Apple announced iPhone SE (2020) on 24th April 2020 as the most budget-oriented iPhone ever starting from $399 in the USA and Rs.40500 ($545 approx.) in India. I personally believe that the iPhone SE is a very impressive response to Pixel 3a series. Pixel 3a and iPhone SE have unveiled a new type of market and if in future they both try to connect more dots in the same direction, I believe such phones can disrupt the whole market. There is a bigger picture involved with the launch o this phone, read Apple’s strategy for the coming years to understand more.
iPhone SE is reminiscent of iPhone 8 with some significant upgrades. What really came as a shock for the tech world was that Apple installed its high-end chipset, A13 bionic chip, in such a low-priced phone. Just to put it out there, there are many aspects of the phone that are really impressive and I am not here to give you a negative review of the phone. This blog will not provide you with an extensive list of specifications but here I will try to tell you how the iPhone SE can’t disrupt Indian market even though it was being made while paying a humongous amount of focus at the subcontinental market.
Indian market is very important for every smartphone brand considering the intensive size of the market. Many marketing and production strategies of every brand are designed to conquer this market. iPhone SE (1st Gen) was released in March 2016 to conquer the Chinese and Indian market but it failed miserably because of less value for money. I don’t believe this time the iPhone SE (2nd Gen) will follow the legacy of the iPhone SE (1st Gen). In my perspective, this phone will still be in high demand but it will not reach the point Apple aspired this phone to reach. Here are four main reasons why it will not succeed;
SE is starting from Rs. 40,500 in India for a 64 GB variant. I personally believe that it is not a value for money when you try to compare it with it’s Android counterparts as well as the iOS counterpart. It is exactly like picking up rotten fruit out of a repertoire of fresh and exclusive fruits. In a world of Covid-19 where the economy is excruciating because of a strict lockdown imposed for restricting the catastrophic effect of the virus. The purchasing power of the consumers has plunged.
India originally is an economy where phones over Rs. 40,000 are considered to be Premium phones. This will be a major factor that will take away a lot of potential buyers of the SE. I am not saying that only Apple will be affected but the whole industry will be marginally affected. People will tend to shift to cheaper options during this time.
2. Design and body
In a world of bezel-less phones with top-notch designs with mechanisms like a pop-up camera and punch-hole camera for showing off more screen, Apple is coming up with the refurbished iPhone 8. Eyes of the consumers are habitual to very fewer bezels and now it is very hard to look at such thick chins. Most of the consumers now find it very unpleasant to have a glance at. There is a small body advantage which this phone gets and there are people who want such small phones but that population is meagre.
The battery of this phone has attracted mixed reviews but majorly consists of disinclined views. The battery in this phone is of 1821 mAh which is very short for any normal user. Even though iOS is highly appreciated for its optimisation which saves a lot of battery but outstanding software too can’t fulfil its hardware insufficiency. One of the YouTubers, Dave2D tried playing Pubg Mobile for 1 hour and the battery of the phone slashed from 100 to 27 per cent. If you are planning to buy SE then I would suggest you carry a power bank with you all the time because it is outlandish for this phone to survive your whole day of usage.
First I will talk about Android counterparts of this phone, last year Google launched Pixel 3a starting from $399 but it was priced from Rs. 40000 which made it too hard for them to survive in India. Pixel 3a had record-breaking sales in the US in 2019 which is an Apple conquered market though. This time with Pixel 4a, they are not planning to make the same mistake in India which is very bad news for the iPhone SE. Pixel 4a will have the capacity to crush the iPhone SE with a far more superior camera and better performance in multiple aspects. Though we still don’t know when will the Pixel 4a will hit the market. Google is playing the game in some other direction maybe.
In a market where the OnePlus 8 is starting from Rs. 41,999 and when you try to compare those phones you will see only a few aspects which are comparable otherwise OnePlus 8 is just generations ahead of this phone. OnePlus is expected to launch OnePlus Nord in July starting $350-400 (based on leaks) with 90Hz OLED display and multi-camera module compared to iPhone’s 60 Hz LCD display and single camera module. OnePlus Nord will attract and eat up a lot of potential buyers of iPhone SE.
Now people will say, ‘oh! that’s Android and I don’t want to go there’. I respect their opinion but here’s a better deal for you than the iPhone SE in the iOS ecosystem as well. You go on and buy iPhone XR whose price goes till Rs 37,500 during the festive season in India. XR is a far more futuristic iPhone compared to SE. It wins in almost every aspect other than the processor. This doesn’t mean that XR’s A12 bionic chip is a bad processor.
It was found out that the A13 Bionic chip (SE’s Processor) is not performing at optimum efficiency because of low RAM in the phone which makes the difference between iPhone XR and iPhone SE marginal. For the ones who believe that iPhone XR can be bulky and they can even consider iPhone X which has dual camera setup, better display and more premium built. Apple has two offerings which are far better than iPhone SE and people don’t hesitate to buy two or three-year-old phones which are far more futuristic and more value for money than the SE.
The iPhone SE is a brilliant phone in my perspective and their approach is just phenomenal. In spite of being such a good phone, it won’t be able to make the impact it was supposed to make in India. These are my views about the success of this phone in India and my forecasts might not turn out to be the same in future but this blog would have surely given you more perspective about the phone. I hope this blog helped you in either decision making for buying this phone or adding some insights to your knowledge.
Thank you for reading. Peace Out!