId or enter my code on my non-X devices feels archaic now. FaceId works so well on my X, I often forge the device locks at all. I'm ready to buy a new iPad when it finally gets added.
That triggered my PTSD from watching the Nokia N-Gage ads. That was cringey.