iPhone SE sales potential

John Gruber runs down the list of yesterday’s Apple announcements. On the iPhone SE, he recognizes that it’s a great device especially in the short term, before the iPhone 7 is released:

If you listen to my podcast, you know how ambivalent I remain about the physical size of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 6S. I was really hoping that the iPhone SE would effectively have iPhone 6S specs — CPU and GPU performance, and similar camera quality. That seems to be exactly what Apple delivered. I honestly think this is the phone I’m going to use for the next six months.

Jason Snell follows up on the Dan Moren post I linked to by also covering the new products. Highlighting the sales potential for the iPhone SE, Jason writes:

In the past year, Apple has sold 30 million 4” iPhones, out of around 230 million total. That’s only 13 percent of the total, but it’s still a very large number of phones—and this, during a year when the most modern four-inch iPhone Apple sells was introduced in the fall of 2013. Is there room for the iPhone SE to be 20 percent of Apple’s total iPhone sales? I think so.

I keep thinking about the iPhone SE price: $399 for essentially the power of a 6S, which is $649. That’s just a great value. I’ve said on Core Intuition recently that while the 6S and upcoming 7 will always remain the most popular phone, I think the SE could hold its own with the 6S Plus in units sold. Now I wonder if it could even surpass it.

According to David Smith’s stats, the Plus versions represent about 15% of active devices 4-inch or bigger. That share goes up to about 20% if you exclude older devices no longer for sale, like the 5 and 5C. That seems about right to me. If you sat around an Apple Store and watched 10 people buy iPhones, I’d be surprised if more than a couple were the Plus. Starting next week, a couple of those iPhones could be the SE, too.

Manton Reece @manton
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