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Bring Back the SE (avc.com)
604 points by abhi3 on Sept 10, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 331 comments

Seriously. This giant phone trend is nonsense. Nonsense! I'm a 6'5" man with large hands who still swears by an SE, despite being mocked by friends and strangers whenever I pull out my "tiny phone". I had a 6S and promptly ditched it for an SE after feeling like the thing was designed to slip out of my enormous hands. That whole "reachability" feature they added when they started with this phablet obsession was basically an admission of guilt—"Yeah, this phone is too big for your hands and goes completely against our brilliant ad campaign about the phone vs hand size, but Samsung made a big phone and people are buying it! We're scared they're taking our customers away so we're making big phones now. Here's a workaround."

Thanks, I hate it.

As someone holding on tightly to an out of date iPhone and a 2015 MacBook Pro (oh my god, the current laptop keyboard/trackpad/port situation is a whole 'nother even more intense rant), I think Apple has fucking lost it product-wise. I'm saying this as someone who has been on Apple products since 1987 and lived through the dark days of Apple in the 90s.

To me it's an example of what happens when you put a finance guy and not a product guy at the top of the totem pole. Instead of asking "is this product the best it could be?" the thought process seems to be "Will this product make money? How can it make MORE money?"

"Yeah, it doesn't sit on a table flat anymore, but it'll sell when we market it as 'THE SHINIEST IPHONE EVER'"

"It sure is awkward to use one handed, but it'll sell when we market it as 'THE NEWEST IPHONE WE'VE EVER MADE'"

Bigger and bigger iPhones with better and better cameras and more and more letters tacked on to the end will sell to a captive audience when Apple has the brand power they do. And that might seem good enough when all you're doing is comparing yourself to what the rest of the market is releasing, and when market success is beating last year's sales. But is that the Apple we want?


I want my Apple back. The SE was the last phone form-factor that still had Steve Job's approval on it, and it sucks that it's so obvious.

SE size but all-screen like the X would be perfect I think. Up to Apple whether they call it the iPhone SEX.

There's nothing current and SE size in the Android world either (except at slow feature-phone level).

Even better, release two new phones, one in SE size but all screen so the screen's bigger, and one with SE screen size but all screen but the phone's smaller.

By my calculations you could fit a 5" screen on an "SE X". A size comparison: https://i.imgur.com/OKZiWrN.png

Amusingly, Apple had to side-step exactly the same naming conundrum in 1989 when they released their new M68030-based models—the Macintosh II was followed by the IIx and the Macintosh SE was followed by the... SE/30.

Here's hoping for an iPhone SE/30. Sadly they missed the ideal time to release it, being that last January was the SE/30's 30th anniversary. That would have been cute. As they were both (for their time) small and powerful computers, it would have been perfect. I was almost expecting it as soon as they released the iPhone SE... and Apple isn't entirely immune to nostalgia, though it is rare.

An interesting bit of trivia: the SE/30 is the only Apple computer to ever to include a slash in its name. (Honorable mention does go to the Apple IIe which was occasionally stylised in type as //e, but that wasn't its actual name.)



After making the diagram I'm convinced what I actually want is the "XS" - the 4" all-screen option. Super compact and no less functional than an SE.

This is brilliant! I would have a hard time choosing between the SEX and the XS but I think I'd go for the SEX.

Please Apple, make this happen.

> mocked by friends and strangers whenever I pull out my "tiny phone".

Interesting. I don't often get mocked for having an SE, but I do often have people asking what model my phone is and where they can get one.

My current hope is that we might see something like the SE come back now that Jony Ive's had at least a glancing blow from the boot. Maybe now Apple's at least a little bit more able to resist the constant drive to make the phones wider and wider so that they can fit the same amount of electronics and battery into a thinner and thinner device.

Yeah, hopefully! Nobody is asking for paper thin phones, and this needless obsession with THIN is we have to thank for gems such as:

- the phone no longer sitting flat

- the headphone port being removed

- the phone being impossible to get a good grip on without a bulky case

- "nearly one day of battery" life being the bar for "what good battery life is"

Who trades a couple of millimeters of thickness in exchange for the above? I hope someone in Apple is listening and can convince themselves and others inside that thickness is not the enemy.

It is a common misconception that Apple is obsessed with thinness when it comes to iPhones. Since the iPhone 6, each iteration has been thicker:


iPhone 6 (Plus) was when it was realized that people care a lot about the camera. Folks bought iPhone 6 Plus phones they didn’t want for stabilization.

Apple prioritized camera over thickness at that point. Battery is lower on the list and is mostly addressed by CPU improvements.

IMO it’s frustrating that they are so conservative with a mature product. We waited over a decade for basic waterproofing. Apple has an incredible supply chain, but Samsung can deliver better/more diverse form factors. Example: ruggedish phones.

Apple’s focus is both amazing and frustrating to me. They had and lost an opportunity to break Microsoft clients in business.

Basically why I bought a Moto G⁷ Power: it's about the same size as all the other phones these days, and it actually has two to three days of battery life. It's about the thickness of an iPhone 5, which was fine.

I personally think the iPhone 4S's display was a good size and resolution, and the form factor is good for human hands. If they could close in the bezels a bit, cut off a tiny bit of chin and forehead, and make the shell like the iPhone 5C... and make it run Android... I'd probably be game.

They could probably procure a really nice display in terms of colour, switching speed, sustained brightness, and black levels, maybe even increase the refresh rate to 120Hz for the interaction latency benefit. At 960x640, the quality of each of those pixels could be spectacular, and it'd further help with the end-to-end latency.

For the last couple of years I didn't ever bring a smartphone with me, just my trusty Nokia 106, which itself gets about a month of standby time per charge. I still carry the 106 because I'm still not used to having to charge a device so often.

What's wrong with the phone no longer sitting flat? Is that really a critical issue?

Also, most people have cases on their phone, which usually make the phone sit flat.

Wouldn't it make sense to replace the mm of the case with battery?

No one has ever asked me that. They know it's an old phone or the SE. It looks the same as the 5 and 5s.

Yeah this is weird. I mean who over the age of 10 doesn't know the famous 4/4S/5/5S lineup?

Thing is, it is not nonsense. People here always cry for 'voting with your wallet'. Well, people did and here we are. Apple was massively criticised for _years_ that they did not put out a large phone, because that's where all of the android market went.

Then, when they finally made the iPhone 6 their sales were so large that the next year's phone was deemed a flop even though it did extremely well. (If one would remove iPhone 6 from the sales chart, the 6S would still continue the trend in increased sales every year).

I would love apple to also offer a smaller phone, but offering people what they actually want was not a mistake.

> offering people what they actually want was not a mistake.

You can’t read customer preference from the market when they stopped offering choice in this regard. I bought a large phone because that’s the choice they offered and fucking hate it.

I think they do have pretty good numbers because the iPhone 5S was still sold even after the 6 was out. So, when the 6S came out they could compare how well the 1 year old 6 fared against a then one year old 5S.

Also they did make the SE. I am pretty sure Apple knows what is most money making strategy.

This being said, they do offer (or will soon) a Mac Pro which clearly is not there to make big bucks. They could (and I would love them to) offer a smaller phone with latest internal specs. They do have bandwidth for that.

My fear is that what makes apple money is inherently an expensive, shitty phone for everyone. They are incentivized to keep us purchasing high dollar products, not to make quality products.

The software has me over a barrel. I would dump Apple hardware in a heartbeat if I could get it running on a phone built for reliability. I’d stop complaining about the hardware so much if they allowed independent app stores with better curation. Together makes me look for alternatives (which also suck mostly for software reasons).

1) I can't remember anyone reliable who thought the iPhone 6s was a flop, as opposed to the fact that the iPhone 6 had an immediate surge due to pent up demand.

2) The fact that Apple went so many years without a big screen phone, with people demanding it, and then when Apple.did release it they underestimated demand, proves that Apple can be mistaken in their assessment of the market. You're correct that just because people here seem to indicate they want a small phone doesn't mean a market for it exists. But I do remember the exact same comments being made about a larger screen size phone as well before the iPhone 6. IOW, just because Apple doesn't offer a small phone, doesn't mean the market for that doesn't exist either

>People here always cry for 'voting with your wallet'. Well, people did and here we are.

Did the SE sell poorly?

They could offer a big phone and a small phone to hit both target markets.

Unless the target market for the small phone is not worth it at the scale of Apple.

It's quite spineless and revealing to abandon the standard smartphone screen size right after running those ads.

I guess they're doing product development out of fear instead of boldness, now. Just a typical committee-led US corporation trending back to the mean. Maybe they should get a new CEO from Pepsi, again.

I absolutely agree. I switched from iPhone to Android (Galaxy S10e, smallest one I could find that was high end but still huge) last year.

I would switch back in a heartbeat with a new SE. Moreover, I would love a high-end SE rather than a "low end" one.

Amen. The SE is the ideal size for me because, with an Otter Box case, it fits in a shirt vest pocket or a jeans front pocket although I prefer the shirt pocket. I'd love it if they'd make a new one in the exact same size. I know I will try to keep this one going as long as I can but would buy a new one immediately were it to be offered. I should have bought the last of the old ones that Apple was closing out for cheap. Darn me for not.

"I'm a 6'5" man with large hands who still swears by an SE"

It appears that the SE is 4 inches and the 6S is 4.7. I have a Pixel 3 non-XL and it is 5.5 which seems fine to me. But the Pixel 3 XL at 6.2 was going too far.

Anyway, a real Apple SE[1] has a screen which is a little over 8 inches...


I have a pixel, it's 5 inches and it feels absolutely enormous compared to the SE. I don't like it at all and yet it's classified as "small" today.

Not a fan at all, it's just too big for me. I'm 6'1"

I find 5-5.25" as optimal for myself. I don't like the 6" phones (and bigger)

I feel the same way but heard an interesting take- ordinary people with ordinary size hands couldn't one-hand anything bigger than four inches, so most of the market has been using two hands since 2010.

Exactly all of this and a headphone jack. Yes.

You are not alone. There are many that agree with you and even apple did, before it hindered with what the "shareholders & wolfs of wall street" needed.


Yeah. This is the day that I miss Jobs and his opinionatedness.

The point has been made before that the problem is most people don't have large hands (especially the quite small people in the rest of the world) - and they have already had to get used to using two hands, so for them - the size increases are a non-change. It's only us giant-handed people that are now hitting this change. But we're not most consumers.

DISCLOSURE: I'm a long-fingered former SE user who recently upgraded to an XR.

I bought a pop socket and never looked back. I’m fine with large phones now, this one being my first. It was entirely unusable out of box.

On the flip side, I'd also be cool with it if the phone industry can manage to move the fashion industry to produce clothing articles with pockets that fits these phones in places that doesn't prevent you from sitting down etc.

Seriously, how do regular people sit with a pencil-box sized iPhone 11/XS Max?

It's why I love my SE. Small, portable, good features a nice phone should have.

I have massive front pockets, so my XS Max happily fits in there, along with my work iPhone 8, and I don't generally notice when sitting down. It seems weird to me that you'd have non-jeans pants that you _couldn't_ do that with.

I'm only being slightly glib, but they usually sit down with the phone in their hand.

I have a Xiaomi 6" flagship and it's too big for me. I mean, I can use it, but it's not too comfortable. I wish there was a bigger market for the 5" phones, but seems the trends are for bigger and bigger.

Nah I found the SE frustratingly small.

Having an uneven phone back such that it falls off of even level surfaces when receiving a phone call is a _vital feature_ that I cannot live without. How else will my phone land on a corner and crack the screen, requiring an expensive repair? Am I supposed to drop it like it's 1999?

Every year I wait on bated breath at the release of a similarly compact phone to the SE. I even recently bought a new one right before they removed them from the store, so I have 2 year apple care+ for it to tide me over.

Ordinarily I would vote with my wallet, but there are no compact Android phones either.

Ironically I still own a Oneplus One which is quite old by todays standards; and I distinctly remember it being called a "Phablet" due to it's obtuse stature in comparison to its contemporaries. However it would not look out of place today, in fact in comparison to my friends iPhone Xs (not max) it hardly seems at all larger!

I would merrily slam down 1K+ EUR for a real flagship phone at a size I can actually use.

(also, I wonder how women get on, since generally they have smaller hands than men.)

I wouldn't even call the SE compact. It's just normal. It's the size that Steve Jobs said fits comfortably in your hand, and since hand sizes haven't changed, it's still true today.

Wasn't that talking about the iPhone 4, before they added the extra row of icons on the 5 and SE form factor?

As is, I have no inclination to give up my SE, and if it fails I'll almost certainly pick up another off eBay or similar.

It’s actually a bit bigger, the original iPhone was 3.5” screen and the iPhone 5 got taller.

I have to give up a bit of grip to get my thumb to the top corners of the screen, but it’s a lot better than anything else and I’d say worth the trade off for the extra space. Bigger than this I’m not convinced.

David Pogue's review of the original iPhone mentioned "the HUGE 3.5-inch screen" (his emphasis).


I noticed the other day that the SE/5s screen is exactly the dimension of a standard business card.

A thousand times this. My absolute number one requirement (after things like, um, the ability to make phone calls) is that it fit in my front-left pocket. I didn't upgrade to the last model for this reason and no other.

But I can only assume that Apple does plenty of market research on their products, so I assume people aren't checking off "the thing is too damn big" under "reasons I didn't upgrade?"

I've had the 8+ and now XS in my front left pocket just fine. Maybe buy some looser pants? =)

I can fit the larger phones (though still prefer the SE size), but my wife has demonstrated how even the SE is often spilling out of whatever pocket or other way-smaller device holding pocket is on her clothing items. Unless fashion trends change, or everyone who uses purses goes for some giant bag (and likes keeping their phones in a bag, not on their person), there is a large number of people who could use a smaller phone.

Here is a great article on the size of women's and men's pockets and phones: https://pudding.cool/2018/08/pockets/

A good pocket in women's clothing is unicorn level fashion.

I however always have a bra strap. I end up storing my phone there most of the time.

I know a lot of women who find the pocket situation in women's clothes very frustrating. They feel like they're being dictated to that showing off the line of their hip is more important than actually being able to carry anything useful.

Buy this $1000 phone, and you can always have it along if you replace your entire wardrobe!

The GameBoy solution: Just have a tailor make pants with pockets that fit the device.

> (also, I wonder how women get on, since generally they have smaller hands than men.)

The women around me adopted larger phones earlier, because they had purses to carry them in.

Maybe, but I have a mix, my partner has a large phone and carries a backpack(!?) with her everywhere, but her closest friend has an iPhone 5 (which she doesn't update the OS on because "it will get slower").

So in my circles it's already 50/50. But I do see iPhone 5's and SE's amongst my circles more commonly than I should given the age of the phone. I'm not 100% on why, though I often ask. And it's incredibly rare that it's a cost decision.

> …her closest friend has an iPhone 5 (which she doesn't update the OS on because "it will get slower").

If her iPhone 5 is still running iOS 6, she is correct.

> my partner has a large phone and carries a backpack(!?) with her everywhere

Bringing the SCR-300 back in style?


Audio quality on that model is not great

> (also, I wonder how women get on, since generally they have smaller hands than men.)

PopSockets. In my neck of the woods they are almost as common as phone cases. Some men also use them.

my wife swears by hers - makes it much more comfortable to hold while thumb-scrolling. She's not really one to put her phone in her pocket, though. If it's not in her hand or put down beside her, it's in her purse.

I don't know if you're unfamiliar or not but it flattens out.

No it doesn’t. At least, it doesn’t go flat enough that it doesn’t disrupt wireless charging.

Fair, just that in the pictures there it's only shown extended or without perspective.

PopSocket Rings are huge in SE Asia. My theory on why is because so many women ride tandem on a motorbike and scroll through their phone while riding as a passenger. I see it all the time here in the Philippines.

I use one. I can “hang” the phone between 2 fingers and read with my hand relaxed and not having to grip the phone. I do this on a 5S

yes, those are also very popular with middle school students as they generally have smaller hands than men


People with smaller hands, regardless of gender, often use two hands. Once you're used to using two hands, there's no reason to have a smaller screen.

They use two hands because you give them a phone that's hard to use with one hand. And using two hands is not always an option.

I’ve found every iPhone since the original 3.5” form factor too hard to use with one hand. I simply can’t reach all corners one-handed with anything larger.

I’ve been out of luck since the iPhone 4, so I often go for the largest. Might as well get the best camera and battery life.

I type with two thumbs on a phone because I type with two hands on a keyboard. In fact, one hand is tied up on a computer - on a mouse - more often than I can't use one with my phone. It's an acceptable tradeoff.

I’m on the beach right now, comfortably reading and replying to this thread with one hand on my SE. The other is shielding my eyes from the sunset.

That "study" in that article is hilarious. The author observed people in Airports, Subways, Cafes etc. and whenever someone was using a Smartphone, he took notes (so it is more of an observation that a study). This is biased in so many ways.He went to places where people usually have to kill time, and do so with their smartphone. He didn't observe all those people that had a smartphone in their pocket passing by, going for their day. I don't use my smartphone to kill time, and I restrict myself from using it when not necessary. Yes, it is a tool, I need it to check the bus schedule, buy a ticket etc. And thats it, and thats why I would be totally fine with a 5" display.

Except, say, using the phone on a crowded bus or train or any of the many other scenarios where it's inconvenient to use two hands.

I've no interest in anything bigger than a 7/8, myself. An XS might be borderline okay.

Better rigidity is a good reason to have a smaller screen.

I keep having to ask this every thread, but you know you can double tap the home button and it will bring the screen half way down so you can reach easier. I have no problem using my 8 one handed, and can even use it one handed while biking

I have slightly smaller hands, and holding my old 7 one-handed was a chore - and besides, I don't want to double tap for reachability and disrupt how I'm used to doing things when I'm holding the phone with both hands.

I downgraded to an SE recently and the only thing I miss is the screen size; traded that for headphone jack, smaller form that fits my hand nicely, and a design I like better.

That sounds good, but how long will the SE receive iOS updates?

I always assumed this feature was added so apps that were optimised for the old side wouldn’t require two hands and new ui features like swipe nav would eventually phase it out.

Yet here I am years later still double tapping my home button several times a day

> can even use it one handed while biking

Please don't :(

Back in the good days, I could text one-handed blindly while biking thanks to the T9 keyboard system.

I use mine two handed while biking.

Using a phone in hand while biking seems to be a horrible idea unless you're riding on an unpopulated salt flats or something...

The X, XS, XR, and now 11 don't have a home button. They all rely on Face ID to unlock.

They still have the “reachability” feature, however. It’s a gesture (that I never use intentionally, but I think it’s a swipe down at the bottom of the screen).

Today I learned it's still available on those devices -- apparently it's hidden behind an option in Settings > General > Accessibility and off by default.

>Oneplus One which is quite old by todays standards; and I distinctly remember it being called a "Phablet" due to it's obtuse stature in comparison to its contemporaries

Wait what? This doesn't make sense. I remember getting OnePlus as well (bought it for a friend in Europe) and the screen size was pretty mainstream at that point. It had 5.46" size. It got released the same year Apple released 6+ which had bigger screen, and in US it doesn't get more mainstream than that. In no particular order a list of other pretty successful smartphones released in 2014:

- Galaxy Note 4 (5.7")

- Google Nexus 6 (6")

- HTC One (M8)(5")

- LG G3 (5.5")

- Droid Turbo (5.2")

Where do you live?

Er, all of your examples except maybe the HTC and the Droid Turbo and the iPhone are labelled Phablets (and Apple only because they seem to be immune to the label); the Galaxy Note series is original phablet line and the OnePlus One was bigger than the contemporary iteration of that line.

Your list reinforces the point you are using it to argue against.

>Galaxy Note series is original phablet line and the OnePlus One was bigger than the contemporary iteration of that line.

No it wasn't, check the specs. My point is at the point when majority of phones were released in "phablet" sizes no one considered them to be odd anymore. 3 years earlier, perhaps but not in 2014. I remember getting zero strange looks walking around with 6 plus.


> The Samsung Galaxy Note series is a series of high-end Android-based _phablets_ and tablets developed and marketed by Samsung Electronics.


>Type: _Phablet_

I understand that when OnePlus One was launched it was in the "Phablet" category. My point is I don't recall anyone using that label on mine (or on my IPhone 6+) because larger phones were becoming a lot more mainstream at that point.

Then we're making the same point.

The overton window has shifted so much that things that used to look ridiculous and had to be labelled as a portmanteau look ordinary today.

I had an HTC One M8 and recall the reviews saying it "verged on being a phablet".

Android is equally disappointing.

There has never been a successor to the Nexus 4.

I liked the Nexus 4 form factor as well. I've bounced around to larger phones, including the Nexus 6, Pixel and Pixel 2... but I recently went back to a Sony device (XZ1 compact) because it:

(1) Has a headphone jack

(2) Has the same processor as my Pixel 2

(3) Is actually a usable size (roughly the same as the Nexus 4)

I have giant hands and large pockets available but will always prefer a smaller phone.

Nexus 4 was my favorite phone - beautiful form factor, nice screen, worked well.

The best phone form factor ever made. I loved my N4.

The best designed Android phone was the Moto X 2013. Perfect design, but a terrible camera.

I mean, the Nexus 5 and 5X weren't /that/ much larger than the 4.

But they were larger

>there are no compact Android phones either

On Samsung Galaxy S6 and later models, one can tap the home button three times to shrink the screen so that everything can be reached with one thumb. It's called "one-handed mode". I can't say I've used it very often, but when I need it, it's there.

iPhone has this too if you lightly tap on the home button.

For the iPhone X it's also there: https://mashable.com/2017/10/31/how-to-use-iphone-x-reachabi...

Not exactly convenient though.

At this point why not just give people a real overlapping window manager?

My LG G7 has a two window mode (you can slide the division between the two windows up and down). Also there are now many apps that can run in small floating windows, most notably video players.

Samsung does, at least on my S8

S7 too. Maybe earlier models.

It wouldn't make much sense on a screen that small.

> (also, I wonder how women get on, since generally they have smaller hands than men.)

Women actually have it better since they always have their purses to put their phones on.

My work bought me an "upgrade" to the XR, as my SE is starting to show some battery issues. But after a day of playing with the XR, I put it back in the box to send back to Apple.

Compared to the SE, the XR is 50% heavier -- even without a case. It doesn't have a good edge to hold onto being so thin, so it makes you want to hold on by the front. But every corner of the front of the device is a UI element that you can accidentally interact with. FaceID failed 90% of of the time for me -- and unlike the fingerprint reader, 100% of the time in the dark of night. That's before I get to the simple annoyances, like how it's not flat, doesn't fit in the pocket so well, and blasts my face full of light in the night.

So Apple lost a sale by not offering a product I want. If my SE breaks, I'll probably just pull my iPhone 1 out of storage -- it still works, has a great form factor, and a much lighter weight than any of Apple's current lineup. Sure EDGE is a little slow and I won't be able to use my Apple Pay, but those are problems I can live with. I live on large screens all day. I don't need a huge phone to be my computer.

I want a choice -- even if that choice is a remanufacture of a 2016 design. An updated design -- say an SE/30 -- would be great. But between that and the keyboard issues in the Macbooks, they've made an Apple fan with upgrades provided by work skip several product cycles. I read enough of these threads to know I'm not the only one. I just wish I knew why they kept leaving money on the table in the pursuit of thinness.

> If my SE breaks, I'll probably just pull my iPhone 1 out of storage

Fix it? The guides (and tools) from ifixit are great, screen will take a couple hours at most if you don't have shaky hands. Battery isn't too hard of a swap either.

If it's a screen, working pulls are like $30 from ebay. I don't recommend the aftermarket ones as the colors skew cold. My girlfriend's on her third SE screen now (we don't like cases) and it's still way cheaper than buying a replacement phone.

> EDGE is a little slow

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe EDGE has been disabled across a lot of the US.

Nationally it's only used by T-Mobile in very small amounts of spectrum, and only as fallback of last resort or for legacy things like burglar alarms. Regionally, there might be some rural specialty carriers using it (stuff like indigo wireless for the mining industry).

AT&T shut their footprint off completely a few years ago to free up spectrum in 850mhz.

If your SE breaks, just buy another one off craigslist.

Or ebay. I got one for my dad last week, new in box for $165. For his light usage (calls, texts, maps, and photos), it works great.

My SE started overheating in May and wasn't reparable. The genius tried to sell me on a bigger, newer phone, but I declined. Before I walked out he offered me a brand new SE from the stock room for (I think) $270. Just insist that you're interested in nothing but an SE.

Hoping the new one lasts until they come out with a proper replacement. I don't care if the CPU, camera, etc. are 2-3 generations behind. There's nothing I use the phone for that the SE can't handle just fine.

> I'll probably just pull my iPhone 1 out of storage -- it still works

The phone may still be functional, and the iPhone may be smarter, but I recently pulled out a flip phone from that era and it couldn't connect to any nearby cell towers. It was too out-of-date.

> My work bought me an "upgrade" to the XR, as my SE is starting to show some battery issues.

I got my 5S's battery replaced super cheap literally downstairs from my apartment. I suspect I might end up doing that again, though a potential lack of security upgrades might make me itchy.

The iPhone 1 is like comically slow by today’s standards.

My SE will probably be my last iOS device.

iOS used to be much better than competition, but I don't think that's the case now.

I never liked big-ass phones, and in my opinion the best iPhone design was the iPhone4, this one was a real masterpiece.

But I won't pay a premium for a phone I don't like, when my SE will no longer do its job, it will be replaced by a cheap Android device.

My 3 year old SE finally broke. I spent 900 replacing it with an XR because they refused to release another SE and I value the emphasis on privacy and security.

But not again. I feel they’ve squandered the good will they’d earned with me by giving me a worse phone at double the cost. I don’t plan to purchase another.

Check out places like Swappa, I've got a backup SE in mint condition for my current SE. Well within reason for prices compared to trust issues w/ Craigslist.

Amen on the masterpiece.

I'm precisely in the same boat, but what are the iOS alternatives? There are none. Wouldn't touch anything Android with a long pole, because it has Google attached to it. Windows phone is a joke (if it still exists)... and there's nothing else that's not a dumb phone, is there?

Windows phone is long gone because u.s. carriers refuse to support them.

One way Windows failed as a mobile OS is large storage requirements; "bloat" is one thing but a safe and reliable 'update' system adds overhead that made cheap Win mobiles marginal.

> in my opinion the best iPhone design was the iPhone4, this one was a real masterpiece

Glad to hear someone else shares this opinion! Still rocking an iPhone4 here.

Do you use any other Apple products? I feel the same way about paying a premium for a phone I don't like, but iMessage is what is keeping me from switching (back) to Android.

My personal computer is a 2014 MacBook. My work computer is a MacBook. Being able to message freely from my laptop to others on iMessage is a really nice feature.

I dream of a world where all my messaging takes place in Keybase for this reason.

With android you also can do this on MacOS, as well as Linux and Windows.

And then in a few months' time you can do it in a new app with a slightly different UI!


I can't figure out what's great about iMessage. Is it just what I get when I send a text message to someone who also has an iPhone, and it uses a blue bubble to show it's encrypted?

In practice, I have maybe one friend who regularly uses text messaging. Everybody in my neck of the woods uses Hangouts, Messenger, Threema, etc.

Well native iMessage is a lot nicer to use than a pile of web/electron apps. I say this as an Android user whose 8GB MacBook struggles under the weight of a handful of messaging apps.

FYI, Telegram can also be used from a laptop without a phone being involved.

This requires the network I communicate with to move from iMessage, a platform that already works for them, to Telegram or any other app for my sake.

By staying for iMessage you're rewarding Apple for creating an antisocial messaging app and excluding other platforms.

I didn't mention that because I thought it's obvious. Hooray for network effects.

You're not going to find a small Android either.

Palm Phone, 3.3" display. It's kind of pricey for what you get but it's got to be the smallest thing out there that isn't a smartwatch with a SIM card slot.

Having something like a Palm Phone that also acts as a hotspot would be a nice mashup. You can be productive with your laptop or tablet when you are able to sit down and pull it out or you can just have a very basic phone that doesn't let you do too much when you should be doing something else. I know that a lot of the time that I'm on my phone, I should be doing other things like actually working, talking to those around me, or just simply enjoying my surroundings. I still want the ability to contact someone quickly if I need to but I don't want to let myself get easily distracted with the phone in my pocket.

I know. But at least I won't have to pay $1k to have a semi-decent phone.

Simple commodity device... I think they might lose some loyals users here. I've been an iOS user since 2007.

Are the iPhone 8 and 11 not decent? Neither costs anywhere near $1k

I'm still using my iPhone 4S, but I have a Samsung S9 for backup in case it should fail. The power button is already gone, but I use the charging cable to power it on and pull the battery to power it off!

I changed the battery on the 4S three times.

Last year I meet a translator from Russia who had a 3GS with the original battery! That really made me regret I sent in my original iPod Nano when Apple said the batteries where dangerous and replaced them with a 6th gen for free, who's battery died only a year later!

Now we know why, you can't sell light bulbs that last forever because the customer won't come back... one gen later the iPad Nano was gone from the market.

I agree. I’ve got an SE, 5S, and 5C, and when they all die, I’m looking into Purism’s lineup. But if Apple resurrects the SE, I will probably get it.

If it makes it a few more months your best bets will probably be the Nokia 6.2 or 7.2 (depending of your processor and camera desires). You're also going to need to look at the phone width for what's comfortable, a lot of the Android screens have been going for more stretched screen sizes so just the screen size may not be informative enough.

> Apple discontinued the iPhone SE at the tail end of 2018 and has stated that the next iOS update will not run on the old SE hardware.

Apple has in fact stated that iOS 13 will run on the SE:


I believe the internals are approximately the same as the 6S, and I would expect that both will be supported for the same amount of time.

Came here to make the same comment.

I don’t think Apple has confirmed any EOL for the SE. It’s not sold in the USA anymore, but isn’t it still produced in India for that market (maybe ending now that the 11 is announced, I’m not sure)?

Mostly, I hope they bring TouchID back, preferably via a scanner on the back of the phone.

Outside of providing a bigger screen, FaceID is strictly worse:

- When I pulled my old iPhone out of my pocket, I would have my finger on the scanner and it would be unlocked before it reached my face. With FaceID on the iPhone X, I have to wait a few seconds.

- If you wake up and you're squinting as you look at your phone, FaceID won't work

- If you're wearing a hat and sunglasses, FaceID might not work

- If you're doing something else but you want to unlock your phone on the side in preparation for your next task, you have to stop and look at the phone

But if you're in a pool with your family and want to take a photo, TouchID isn't going to work. And if you've been running and sweating and want to unlock your phone, many times it won't work. And if you're riding your bike in the woods and want to unlock it - right, gloves...

You can take a photo without logging in just by swiping right

By swiping (to the) left.

Maybe you're doing those activities extremely often, but for me they're edge cases vs the amount of times FaceID doesnt work for me when I'm simply wearing sunglasses, or a hat, or just in odd lighting.

I have both a work issued iPhone, and a personal pixel with a fingerprint unlock. I cannot recall any time I had issues with the pixel over the last month, while I'm extremely annoyed just thinking of how many times FaceID either took multiple seconds or didnt work at all.

FaceID works a lot better with gloves on than TouchID did.

My TouchID drops to like a 10% success rate if the humidity's much different from it was on whatever day I set it up. Or if I've done any work with my hands in the last week or so and roughed my fingers up a bit. Or if I've looked at water in the last hour. I've configured it several times and it never gets much better. I end up using the code most of the time. Probably need to just disable it, it fails so consistently that it'd be faster just to use the code every time.

That's on a 7+, though, and Macbook fingerprint sensors seem a little better (more like 50% success rate) so maybe it's just because it's an early version of the hardware.

I don’t have humidity problems but it’s a nuisance in the kitchen if I have a recipe up on the iPad. Whatever’s on my hands I have to wash off and then thoroughly dry. Depending on how messy my hands are, sometimes I’ll swipe sideways and type in the passcode with a clean knuckle.

If I didn’t need clean fingers to unlock TouchID to begin with, iPad OS’s new voice control accessibility feature would be great for in the kitchen. No need to touch the tablet at all any more.

> Or if I've done any work with my hands in the last week or so and roughed my fingers up a bit.

I register two fingers, one with "normal" hands, and one after a session of rock climbing.

True, but I don't see that as a real advantage. No matter how I unlock it, I need to take off my gloves to do anything with the phone, anyway.

There are gloves with conductive fingertips that can interact with the touchscreen, but they won't help you with a fingerprint scanner

Yeah, and touch ID works better in basically every other circumstance.

Potentially something they're working on for 2021 https://9to5mac.com/2019/08/05/iphone-face-id-touch-id/

Sounds like you have the more secure mode active which requires attention to unlock. You can disable this so it doesn't care about attention.

Wow, I didn't know this! Thanks!

Touch ID and Face ID both have cases where they don’t work well (gloves/wet fingers, and sunglasses/squinting).

The thing I like better about Face ID is that it lets you hide the text of your notifications by default but then reveal it as soon as you look at the phone, which is nice for privacy.

I never enabled the setting to hide notification text in the past because it was too inconvenient before Face ID.

I believe Apple claims that FaceID is more secure? More data points = more entropy.

I'll chime in as another iPhone SE supporter. I'm still rocking mine, which itself replaced a four year old iPhone 5. Best form factor of any such device I've ever owned. I replaced the battery in both after two years, as the iPhone 5 one was completely shot and the one in my SE was not doing well (and at whatever Apple considers 75%). Otherwise both have been near bulletproof.

> It is unlikely that any of my friends and family members are going to move to Android, where there is a wide variety of hardware form factors to choose from.

There's hardly any good iPhone SE-sized Android phones anymore. I have a Sony Xperia Somethingsomething Compact and it's the only option I'm aware of, and it's not really that great. I've never had an iPhone but if they release a new SE I'd probably jump ship in a heartbeat.

I had to replace my Xperia X Compact (2016) recently. The latest Compacts weight much more and cost like flagship phones, which they are. However I'm not interested into something weighting so much and costing some 600 Euro. I compromised on a Samsung A40 which is the smallest modern Android phone I was able to find. It costs 200 Euros and weights 140 g. Compared to the Compact is a much better phone. Bezel less OLED screen and still the 3.5 audio jack. It's as wide as the Compact and thinner. Unfortunately the A40 is too long and I can feel the difference when I put it in the pockets on the legs of hiking trousers: it starts hindering movements. The shorter and thicker Compact didn't. And the extra 2 cm of length aren't really worth much. I would cut them off and still have a better phone than the Compact.

I bought an iPhone SE earlier this year because I couldn't find an Android phone in that size (I'm an Android developer). I generally prefer Android as an OS but the size and form factor is excellent.

I'm hoping there's a decent Android phone in an SE size by the time my SE dies.

Cool, another supporter of a smaller iPhone. I upgraded my SE to a newer SE after buying a clearance SE from the Apple store. If they could make a high res. screen that essentially is the entire front of the phone (ala the trend for larger phones), I'd be impressed and upgrade.

I wonder what data is motivating Apple with regard to phone sizes. I assume trends towards video and image consumption are really pushing for larger screens. Anyone have any insight or knowledge?

On one side having a significantly smaller screen to cater to limits app developers quite a bit, so removing the 320px option would be welcomed there.

Another factor is the things that drive a person to spend $500+ on a phone are probably quite far removed from what they actually want from a phone from day to day. A big huge all encompassing screen is gonna outperform something that actually fits in your pocket every time.

> On one side having a significantly smaller screen to cater to limits app developers quite a bit, so removing the 320px option would be welcomed there.

I develop iOS apps and love my iPhone SE. It's a bit difficult to develop for that screen size, but it's only a little bit of additional effort and I wouldn't give up my phone for that. Plus, even if iPhone SE went away there are new devices with that form factor (for example, the new iPod Touch) that will be supported for quite some time.

I've noticed this: web apps for mobile and even iOS apps seem to spill over. Is there a tool for helping you to develop for the varying screen sizes? (SE surely is an outlier here, but still, the question stands).

Honestly, the biggest one is just using the device regularly: you'll be able to tell what'll work and what won't a lot easier. It's clear when people design an interface for a device they haven't used (even Apple does this for certain apps). Get a physical iPhone SE (they're quite cheap) and use it as a development device. Or even better, use it as your actual device.

Isn’t the SE screen size the same as a 2x assistive size on the larger phone?

So by developing apps compatible with the SE, it’s also helping the visually impaired.

A few reasons:

~ Many people using phone as their only connected device (i.e., no computer at home)

~ Increased video and image consumption

~ More and more women buying smartphones (women tend not to be inconvenienced by large screens since they often store their phone in their purse)

> If they could make a high res. screen that essentially is the entire front of the phone

So, an Iphone X?

Sure, like an iPhone X but the size of the SE. Cursory Google searching for comparing SE vs X Display sizes:

- SE: 4.0" (10.16 cm)

- X: 5.8" (14.73 cm)

(source: https://www.gadgetsnow.com/compare-mobile-phones/Apple-iPhon...)

X's display is 45% larger, but the phone's total size is larger too.

The bezels are completely different, so comparing screen sizes is misleading. The outer dimensions of the iPhone X are 5.65 x 2.79 inches, iPhone SE is 4.87 x 2.31 inches. That's 0.78 inches taller and 0.48 inches wider.

Which is 20% wider and 16% taller. It's very noticeable, especially the width.

The actual device, while larger, isn't much. Like a half inch in length, and a quarter inch in width.

I moved straight from an SE to a iPhone X - it's substantially larger. https://phonesized.com/compare/#632,900

> The actual device, while larger, isn't much. Like a half inch in length, and a quarter inch in width.

You're off by almost a factor of 2, and furthermore that makes these increases significant in relative terms.

The 5S is 4.87"x2.31", the X is 5.65"x2.79", that's +0.78"/+16% in height and much worse +0.48"/+21% in width.

The phone is more "surface efficient" (phone diagonals goes from 5.4" to 6.3", or a 0.9" (and 16%) increase where the screen increased by 1.8") but it's still significantly bigger.

The X is even bigger than the 8, which is much bigger than the SE.

Yes, but with at least an inch knocked off the screen size.

For everyone here saying they can't vote with their wallet. You actually can. Apple is so proud of costumer satisfaction. Just buy whatever phone, use it for a day, restore backup to your SE and return the phone saying large screens are not for you. They will see it both as costumer satisfaction statistics and from reactivation of your beloved iPhone SE

Or someone, anyone, make a functional clone of it.

I don't care much which OS I have to run, they are all the same now. I just want a smart phone that fits in a single hand.

I tried the palm and it is a bit too small, and the battery life was insanely bad.

> I don't care much which OS I have to run

Maybe Purism could think about making a Librem 4 after the 5 releases. Double-down on the hacker-hobbyist niche.

Pine64 is going for that angle with the PinePhone: https://www.pine64.org/pinephone/

The specs are far from the Librem 5, and software support is basically DIY, but at $150 it might be worth trying if you want a Linux hobbyist phone.

> Double-down on the hacker-hobbyist niche.

Might be hard to sell for a sensible price in that case.

It's already not what most people would call a sensible price. Seems difficult to significantly shrink a phone that has a pair of M.2 slots in it though.

I wonder if you'd find the Xperia Ace (or an XZ2 if you want used) close enough for you. I think the Xperia line is where I'll be looking for my next phone, personally. https://phonesized.com/compare/#632,968

Edit: additionally, it looks like the Xperia is thick enough to have no noticeable camera bump. Has a 3.5 mm jack too; I like the look of this quite a lot.

Is Pixel 3a / Samsung s10e too big for your taste? It's not much bigger than the SE.

Time for someone into building that to start a Kickstarter campaign or something

According to rumors, the 2020 iPhone Pro will be reduced from 5.8" to 5.4", which could look like this (size comparison including SE): https://blogs.forbes.com/gordonkelly/files/2019/06/New-iPhon...

However that size would still be significantly wider horizontally than the SE, pretty much as wide as the 6/7/8 (which I found too wide for comfortable one-handed use).

In addition, they would probably keep the on/off button on the side instead of relocating it back to the top. The latter would be my preference, also for consistency with the iPads. When I owned both an iPhone 6 and an iPad mini, my muscle memory couldn't quite get used to the inconsistency of the on/off button location.

I won't upgrade from this old used SE until some phone manufacturer produces a working phone that will fit in a pocket. It boggles the mind. I tried the Jelly Pro, which ran Slack and a handful of critical apps, but the battery life was only a few hours.

Agreed, pocket-sized phone is crucial, unless I should be buying JNCO jeans (but I thought that trend died away).

Lucky for you and your giant phone! Now you can spend an outrageous amount for outrageous jeans for your outrageously large phone.


Thank you, yes, my wardrobe needed an upgrade. I can store my jeans inside my jeans too.

How small are your pockets? I have an iPhone X and it fits just fine.

My X fits in some of my pockets but not all. I’d definitely go down to a smaller phone if Appel made one; the size jump from SE to X was a bit of a shock.

I think the regular X is in a really good spot in terms of size. Fits in pockets, easy to reach the corners, but still a fairly large screen.

Yeah, Honor Play was £260 or something, 6.3" but fits in all my pockets and has almost the power of a flagship. How small are these people's pockets, and how do you, I dunno, play chess or read articles or check out how your photo turned out?

I can't believe that despite sooo many smartphone models there isn't even ONE under 5 inch with a good camera. Two years ago I bought one of the cheapest smartphones on the market (Alcatel Pixi with 4 inch screen) because it was the smallest one I could find - it has the perfect form factor and is good enough for most stuff I use, but one thing I really miss is a good camera. I waited for something better in that size to show up but the phones just get bigger and bigger...

I feel that, IMO the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is about the b̶e̶s̶t only premium compact phone.

No confirmed successor and it was a bit pricey too...

I looked at that phone as an option a while ago but it's relatively huge compared to the SE. The screen is 25% larger.

I realize it's also the smallest recent high-end Android phone though!

Ive been using SE since the first day it came out and refuse to upgrade for the same reason stated in the post. Just yesterday I was stopped at the airport and security asked me that phone is so small is this new? I had to respond "no its an old iphone". I have been repeatedly made fun of using a tiny phone while whenever somebody makes this comment back in my mind I think the jokes on you.

Can't agree more with the sentiment here, great minds do think alike ;)

The SE must be my favourite phone ever since the Nokia 3310 (although the Yotaphone was up there for pure novelty of having an e-ink display on the reverse). It was practically perfect and it could take more of a beating than the latest X series phones.

An SE sized X would be nice (with the Face ID and stuff), with a higher screen resolution, but I think it would become more fragile as a result.

Yes .. iPhone 8 size and below.. please. Current sizes are too big to use in one hand without having to reposition the phone (my pet peeve).

Touch ID as well. Preferred over Face ID... grab phone with thumb it opens instantly (my personal experience).

Another year for myself Im not refreshing my iPhone. I did every year from 2009 to 2018; bought the XS last year and returned it. EDITED

I was in your camp, then I got a ring that sticks to the back of the phone. I stopped using a case because I no longer drop my phone, and have even started really stupid things like texting while biking. A ring let's you use bigger phones one handed. Those popper things are more popular but inferior in every aspect.

Cool, but still no Touch ID as well. One step .. grab my phone with thumb and it's open even before meeting my face.

You use a 10 year old phone?

He's bought the new model each year, until this year.

I believe in voting with my dollars.

I will be waiting for a smaller size phone that doesn't compromise on hardware and features, and if Apple doesn't make it within a year or so, then I'll start to look at alternatives. People talk about how Tim Cook is a logistics master, so it shouldn't be difficult to do a smaller sized phone. I don't want a cheaper, lower quality phone, I just want an iPhone XS that's smaller.

Has anyone experienced more frequent RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome (or any hand pain) as a result of using the larger iPhones? It might just be me, but ever since I transitioned from the old iPhone 4's to the iPhone Plus', I have had more instances of random hand-related pain.

I just retired my 5s and bought an SE for $100 from a 12 year old. It's even rose gold hah.

Only reason my 5s needed to go was because it doesn't support VoLTE, which the SE does, and is needed to get calls at my house.

As others have said, would totally spend $900 on a similar sized phone with upgraded internals. But, looks like I'll just hold onto this one for ever...

Apparently Apple has given up on the whole “common sense thing” that the touted during the iPhone 5 days - https://youtu.be/O99m7lebirE

I owned the SE for ~3 years and I always loved how capable the phone is. It worked well almost like any new iPhone and it has surprisingly good camera too. I recently switched to the Pixel 3A when it came out because the camera was the main reason. After a few months, I see that Pixel 3A camera doesn't look as truthful as my old SE. Even though the video has optical stabilizer, it doesn't feel as smooth as my SE, and the quality is actually disappointingly worse than my SE. I miss my SE. I do wish Apple update the SE with a new version and I would definitely buy it.

The article says Apple "... has stated that the next iOS update will not run on the old SE hardware."

Not true. iOS 13's compatibility list includes iPhone SE (near the bottom): https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-13/

I wish Apple would make a good product. I’d be thrilled to drop a grand to get better cpu, storage, ram, and camera.

But if I have to give up the phone not falling out of my pockets and breaking, the removal of the aux jack, and the removal of Touch ID, why bother?

Are my interests unusual? Do they not want money? I don’t get it.

I currently use a gigantic iPhone X, but I found my old iPhone 5S (basically the same design as the SE) the other day and was amazed at how small it was. That was one of Apple's great designs.

Presumably Apple doesn't make a new SE because it would kill their margins. And it'd be hard for them to make the SE expensive because it would probably be thicker, with a cheaper screen, worse battery life and worse performance (because of battery & cooling).

But I'm sure they could come up with some semi-plausible reason to make an "SE Pro" so they can keep those margins. How about owning the extra thickness and giving it a massive battery and using the depth to put killer camera optics in?

They still make the iPod touch. It even has an A10 in it. The 128 GB model is $299.

The 128 GB iPhone 8 is $499 with an A11.

They don't have to sell a new iPhone SE for less for $499. I'd pay that for it. Small is a premium. But would selling it at $399 really kill their margins?

Edit: the iPhone 8 64GB refurb pricing is now $379. That's a pretty good deal:


Is it possible to have a softphone app on the iPod Touch?

You would just need a wireless hotspot that the iPod would always be connected to, to use it as a phone (or maybe people can start bucking the trend of always being connected).

It's the same size as the SE, except a hair thinner, and has a 3.5mm headphone jack!

spec comparison: https://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Apple-iPhone-SE,Ap...

Sure, I know a few people that use iPod touches as their “main phone” using VoIP apps. But they’re of the paranoid hacker type and want a device that’s easy to lock-down from phoning home 24/7. It works out for them since they don’t tend to make or receive actual phone calls much.

Only issue is most of these VoIP services can’t be used in a multi-factor authentication scheme since they don’t support short code SMS.

Nobody should be using SMS for MFA anyway, especially not the paranoid hacker type.

Get an Apple watch with cellular, and tether an iPod touch to it?

Can't pair any non-iPhone iOS devices to Apple Watch.

Apple watch in cellular mode dies after a few hours.

I’d pay iPhone 11 money for an SE2 with iPhone 8-equivalent hardware.

I’d pay iPhone pro money for an SE2 with iPhone XR or 11 hardware.

The SE to me is not a budget phone, it is a premium flagship and I am willing to pay for the feature of being small.

If they can make money selling a $450 iPhone 8 they can surely make money selling the SE. If they made money selling it in 2017 why wouldn't they make money in 2019?

> it would probably be thicker, with a cheaper screen, worse battery life and worse performance (because of battery & cooling).

I might be wrong, but I recall that even though the SE had technically inferior components, including display, it seemed it had _better_ battery life than the latest iPhones of the time. I believe the latest was the iPhone 6 at the time. Presumably OLED might have changed this?

It was the iPhone 6s that came out in the fall of 2015 before the SE's release in spring of 2016. The battery life was better to the 6s and 6s Plus, depending on the task. But, the 6s Plus beat it in quite a few tasks (by a lot), such as standby time, talk time, and audio playback.

Pretty insane that the most profitable company in the (history of the?) world is so risk adverse so as to obsess about margins.

I understand the obsession with margins, but at this point they're really taking risks with brand loyalty.

My 2009 MacBook Pro could still handle pretty much any 2019 computing I need to do, but the new OSs won't support it. That's understandable really, but how sorry is it that the 2019 keyboard is so bad that I prefer my 2009 model, even though it's slower to wake and boot.

My SE handles all phone tasks I throw at it, no problem (maybe the battery life could be better), but I hate all the new models. Apple pretty much perfected the laptop around 2014 and the phone with the SE in 2016. These are classic styles that were the culmination of a decade of design tweaks and component improvements. Each of those older generations could have been maintained with no more than small improvements in components (e.g., SSD) and ports going forward (until some kind of revolution in computing interfaces) and they would have happier customers.

Off topic but I think that would be the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or V.O.C.)

That's probably how they became the most profitable tech company in the first place.

They also took risks, once

I doubt a company like Apple would re-introduce a product like the SE which at this point is that far off the current median product range they manufacture.

My quick prediction is that if Apple intends to continue with the SE, they would quietly announce it around spring next year. Announcing an SE at this time may cannibalize holiday seasons sales.

I'm also still using an SE and I'm not sure what I will do if it breaks. I want Apple iOS, but I definitely want the size of SE and nothing bigger. And the 3.5 headphone jack. And the not-too-curved edge so that I can it can stay on it. I'd pay 500 for a newer model with a newer CPU.

> Presumably Apple doesn't make a new SE because it would kill their margins.

I think that is not the case. They could just build something with A12 or A13 chip, call it "iPhone Mini" and have high margins again.

I think the real deal is mainboard design, case design and all the manufacturing pipeline can't scale to 4 models a year. They are focusing on the XR and now they even removed the suffix. They realized the cheaper model must be big enough. So every year they spend the resources there.

Maybe next year, they can spend one cycle doing a 4" screen form factor, since this year all the announcements have at least 2 cameras. So maybe next year the Pro will have only one screen size and they can do regular, mini and pro. Each with a different display size.

The bad news is: There is no Android alternative either. Phones with 4" and good processing powers and reasonable cameras just don't exist. Really dire situation. I guess I have one more year with iOS 13 before I'll need to get used to use an outdated iOS.

No, bring back the iPhone 4S. It was the perfect size and shape. You could even stand it on its side, due to the flat edges. And the square corners made it easier to grip.

Even the iPhone 5 was too big.

Yes - the form factor of the SE is just unbeatable. I've remain surprised that Apple moved to and stays with the current form factor.

Love my SE. Replaced the battery for $15 off Amazon yesterday. With replacements available on ebay for under $100, I don't have to baby my phone or use a case.

If apple offered a modern SE, I'd probably buy it, but I'm also quite happy with my SE as-is. If the SE wasn't getting iOS 13, I don't know what I'd do... thankfully it is.

Here is my plan: Buy old broken iPhone SEs and go to Apple support to get a replacement for whatever their price is. I'll get one for replacing mine (battery issues) and one for myself in the future, in case they really stop manufacturing it. Shame on Apple.

That's it, I just replaced my old iphone 6 for a refurbished SE. It's a shame, really. I don't mind paying the iphone 11 pro max price for something that hold in my hand, but apparently the market disagree.

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