Twitter was underwhelmed by Apple’s iPhone SE launch event. There wasn’t the usual hoopla from Apple’s cheer leaders. Nor were there as many gushing, excited editorials as we’ve become used to. Yet it is a great little phone.
In part this is because the four-inch iPhone SE is not aimed at Apple fanatics. Nor would it appeal to Geekzone readers. It’s a more modest phone. It will mainly sell to a less engaged set of users and those who find 4.7-inch displays too big.
The iPhone SE launch didn’t feature anything spectacular or ground-breaking. It fleshes out the less glamorous lower reaches of Apple’s phone product line. This is an area where Apple has been weak, although the iPhone 5S it replaced sold 30 million phones last year.
iPhone SE niche
That isn’t to say there won’t be a ready market for an iPhone smaller than the 6S and 6S Plus. If it wasn’t for my eyes, this would be the phone for me.
The iPhone SE packs all the important iPhone 6S specs into a device with a four-inch screen. You get the same main processor and graphics processor. There’s a similar quality camera. It’s useful, a good working tool. Yet it all fits in a smaller pocket.
It also has a smaller price tag.
At NZ$750 the 16GB version seems like decent value for an iPhone until you realise the spare storage can only copy with a few seconds of high-definition video.
The NZ$950 64GB version makes more sense. While the same money may buy a higher specification phone elsewhere, the likely customers are not the sort who compare processors and GPUs.
There are compromises. You don’t get 3D Touch, although I doubt many who have yet to use this would miss it. The front facing camera has a low specification.
None of this will matter to those who want a smaller or cheaper iPhone. It’s still an iPhone. It still looks good. It still offers great integration with other Apple hardware. For Apple users it is a far more productive choice than any other brand of phone.
9.7-inch iPad Pro
Twitter was equally unexcited about the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
There’s more to it than just being a smaller version of the 13 inch iPad Pro. It has a new screen technology with “True Tone” which takes ambient lighting into account to adapt the display brightness and colour.
There’s an improved iPad camera, but it comes with the same camera bump found on the iPhone 6S models. This will be a deal breaker for some users and detracts from the iPad’s ability to lie flat for use with the Apple pencil.
At NZ$1050 for a 32GB wi-fi only model, Apple is pushing the price envelope with its newest iPad. The top of the range model with 256 GB and a cellular sim slot is a whopping NZ$1820.