Apple iPhone SE puts 6S internals in a 5S body

The rumor mill has been abuzz about a new smaller iPhone for some time now. The cat is now out of the bag. Cupertino has pulled back the curtain on the 4" iPhone SE, a phone best described as an updated iPhone 5S.

Despite looking almost exactly like the iPhone 5S on the outside, the iPhone SE has all-new internals. Almost everything inside it is lifted straight from the iPhone 6S—not a bad thing at all. The SE is powered by Apple's A9 processor, coupled with an undisclosed amount of RAM (likely 2GB). Much like its bigger brother, the main camera is a 12MP unit with Apple's on-sensor autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. The phone is capable of shooting video in 4K at 30 fps, too.

A new NFC chip allows for contactless payments with Apple Pay. 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and 150Mbps LTE round out the connectivity options. Apple is also touting improvements on the battery life front—up to 14 hours talk time, 13 hours of video playback, and 10 days on standby.

Since today is also "new iOS day," the iPhone SE comes with iOS 9.3 installed. Along with multiple minor tweaks, the new version of iOS comes with Night Shift, which tweaks the display's white balance according to the time of day. If that sounds familiar, it's the same thing f.lux does. Apple has also detailed multiple improvements to its Notes app, too, along with several other minor improvements.

An interesting new feature in the iPhone SE is the price. Apple put a $399 sticker on the 16GB model, and a $499 tag on the 64GB model. That's quite the drop from the usual $700 price tag that new high-end phones carry these days. Prospective buyers can place their preorders on March 24, and Apple expects to start shipping the phone on March 31 in the United States and most of Europe.

Comments closed
    • trackerben
    • 4 years ago

    Why is it iPhone SE and not 6SE? What happens when they get to the tenth version of this?

      • NeoForever
      • 4 years ago

      iPhone SE XE

        • trackerben
        • 4 years ago

        Haha what was that you ninja’d

    • lesterevans
    • 4 years ago

    This is good! Been wanting to get an Apple device for so long but the latest ones are just huge. It’s great they’ve made this option available for those who prefer smaller phones. Making quite a difference on the market now considering most phones are getting larger.

    [url<]https://versus.com/en/apple-iphone-se-vs-apple-iphone-6s[/url<] I hope they'd still make this size available with future versions of the iPhone.

    • JalaleenRumi
    • 4 years ago

    Wow. That’s a beautiful looking phone with great specs. I wish Samsung follows the same route and releases three flag [s<]$h!ts[/s<] ships with different sizes but almost identical specs. Mini = 4.3" Normal = 5" Edge = 5.5" People with different size preferences can benefit from this. Edit: Can someone explain why Apple uses 16GB model instead of 32GB?

      • Voldenuit
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]Edit: Can someone explain why Apple uses 16GB model instead of 32GB?[/quote<] Probably to entice people to move up to the 64 GB model. If they released the base phone at 32 GB, fewer people would be willing to pay the premium for the 64 GB model. On the bright side, +$100 is not an overly unreasonable sum to pay for +48 GB of (presumably) fast NAND, IMO.

        • JalaleenRumi
        • 4 years ago

        Isn’t that like saying they don’t care if 16GB models get sold or not?
        Couldn’t they just NOT create a 16/32 GB models at all and start with 64GB onwards? Wouldn’t that be like getting EVERYONE onboard the 64gb train?

          • Kurotetsu
          • 4 years ago

          No, because not everyone would buy it. By giving people 2 prices to choose from, the cheaper buyers will get the illusion they are saving a bunch of money by going with the 16GB model. Those with money to spend will get the 64GB version. Apple wins both ways.

            • NeelyCam
            • 4 years ago

            Also, those who initially bought into the ecosystem by getting a 16GB version, and filled it with pics and videos to the brim, may end up having to upgrade to the 64GB version later. You know, since no MicroSD slot..

            • JalaleenRumi
            • 4 years ago

            Or must buy Cloud storage from Apple..

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    $500 is a nice drop and will definitely make Apple’s wares more accessible to more people, but the 4″ display is kinda small in a world of 1080p, 401-ppi 5.5″ devices. If I accidentally drop my Asus phone in the toilet full of **** I’d honestly get a OnePlus 2 to replace it. $350 seems like a pretty good deal for a quasi-flagship device.

      • JalaleenRumi
      • 4 years ago

      Use the “Flush” feature.

      • adisor19
      • 4 years ago

      Actually, the appeal of this phone is precisely its 4″ size. I am honestly intrigued as I’m never comfortable using my 6 with one hand :s

      Adi

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        Yes, 4″ is good for people with smaller hands. I strain using my 6″ phablet but I think 5″ is the Goldilocks smartphone size because it’s smack in the middle of 4 and 6. Heh.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Sooner or later Apple will have to drop the prices of their iPhones and iPads because the market is simply too flooded with so many competitors. iPhone and iPad were cool when they came out because they were The Next Big Thing and Apple was seen as the pioneer (because they reinvented the wheel), but as time goes on people grow tired of the Same Old Thing and prices will have to come back down to earth for them to remain competitive. Apple will really have to find the Next Big Thing.

      • End User
      • 4 years ago

      Apple sells 12 iPhone models with a price range of $399-$949. That is competitive market coverage.

      Apple sells 25 iPad models with a price range of $269-$1,229. That is competitive market coverage.

      Apple history is about product evolution as much as it is about product revolution. Don’t get caught up in the next big thing or die hype.

      The MacBook is a stunning laptop yet it evolved from the MacBook Air. The iPad Pro is a tremendous tablet yet it evolved from the iPad.

      The Apple Watch is an underrated piece of tech – I love it to bits.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 4 years ago

    SE stand for? Sh!++y Edition??

    • FireGryphon
    • 4 years ago

    If this phone had only come out a few months ago I would have gotten it instead of the bulky, useless 6s Plus.

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      Useless huh?

    • danny e.
    • 4 years ago

    meh. someone already did the joke. it’s not funny anymore.

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]A new NFC chip allows for contactless payments with Apple Pay. 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and 150Mbps LTE round out the connectivity options. [/quote<] OK, that's great, but I think NFC (that stands for "No Fry Charging" BTW) finally adds that wireless microwave charging we've all been waiting for! It's apparently so good that once you use your microwave to charge the battery in your new iPhone, you never need to worry about using a plugin charger again!

    • slowriot
    • 4 years ago

    I think this is almost too high end. Those prices are good for an iPhone, but they’re still quite high. I think they could have targeted a lower end specification (keeping stuff like the camera and connectivity) for a lower price still. As it sits, it’s the same price as my 64GB Nexus 6P was months ago. Good compared to the outrageous prices on a 6S or new Galaxy, but not that impressive to me. Much of what is impressive on the iPhone SE spec-sheet is frankly going to be untapped power for the general buyer.

    I think it will be extremely popular. Also think it could have been a bit less powerful, $100 cheaper, and still met all the needs of the buyers.

      • morphine
      • 4 years ago

      If this pushes the other manufacturer’s flagship phone prices down, it’s good for all of us.

    • TwoEars
    • 4 years ago

    Can you play mp3 on iphones these days? If so this might be my next phone.

      • brucethemoose
      • 4 years ago

      My sarcasm detector is malfunctioning… What do you mean?

        • DancinJack
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah, I’m not sure what’s going on.

      • NeelyCam
      • 4 years ago

      Not without iTunes

        • brucethemoose
        • 4 years ago

        There are a ton of free music players on the App Store.

          • NeelyCam
          • 4 years ago

          How do you get your own songs into your iPhone without iTunes?

            • NaN
            • 4 years ago

            Many of the players on the app store support their own methods — ftp, samba, etc.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 4 years ago

    Its confirmed that the $399/$499 prices are off-contract prices? Apple has a tendency to list on-contract prices without explicitly saying so.

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      Yes.

      • NeelyCam
      • 4 years ago

      On-contract prices would have been in $0-$200 range. In fact, they offer this at $0 with contract, right?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      Timmy said free on contract for the cheaper model.

    • mkk
    • 4 years ago

    While not for me, I’ve talked to enough people using even the iPhone 6 that only wanted a new 5s. Especially after having dropped or sat on the unwieldy (for them) phone once.

    Of course, anyone wanting to use the new camera should really cough up the premium for some additional flash. Clever as usual.

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      I wish this came out a few months ago before I upgraded from my 5 to the 6S+. I still prefer the smaller screen and form factor. May end up selling the 6S+ to get a SE.

        • slowriot
        • 4 years ago

        If only they had been offering a smaller phone at a the time…. oh wait.

          • Deanjo
          • 4 years ago

          Not with the upgraded camera, which is the only reason I went with the 6.

            • slowriot
            • 4 years ago

            Huh? You indicated you went with the 6S Plus, not the 6S. The 6S was the smaller form factor phone you said you want now… available at the same time you got the 6S+. The iPhone SE and 6S have the same camera.

            • Deanjo
            • 4 years ago

            The 6s was still too big for my preference, but if I had to choose between the 6s and 6s+ I decided to go with the 6s+ since it wasn’t costing me anything extra and fetches better resale value than the 6S, had better battery life and had better stabilization. The 6S was just an awkward master of none model. Didn’t quite have the advantage of a larger phone but didn’t offer the convience of the 4″ model. I could have sacrificed some of those features for a far smaller phone but the incremental size difference it didn’t make sense to get a model that offered a tad bit more than what I had already in a form factor that I really wasn’t all that pleased with.

            See my comment back with the introduction of the 6 line.

            [url<]https://techreport.com/discussion/27376/apple-iphone-6-and-6-plus-smartphones-reviewed?post=870160[/url<]

      • BIF
      • 4 years ago

      “Of course, anyone wanting to use the new camera should really cough up the premium for some additional flash. Clever as usual.”

      Yep. Because sometimes it ain’t the $1200 Nikon with $700 lens that’s neatly packed in its bag in your house, even if your house is only 30 feet away. When the dragonfly lands on the Bird of Paradise in your front yard, it’s the camera that you have [i<]in your hand[/i<] that's the one that will get you a winner of a picture. Foregoing the picture because your phone is all you have is like foregoing the lottery because you might have to share the winnings. um...wait a minute, that came out wrong... 😉

    • The Egg
    • 4 years ago

    The A9 is almost at the point where you really don’t need any more CPU horsepower in a phone. I’d focus on efficiency and battery life from here on out, until something new comes out to demand more.

      • blastdoor
      • 4 years ago

      Especially with a 4 inch screen.

      I can imagine that the SE sticks with the current specs for at least 18 months, maybe a fair bit longer.

      • biffzinker
      • 4 years ago

      +1 to this, although if the smartphone ever moves to a multi-purpose device you dock for your desktop/laptop/tablet then the core count race on the Android side would have some merit to a 10/12 core count SoC.

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      Like VR?

      And don’t anyone throw a fit. Google has already proved there is a market for VR on phones, I’m just bringing up things that might push the phone SoC performance metric.

      • coolflame57
      • 4 years ago

      Revisit this statement in 10 years.

    • NeelyCam
    • 4 years ago

    Apple just killed Sony Xperia.

    This is very appealing.

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      You mean because they have a small phone? Or what?

        • NeelyCam
        • 4 years ago

        Yes. A small, high-end phone.

          • DancinJack
          • 4 years ago

          I’d wager a few Android OEMs might try to build a smaller phone now to combat this. I wouldn’t say they killed anything, but more likely woke up a few people.

            • ronch
            • 4 years ago

            Speaking of ‘killed’, OnePlus X is also a shrunk OnePlus 1. Not that the X killed any flagships either (like the big rock they threw missed Samsung and Apple by about 6 meters), but they made some noise and woke up a few people too, I guess.

      • danny e.
      • 4 years ago

      I never understand Apple people.
      Apple makes smaller phones for years.. “Apple is awesome everyone else is dumb with their big phones.”
      Apple makes big phone. “Apple is awesome we have a big phone and it’s awesome now because Apple.”
      Apple makes tiny phone aimed squarely at Donald Trump: “Apple is awesome because Trump.”

      I just don’t get it.
      I like my Note 3 and will replace it with a Note 6.

        • brucethemoose
        • 4 years ago

        Apple’s customer base isn’t that unified. Some prefer a phablet, some prefer the “normal” 6S size… And some prefer the size of their older phones.

        People applauded Apple with the 6 because it catered to buyers who prefer larger phones. And they approve of the SE because other people prefer the smaller phone.

        There were plenty of people who wanted a larger iPhone for years.

        • adisor19
        • 4 years ago

        Not everyone was happy when the 6 came out due to its huge size. I certainly wasn’t. I’m still not 100% liking the SE as it’s not 100% the technology of the 6S, but it’s none the less a step in the right direction and hopefully, next year, it will come out at the same time as the 8 and with the same specs but in a smaller form factor.

        Adi

    • blastdoor
    • 4 years ago

    That’s an amazing price for the specs, especially coming from Apple.

      • TheJack
      • 4 years ago

      I found the use of the word “amazing” amusing.

        • sreams
        • 4 years ago

        I found your use of “amusing” amazing.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah they’re definitely trying something new here. “Nice but not horrendously expensive.”

        • blastdoor
        • 4 years ago

        I think it’s indicative of the changing realities facing Apple. In order to continue to grow profits, they need to focus on opportunities that they previously would have overlooked. Five years ago, they could grow profits with a high-margin product enjoying a high growth rate in a big market. In that situation, they could ignore high-margin products in niche markets or low-margin products in big markets. But with iPhone growth slowing, they can’t be so picky.

        Some possible implications of this:

        1. Pay more attention to high-end, pro products, even if the markets are small. The big iPad Pro is an example, the software deal with IBM is an example. I’d also like to see more love shown to the Mac Pro, but we shall see.

        2. More vertical integration. The more Apple makes in house, the better their overall margins, so long as the economies of scale are there. For example, goodbye AWS. Might Apple eventually own a Fab? Probably not yet, but it’s much more within the realm of plausible than it was 5 years ago.

        3. Sell lower margin, high quality products. iPhone SE is now the prime example.

        4. Attach more accessories and services to the ecosystem. Apple Watch is a prime example. Maybe transportation-on-demand (aka, Uber competitor) will come later.

        None of these things in and of themselves is a home run. It’s likely to be base hits from here on out, but enough of them add up.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      It’s amazing only if you stand inside the RDF™.

    • Topinio
    • 4 years ago

    So, so close to perfect (4S body, 100g these internals, 128 GB). Will still buy one, natch, but … so, so close.

    • phileasfogg
    • 4 years ago

    anyone know yet if the new SE model uses the Intel (nee Infineon) modem? Analysts have been abuzz over this for some point now and the iFixit teardown will surely reveal the answer.

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      I doubt we’ll hear until the teardown to be honest. That stuff doesn’t usually come out prior, for Apple devices.

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