I had a 5S; upgraded to a 6S and spent a year with it, but I really hated the size of the phone and realised that small phones were entirely gone by the end of my time with the 6S.
I tried Android for a while but it was Samsung’s Android and was not for me, I was frustrated and annoyed after every interaction with my phone. After a year of that I went and got an iPhone SE. I’m still very happy with my choice. (Although my AirPods sometimes cut out and I think its due to the size of my Bluetooth antennae)
I buy a fair amount of Apple stuff, I’m on the highest iCloud storage tier, I have AirPods, Mac Pro’s, MacBook Pro’s etc; if they have /any/ customer profiling at all they must realise that I certainly have the means to “upgrade” but doggedly refuse to do so.
When I picked this phone up I bought apple care for as long as I could. I will attempt to extend Apple care on this phone (or buy a new SE if it’s available) before support on this expires.
How else can I show my support to the small phone factor?
The form factor inherently makes it less expensive to manufacture. Bigger screens cost more etc. Which creates a pricing problem for them.
If they price it like a small phone (i.e. lower price) they cannibalize sales of larger phones with higher total margins, and lose money. If they price it with the same total margin as the larger phones, it'd still be the lowest priced current generation phone in their lineup, but would then compare very poorly on price to similar spec Android phones, which makes their brand look overpriced (as opposed to premium).
About the only way it would make sense is to make it a premium product. Give it the fastest available processor etc. so it can justify a premium price despite the size. But that's a difficult engineering problem. A faster processor uses more power and generates more heat, but smaller phones have less room for a big battery and less surface area to dissipate heat. And finding a solution for that is extra hard because what it needs is an advantage relative to larger phones, but if you improve performance per watt or battery density in general then the same improvement can go into the larger phone too and you still have no relative advantage.
I know many people who love Apple's ecosystem but who won't pay through the nose for a "premium" phone that's way overpowered for their needs.
However, the iPod Touch has been neglected for several years: it's all but an orphan product at this stage.
(One ray of hope: Apple just refreshed the iPad Mini with a two-generations jump in CPU and a few nice-but-overdue tweaks -- double the storage, 1st generation Pencil support, and a TrueTone display. I hope they're planning on doing the same for the iPod Touch.)
Honestly, before I was 'forced' (for work purposes) to use an iphone, I wasn't a fan of Apple - although I admittedly never tried using one. Since then, the three guys that sit near me at work have bought into the apple ecosystem as well.
The real danger for Apple would be compromising with a budget model at the entry level. It would kill their value proposition on the whole rest of their line. The closest they get is previous-year models and refurbs.
I think you’re forgetting about the significant market for used Apple products. There are many people, myself included, who live on used MacBooks, iPhones, iPads, AppleTV, Airport Express, etc., and are perfectly content. I’m typing this out on an iPhone SE that I bought used, and that was the most I’ve ever paid for a phone. My wife is still content with a 5S, and I frankly never notice the difference when I borrow her phone.
Apple (perhaps begrudgingly) cares about us because the used market helps keep the demand high for their new and shiny products.
Along the way consumers will start to tap out and leave Apple's ecosystem altogether.
Maybe that's already set in motion, people are keeping their phones for much longer so it will take a while for the effects to be noticeable.
What's tapping out is the pool of first time iPhone buyers, but fortunately for Apple, iPhones are very 'sticky'. Existing users are very highly likely to replace an iPhone with a new iPhone, and in fact the bulk of sales have been to previous iPhone owners for several years.
When people talk about iPhone sales slowing, they're taking about growth slowing. Actual sales are just levelling off. From here on out we'll see some ups and downs, sure. It looks like we're in for a period of economic risk and uncertainty too which isn't good for anyone, but I don't see any good reason to expect a sustained decline compared to the rest of the market.
It also doesn't take into account people who may be budget conscious now but will have spending power in a few years. Why would apple turn up its nose at that market share?
What’s the problem with that?
In my mind that’s exactly what the iPhone SE is: a premium phone in a small form factor.
That’s exactly what I want. That’s literally the only thing I want in my next phone.
Nothing Apple currently offers interests me at all. Every option they have, even the “small” options, are way too big.
Some people seem to mistake the iPhone SE as some sort of cheap option for those who can’t afford a “real” iPhone (thinking about market segments as opposed to use-case), but that’s absolutely ass backwards.
We want the best, and we want it comfortably in our hand.
> What’s the problem with that?
In the next sentence he literally lays out what the problem with that would be. It's an engineering problem.
I have a Sony compact and people are constantly asking me questions about it with intrigue then shrug their shoulders and go back to their giant phones.
The main knock against Sony phones is the camera quality, which they intentionally nerf in order to not damage their DSLR business.
I feel like Apple might be able to succeed here where Sony has failed, because of their moat around the Apple ecosystem.
I'd argue that Apple making product decisions for mainly financial reasons is a recent problem. My memory could betray me though.
Apple has been focused on finances for most of its existence as an entity. If it appears they have become more focused on financial success recently, I would argue that's more likely due to market saturation than it is to any categorical change in their priorities.
EDIT: Changed and removed some wording to make the tone less condescending. Sorry about that.
One could also cast it as an entirely predictable consequence of replacing a CEO who came up as a product person with one who came up as an operations person.
Apple's no stranger to saturating markets. They used to grow past that point, in part, by expanding into new markets that were peripherally related to the ones they already dominated in, and becoming a dominant player at those as well. They were remarkably good at it, too, with very few major missteps. They don't seem to be so good at that game anymore,though, so they're falling back on the top leadership's top skill: Expanding margins.
The iPad mini is neither the smallest nor least expensive current iOS device. The Mac mini starts at $800 and the entire Mac desktop line seems to be something Apple has discontinued caring about because they make all their money from iPhones now.
> Your argument is completely on the marketing side of things, but maybe it’s an production issue? Apple is spending large capital expenditures each year, no one exactly know why, but probably they buy all the tooling in the factories. Another form factor will cost them money to produce.
This does cost money, but if there is demand for the product (which isn't just diverted from your other products) then you make it back. And if it was a major factor, would they have existing products like the iPad mini?
Regarding your last point: You are assuming that they're manufacturing the iPad mini on their own tooling like the iPhones. Who knows if that's true. The scale of iPad production is much lower so it might make no sense to buy the machinery.
In this perspective it's interesting how their current "lower tier" phone, the Xr, is priced lower than the Xs for instance, but got the bigger screen and better battery.
It gives them an opening for marketing smaller phones as more niche models with eventually more engineering going towards keeping it small with the same or better specs than the bigger phones.
The real problem for Apple is differentiating their more expensive phones when the most significant thing for end users is the screen size and the camera. Take one of those away and there's not much left to charge for. Their current model is based on artificially inflated prices for big screens. For whatever reason there's a segment of users that happily hand over the cash for what is an overpriced phone. However, it lost them the entry segment; which is why they keep bringing back the 5S/SE formfactor. Without this, they bleed users even as revenue goes up because of the increased ASP.
If they get the bigger 6/7/8 formfactor to the same price, they are cannibalizing their high end range because the difference between that and their premium XR range is mostly not that big. Worse, you can't really tell them apart easily because they have the same design. This is made worse by people using iphone covers. Status and vanity are big reasons for owning an iphone but when they all look the same, you might as well get the cheaper one.
But it's about the price not the actual "size", the Xs has a OLED screen vs the LED screen of the Xr which is way more expensive.
I'm totally fine with Apple coming up with a set of ways to prevent a phone from being perceived as cheap, while keeping a smaller form factor.
I'm not sure I agree with this at all. Traditionally smaller laptops cost more than larger ones, even for an identical or inferior spec(with the assumption that making them smaller takes more engineering to cram everything in). Don't see why this logic wouldn't apply here.
The recent generations of iPhones all look and feel too large to me. I'm like, maybe Apple should include tactical pants in their accessories:
If the similar phone did what you want then you’d buy that instead. The extra $900 is either worth it for the missing feature or not.
Nobody’s a fool in this situation.
The nice thing about the SE form factor is that it is enough thicker than the 6 and later form factor to offset much of the battery concern. If they made an SE form factor phone with an OLED display (thinner), kept it precisely as thick overall, and shifted even more of the circuitry to the chin and forehead of the phone, then they could get a pretty big battery in there, and as a bonus, the OLED would generally be more efficient as well.
Interesting analysis. What about if they embraced the luxury brand aspect and instead of making it a premium product via the fastest available processor (etc) they made the back of the phone out of sterling silver or something?
I can't pull up mixpanel trends right now for some reason, but looking at this graph doesn't lead me to believe the XR is very successful.
2015 I think was the last year they made a decent Macbook? Since then it's been the touch bar (annoying but functional but potentially useful) and an absolute shit-show of a keyboard.
I buy computers for my startup and it feels painful to buy a MBP seeing that 50% of newer MBPs that we bought had issues with their keyboard. On a professional machine, a visit to the service centre is time and money wasted.
Also I travel a lot with my computer and just thinking about all the dongles that I will have to carry means that I am going to nurse my 2014 Macbook as long as I have to.
I don't really get the dongle complaint though. I have the USB/USB-C/HDMI dongle and I bring that if I need it for a presentation or something, but when I travel I generally just bring a usb-c wall charger and that's it.
The dongle themselves, yeah sure whatever.
The fact that they placed the fucking WiFi antenna next to the USB-C port? That's just downright hostile. I'm stuck with this laptop (2018 MBP, non touch bar) for a while but I'll be replacing it the first chance I get.
I find it impossible to believe that this issue isn't known about to Apple, it most definitely came up in testing yet they continue to sell them anyway. It's a much bigger issue than the keyboard for me, because at least I can work around that with an external one.
I can't workaround not having WiFi because I want to use an external monitor.
When I go to the Apple store they immediately try to get a compressed air can out to “solve” my issue. It is both hilarious and incredibly insulting.
It has been a long time since i felt like i need to start searching for a linux capable laptop. i've felt like that for a long while though. i consciously know it's not that hard to find quality hardware. I still have some subconscious apprehension. Trying to find a pcmcia network card to work with my thinkpad was such a pain back in the day. i have not so fond memories of trying to compile tulip.c into a kernel module.
MacOS was a breath of fresh air. everything just worked, and i had a real unix to work with. darwin isn't the greatest thing ever, but the hardware was nice. The air is getting kinda stale though. i need to find some hardware and make it right. the apple heyday made me complacent.
The jetbrains ides work and with so many tools being web based. I miss sequel pro and transmit but not that much(the alternatives aren’t that great). The thing I find is there are fewer options to buy software on Linux which means using the free slightly sub optimal solutions.
I think you can happily do software development on a Linux notebook these day (provided you have a power outlet)
I don't bother much with Linux sub-system anymore as I'm almost always pulling in containers anyway these days so I might as well just run real Linux in Docker.
Obviously there's a bunch of reasons why you'd use OSX outside of being Posix-y, but just wanted to share that it's not the same picture as it was (if you've got Hyper-V on your laptop).
you mean you'd rather run a HyperV VM which hosts a docker daemon and configure your local docker client to use that VM. (all done automatically with docker for windows/mac)
the downside of that is higher power consumption.
Thinkpad X1 carbon probably has the best keyboard in that slim form-factor but sadly despite Ubuntu certifying the hardware, I ran into battery issues. Also, support for Ubuntu in general by other apps leaves a lot to be desired still.
My 2018 MBP keyboard failed on me twice already. My friend’s has failed 4 times. A third friend has had no issues.
If you get a 2018 MBP, be prepared to take it in for replacement frequently.
For my hardcore coding work I almost never use the laptop screen alone though. Either the laptop is plugged into an external or I am using my desktop rig with 3 monitors.
I've been a faithful MBP user, and before that a faithful PowerBook user. My 2017 MBP was the last straw. While I appreciate Apple extending the warranty on the keyboard, it is entirely impractical for me to continue sending my primary work machine away for 5-7 days for repairs.
We have a bunch of both machines, and the XPS is much thicker, not quite as deep, the fit/finish aren't even comparable, and the XPS has a plastic 'ring' around the unit that's easily chipped/scratch and they look beat up rather quickly
before the latest Mac keyboard I was a die-hard Thinkpad keyboard fan (x220 none the less).
since working on the new Macs it's like I've re-discovered the how good typing can be.
What I don't like is the well documented reliability issues, and the how loud they were on the 2017 model.
Dangers of living on the edge.
I'm only just starting to notice some slow down that is annoying me, so I will be upgrading to the SE.
Like you, I sure hope their analytics shows that I could have updated all along to ANY of the phones, but after all these years, I chose the SE. Oh, and I tried Android too. Hard to explain why, but it just wasn't for me.
The 4" SE is the perfect size for me. It's the best cell phone I've ever had.
Fortunately spare parts cost peanuts and the SE is incredibly easy to fix. A new digitizer is 20 bucks on Amazon (with a toolkit including everything you need). $10 for a new battery. And replacing both of those requires two screws and 10 minutes of effort. I've replaced almost every part in mine short of the mainboard.
So yes, both phnes are 5.8", but S10e is 82.8cm^2, while XS is 84.4 cm^2 (XS: larger display). S10e has 83.3% screen-to-body ratio, XS 82.9% (XS: larger body, the display takes less space than the proportion of the body size differences).
TL;DR: despite the same diagonal, S10e is slightly smaller than XS.
- There's an earphone jack.
- The battery consumption is reasonable.
- It has completely flat backside, so it's usable without the case.
- It's easier to repair.
- It can be put standing on its side for a photo triggered by a timer.
I also don't know how to "signal" that I like it in any other way than by keeping using it. The users like me are obviously not a majority.
Understandable. Why didn't you try a Sony compact?
Regardless, the airpods work flawlessly indoors and only cut out a bit when walking around the city.
Buy all of them. If Apple saw the SE refurbished stocks are going within a short amount of time, it might tip them off that small form factor is still a thing in mobile phones these days and maybe they reverse their decision to discontinue the small form factor phones.
I am using a 4.7inch z5c.
then i tried an iphone x.
it solved my problem:
- small phone
- huge screen
For me, the iPhone X has the perfect size-to-display ratio. And as it's already a discontinued product, you can get it for an "okay-ish" price at around 690€ on your favourite auction website here in europe.
So much so that I have an XS and the SE and cannot get back to the XS.
I know HN has some weird opinions sometimes that aren't representative of a majority. But I genuinely think if people used this or gave it a shot they wouldn't switch back.
As a Media Consumption devices, that is mostly video and Gaming. The iPhone SE size just doesn't work.
Sometimes I kept thinking if I just ditch gaming and I could have a smaller phone. Hopefully Apple will come up with a 5" Full Display SE size iPhone, and thinner too. They could have an extra $100 BOM budget for some insane battery tech.
Why? So you can accidentally tap the screen every day with the edge of your fingers as you hold the device?
It's why I don't quite understand the Galaxy Edge.
What was really interesting is that the Moto physical design almost seems like a premonition of today's notched displays and thin bezels. If you built it today but removed the bit of border at the top and bottom of the screen, you could cram in even more screen. If you also made it just a few mm wider, I think you could make a great compact phone with approximately 5" screen.
I think the side bezels could also be half as thick, as long as they were a slightly raised. I think you could also disable the touch sensitivity in the very edges of the screen without compromising the UX. I want to see extra pixels for border around text, etc. but I don't really need to be able to click or drag the border itself.
There's room to gain some extra vertical real estate, though it would presumably involve getting rid of the home button and going with a notched screen. I'm ambivalent about the desirability of either option from a pure hardware perspective. I like being able to get a secure grip on my phone by putting my thumb somewhere that isn't touch-sensitive, especially when I'm doing something like trying to use my phone on a crowded train. But, where so many UI people (including Apple's own) have taken to being actively wasteful of vertical real estate these days, I can also see where it might still be a net positive insofar as it would mitigate some of the UX damage they've been doing.
With 5” display it’s not going to be a SE, but just another big iPhone.
The SE screen is almost comically small when compared to its bigger brothers. I have problems typing quickly on it, too - and I don't have particularly large hands. Maybe it's not a problem for DEX builds though.
I love the SE and happily await an SE profile phone with a design closer to the X.
Really negates all large screen size criticisms for me
Honestly get the feeling that nobody knows this, I guess it is an anti-pattern, it may even have to be enabled - which is just a software toggle away from being default then
Aside from that I LOVE the traction and friction that the X models have, compared to the prior design which would seem to slip out of my hand and required a case. Now I think people are just used to using cases for their precious, but the X models don't slide in my hand at all.
Love the depth cameras plural, love how the notch is handled in full screen which goes into how I love how the screen's blacks blend right in to the device's black, if you get a model of that color.
My thumb reaches the upper middle but not the top. so just occasionally am I making the screen half size.
I have gotten gradually larger phones since my 4s, but I've recently started to use my phone less, and do so less impulsively, and I feel like switching to a smaller, but very capable phone like the SE would suit me very well.
The new iPhones don't appeal to me, but I'm satisfied knowing I can get a few more years out of my SE. I got my battery replaced 4 months ago after owning it for two years and its been running like new since on the latest version of iOS.
I don't want to give up my headphone jack.
Edit: added force touch
A few years ago this was always-on, If you disabled it now, this would be a difference to your first battery experience.
(just a guess though, I don't have an iPhone)
I would expect a larger, much higher volume vendor like Samsung to do more than security patches for older phones considering that a smaller player like Nokia can keep up. It isn't a herculean task!
Pretty sure my next device will be a Nokia or iPhone due to the long term software support.
The nice thing about Apple (though I hate the fanboyism and many other things the company does) is that they managed to do what nobody else did: keeping that 5s running until today (!)
I've never seen an Android that would get updates for more than 2 years (can anyone beat this with 3?) so just using an iPhone as long as it lasts is better for environment.
Some statistics about supported software on iPhones: https://www.statista.com/chart/5824/ios-iphone-compatibility...
Guide to Greener Electronics (Greenpeace):
That depends: Are you looking for updates to the new version or security updates?
Android One program gives you two years of regular updates, plus an additional year of security updates. My Nexus 5X received two major updates (from 6.0 to 8.0), but I kept using it until the security updates stopped. That's essentially three years of support.
My crappy old iPhone 5s is _still_ supported today - not just security patches but the OS as well. While providers like fairphone do a good job with their supply chain I'm afraid the longevity of this phone is still better for the environment.
Wouldn't rule out Motorola (Lenovo) as well. They are the only manufacturer selling parts for their phones directly, have models in the android one line, and offer bootloader unlock (so you could move to a custom rom once they discontinue)
For Android hobbyists the unlocked bootloader may be fun, but there is no low-maintainance (timely and reliable OTAs without wiping/reinstallnig, etc) OS option if you go that route.
Also, watching my SO try and repair their Motorola was a nightmare. It ultimately got further damaged in the process, to the point that the phone no longer had a working screen :c
Samsung is one of the worst vendors when it comes to Android updates, only flagship phones will see any major updates, generally for less than 2 years.
Still, opinion improved a bit when my S8+ got a march 2019 update which upgraded it to Android 9.0 (phone shipped with Android 7 in May 2017) and basically the same features/skin as what's just been released on the S10 lineup. Makes me hopeful that maybe they are improving their update game going forward.
Planning to buy a second one when apple decides to sunset the device.
But it's also important to consider that lack of Android upgrades are also slightly disregardable, as API and app level updates will exist for years, and the majority of older phones support custom ROMs. I understand how that's not the ideal use case for people, just providing my own take on things.
I used to roll my eyes at my dad's frustration with his crappy old Windows desktops when I was a kid, but now I understand how he felt. I just want something that works and that I can depend on and use for basic tasks.
I switched to iOS shortly after because when using stock all my Google apps would constantly throw warnings that I had denied location services. Even apps like Gmail would prompt me with every new send.
The issues you mentioned like the soft bricking sucks.
On to iPhones. I have an iPhone 4S on iOS 9 too. It’s jailbroken because the sleep button doesn’t work so I needed a work around. It’s too slow for me though. Great if you don’t want to be able to use your phone much. Otherwise the wait to load apps and the limited or weird acting ram is annoying. Nonetheless when I want to try reducing my digital “addiction” I can get by using it. My friends find it too slow to even use for more than 2 min.
On the other hand, I also had a chance to use an iPhone 5 or 5S in the summer. It was perfectly usable. Fast enough and not that old of an OS (I think iOS 10) to be useless for downloading new apps.
I find it ridiculous that companies are positioning eSIM as "innovative" -- we already had the exact same thing in the US back with CDMA, and it was awful. eSIM is no different.
Ideally either approach would work, it’d really depend on how mobile service providers around the world adopt eSIM.
I guess that would be easier with eSIM, because you could buy a plan that's targeted at travellers (instead of locals), and you wouldn't be limited to the SIM card selection they sell at the gas station.
The carriers could still sell you a SIM and plan, but the administrative overhead for verifying the information of foreigners is probably deemed too large to still make these short term plans profitable by their metrics.
Many android phones offer dual SIM trays which shouldn't even preclude the ability to offer esim.
With esim, the barrier to entry is lower -- a virtual mobile network operator could target travellers and make it easy to get a temporary SIM, without having to first build up a huge distribution network for physical SIM cards.
It would even make it possible to get a temporary SIM card from a different country, which would circumvent some of the restrictive regulations (eg. Germany requires registration with address for phones registered in Germany but allows you to use an "anonymous" phone registered in another country.)
I'm assuming it's a move to try and make life inconvenient for people who want to buy used phones instead of getting a new one through them.
That ship already sailed when the concept of "locked phones" was introduced. A concept Apple already bought into with the first iPhone.
I hate both my XS and X for this reason (along the lack of physical home button and Touch ID). There’s just no “right” way to handle that phone like there is with the previous generations, every attempt at holding it is a compromise on which content you’re obscuring on the screen.
At the end of the day, if accidental touches can be taken care of, you'll get a phone that's more aesthetically pleasing and more screen real estate to do whatever.
Not a dealbreaker but honestly I still prefer true safe-zones where there’s no way the phone can feel anything on there.
No software solution is going to be 100% prefect and you'll end up with either degraded experiences (as an example, when you tap a link on iOS, there's a bit of latency - this is because it's waiting to see if it will be a double tap), or dangerous mistakes where it will still register touches that weren't intended.
As our phones contain more and more data and bear privileged access to a lot of systems (work, etc), an accidental touch can sometimes be disastrous. I have a friend for example that's a complete idiot with tech and never locks her phone despite holding it by the screen and pressing random stuff on it. Eventually she accidentally pressed the voice message button on WhatsApp and ended up sending a good 5 minutes of a very private conversation to a stranger.
The SE can literally play Fortnite. How much more hardware do you need to be "competitive"?
So this isn't anything about Apple restarting production of these - just that they've had some returned that they are now reselling. If you want one, it's probably the best way to get hold of one, but it's not a long-term, or even medium-term solution to the "no decent small phone available" problem.
- Blink shell
- hooked to a tmux session
- connected with Mosh
- over a ZeroTier network
- to a UNIX machine in the cloud or at home (Linux, macOS, whatever).
It's not the same as running Linux on the phone. However, in some respects it's better. It's trivially easy to move the session to another device (phone/tablet, or computer), and you don't need to use the phone's battery for processing. And you can summon a ton of computing power if you need to.
Blink shell, an iOS terminal emulator: https://www.blink.sh
tmux is like screen. It's a bit arcane at first but it's worth it. (Mouse scrollback is recommended. It works inside blink.) Introduction: https://hackernoon.com/a-gentle-introduction-to-tmux-8d784c4...
mosh enhances ssh and adds roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and cuts perceived lag a lot by being smarter about the interface vs. the network roundtrip. (It works kind of like a online game engine that predicts network events). https://mosh.org
ZeroTier is an open-source secure virtual network layer that's good at hole punching so you can just have the real network completely walled off: https://www.zerotier.com/
Plus: Bluetooth keyboards work, and you can connect to external displays with, say, an HDMI dongle or AirPlay.
But a lot of factors affect battery degradation. State of charge is probably the easiest -- make sure that the battery is not full, and make sure they don't run empty either (check the charge every couple of months or so to make sure they don't get empty).
I'm not sure what charge percentage and temperature is best for storing, but around 50% to 70% and a cool, but not freezing room is probably a good idea. I'd assume that the fridge is too cold, but I don't have any data to back that up.
This was what ultimately did in my last iPhone. I kept it well past when iOS upgrades ended, and over time apps stopped working. At first it was stuff that's pretty easy to let go of. My mobile provider's app was the first to go, but I could still do everything I wanted through their website. Eventually it starts to be stuff that's sort of the whole reason you own a smartphone instead of a dumb phone.
I switched from Android to iOS just for the iPhone SE form factor. At the time, there was no other decent phone in its size. Three years later, the situation hasn't changed. As my SE ages, I'm wondering what I will ever use next.
Why do you think things will change in 5 to 6 years? Is your optimism justified by anything?
Well, it is back in stock after all.
I wouldn't actually recommend storing a SE. Just repair your present one and if it croaks buy a good used on on eBay.