Thursday, March 31, 2016

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5s vs iPhone 6s: Is there a market for the iPhone SE?

Around the third week of March 2016, Apple confirmed the speculation going around of them releasing a new smaller model of iPhone. If you will just look at how the iPhone SE looks, you'll probably have the same idea with the rest of the 90% of the world and agree that it looks like the old iPhone 5s announced in 2013. Is there really a market for the iPhone SE?

First, let's have a closer look on how each of them differs given their specifications.
Comparison between the iPhone SE - iPhone 6s - iPhone 5s

What is shown above are their main differences. We'll discuss more about it as we go on and tackle on what their similarities are as well.

First things first. The somewhat good news with the iPhone SE. 
A lot of us have invested on protective and stylish cases way back for our iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. The good news is, you can use those cases for your new iPhone SE! Yes, your old cases will fit your new phone!

So what are the similarities?
Looking at it, the SE and the 6s has the same 12MP camera. It is confirmed that both phones produces virtually the same image quality. As for the older 5s, if you've been holding off upgrading and skipped 6 and 6s, this is a good time to upgrade. For the storage option, it still baffles me (I know it's economically good for Apple) why Apple still has the 16GB option. It's not enough! The least they could do is make the options 32-64-128.

Of course, we would want to compare the similarities (specs) of the iPhone SE to the iPhone 6s and not the iPhone 5s as this is already a 3-year old phone. For starters, both the 6s and SE support Apple pay (not that it matters here in the Philippines, yet.). Always-on Siri is also available in both devices and even the OS is the same. Both also has the touch ID (fingerprint) BUT only the 6s has the force touch feature. It's also important to know that the SE uses the old touch ID technology, similar with what is used in the iPhone 6 and 6 plus. This just means that it is a tad bit slower compared to the iPhone 6s.

Both 6s and SE has 2GB RAM. Both has 16 and 64 GB storage options but the 128GB is only available on the 6s. For the chipset, both SE and 6s uses A9 64-bit dual core 1.85GHz processor. Both their displays has 326ppi. But of course, the screen size is different with SE having a 4" display and 6s having a 4.7" display.

In summary, if you look at the comparison chart, the SE and the old 5s are almost identical in terms of size and weight while the iPhone 6s and the iPhone SE is very similar with each other in terms of specs.

Here are some important differences

iPhone 6s and iPhone 5/5s glass screen + touch panel
Those following me on Facebook and Instagram know that just the other day, my 1 year old+ toddler threw his mom's iPhone 6 on the bed, which bounced and hit an object (either a toy or his milk bottle) which resulted in a massive damage starting from the tempered glass screen protector to the glass and went through up to the touch panel below it. It resulted to an instantaneously unusable iPhone because we can't charge, sync, or even enter our passcode. It was typing all sorts of numbers by itself which resulted to the phone being disabled for a number of minutes. At that moment, we were willing to let go of the phone but for us, the data in it was a non-negotiable. It contains thousands of photos of our toddler and those memories can never be repeated. A mistake she did was not backing up the phone since she was complacent and the phone had 64GB of memory. I guess you can say that it is one of the disadvantages of having a storage capacity larger than 16GB.

Anyway, we immediately went to an Apple authorized service center. In the back of our minds, we knew they won't repair it since it has physical damage. They just said that they don't repair cracked screen damages like this and the only option was unit replacement which would cost us 19,000 pesos. Nevermind! So we went on and searched for a third party repair shop to repair it and within 30 minutes, it was back to the way it was, fully working and they gave us 3-months warranty. It was good enough for us since we can have the data back. The repair costed us 5,300 pesos complete with a new screen protector.

Asking the repairman, he said that this is a very common case on the 6, 6 plus, 6s, and 6s plus. He has repaired A LOT (he didn't say how many but I saw the cracked screens others left on his repair table). This is a common problem of the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 plus and 6s plus. He did mention another thing -- the form factor and screen of the older 5 and 5s was much better, which means, it is LESSER prone to getting cracked. I do believe that it may also reflect that the SE is much better in terms of handling impacts compared to the iPhone 6 models.

Size of iPhone SE
Not everyone is a fan of the rounded edge design of the 6s. Unless used with a protective case, it can easily slip away which may result to an expensive damaged screen. For the SE, since it has the same form factor and size as the 5/5s, I know a lot of people who didn't want to upgrade because they were already too comfortable with the size. I guess the new iPhone SE can now fit those formal party bags (which are very tiny to begin with) without the ladies carrying it separately which increases the chance of leaving it somewhere. Size is a plus point for the SE too in terms of portability but if you are for screen real estate, 6s is the middle ground for both size and screen real estate.

Image quality
Since I still haven't tried the new iPhone SE, I've checked out the review of 9to5Mac and I'm happy to say that as per their testing, they concluded that the photos and videos from both the camera of the iPhone 6s and the iPhone SE is virtually the same. This is a good thing as the SE comes in a smaller package. Although the front-facing camera of the SE is just 1.2MP vs iPhone 6s' 5MP, it doesn't matter much to a lot of people. Why? It might be less clearer but video calls will be much smoother on situations were you have a poor internet connection. Remember, the SE is targeting developing countries.

Is there a market for the iPhone SE?
While reports say that demand MAY be weaker compared to their other released models, Apple reported that views for the iPhone SE from China and India increased significantly, which reinforces Apple's idea of targeting this phone for emerging markets. There is still a lot of uncaptured market, aka Android users wanting to switch to Apple but doesn't exactly have the means to do so. The SE might capture some of that because a phone priced more than 20,000 pesos is actually still not cheap.

If you were to ask me, I'd say YES! There is a market for the iPhone SE. For someone using the iPhone 6 plus right now (me), I didn't budge a bit when the SE was announced but reading about it and after the damage my wife's phone incurred, it somehow give me second thoughts of upgrading to the SE. If you can even call a downsize and upgrade.

(iPhone images from Apple website)

PS. Liked the post? Subscribe to my blog by typing in your email below. You'll get my posts in your inbox via email.
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner