Having just been announced, the iPhone SE is a refresh to the 4-inch iPhone line. Basically, it has the body of the iPhone 5 with the guts of an iPhone 6s. It wouldn’t be fair to compare the iPhone SE with the likes of newer Android Phones like the Galaxy S7 or LG G5. They are in different categories. We can, however, safely and fairly compare it with the Nexus 5X. The 5X was released to be a budget Android phone with mid-quality specs. It doesn’t drive the Android phone market forward, and it wasn’t meant to. On the other hand, its big brother the Nexus 6P was meant to be a leading contender in the Android phone race.
Standing for “Special Edition”, the iPhone SE is what Apple has needed to keep the customers who prefer the 4-inch form factor. As noted in the keynote, the majority of people who want a 4-inch iPhone are new users. About 50% of customers in the United States prefer it, and in China about 75% start with a smaller iPhone, and work their way up if they want.
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Thankfully, there wasn’t any planned obsolescence with the new iPhone. Since it has the same form factor of the iPhone 5 you won’t have to buy a new case for it. Just keep the iPhone 5 case you’re already using. The new iPhone SE starts at $399 with 16GB of storage and maxes out at $499 with 64GB. It’ll be available in the usual Apple colors (gold, rose gold, space gray, silver). Preorders begin on March 24th and the phone will be available on March 31st. The SE will be in more than 100 countries by the end of May.
Released last fall along with the Nexus 6P, the LG Nexus 5X is Google’s budget phone. Learning from some of the poor reviews of the Nexus 6, Google wisely released two phones in different sizes to keep users happy.
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As an Apple user writing for an Android blog, I urge you to buy the obviously superior iPhone SE. Just kidding – buy whatever you want. Although the wars between iOS and Android users will probably never end, it doesn’t really matter which phone you use. Neither one is objectively better than the other, it just comes down to personal preference. Thanks to the advances in both operating systems, they can do about 99% of the same things that the other OS offers. Sure, you can argue about cameras, screen quality and fingerprint sensors until you’re blue in the face, but it all depends on which company you prefer.
I think customers should align themselves with companies based on values, not specs. If you care about the environment, then as noted in today’s keynote, Apple has pledged itself to being reliant on 100% of renewable energy. In just two years, Apple has reached 93%. Apple is also extremely committed to user privacy and is willing to fight the FBI for its customers. If the freedom and sharing of mankind’s knowledge are important to you, then you’ll want to read up on what Google is doing. With Project Loon, Google has committed itself to providing internet access to people all over the world. Like George Carlin said, let’s all focus on our similarities rather than our differences.