The 5G iPhone SE will be for carriers, not customers

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Apple Widely expected This week we are releasing the company’s third new iPhone SE model. This is the cheapest smartphone line, yet the fastest update ever.

Apple’s release cycle for the SE line is accelerating: The original iPhone SE has been released In 2016, it was sold as an entry-level option in the iPhone lineup for only $ 399. This is different from the $ 649 iPhone 6s model a few months ago. Second generation model It continued in 2020, four years later.

Just two years later, Apple is preparing to release the third-generation iPhone SE. It’s a rumor It offers almost the same design as the 2020 SE, but with an upgraded processor and camera from the 2020 model, and 5G.

And what seems to be clear is the final details (addition of 5G). why Apple is upgrading the iPhone SE early on. This is an upgrade for carriers, not customers.

5G isn’t worthless, but 2022 isn’t an innovative essential technology. The cell carrier touts it as follows:..In most cases, the speed is still slow and requires very specific conditions in millimeter-wave networks or in the early mid-band networks that most of the major carriers in the United States do. Still struggling Roll out. After a few years, 5G is more of a marketing note than a revolutionary change in the way most people use the Internet on the go.

With the addition of 5G, Many There are also potential drawbacks. The 5G modem that Apple got from Qualcomm Estimated to be the single most expensive component On the iPhone — Face ID arrays, high-definition displays, or more than Apple’s own primary A-series processor. Even if Apple decides to keep all other aspects of the new SE identical to the 2020 hardware, adding 5G will either force customers to pay more or give Apple less profit. It may mean accepting (if not both).

There is also precedent for this type of price increase. When Apple added the 5G to the iPhone 12, the price of the base iPhone 12 model was raised from the standard iPhone 11 price tag of $ 649 to $ 699 (although other upgrades are likely, but like the OLED screen. May have influenced it).

5G can also hurt customers in other ways. It’s battery life. The 2020 iPhone SE is struggling with battery life and has a 1,821mAh battery Inherit from iPhone 8 (It shares the design). This is much smaller than the 2,227mAh battery. iPhone 12 miniAnd the 12 mini was already struggling to balance 5G connectivity with full-day use. Assuming Apple maintains the same broad design as the 2020 model, smaller batteries and more depleting 5G radios are not a good precursor to the 2022 SE.

The 2020 iPhone SE phone was praised When announced due to the fact that it will follow customers for years before they need a new one. So why is Apple rushing to launch a new iPhone SE right after the last iPhone SE, given all these looming issues?

Carriers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT & T want 5G devices in their stores. US carriers have spent years promoting 5G networks (Even if it’s not 5G) Combining the future-proof and the fear of missing the next big thing, it helps upsell customers when buying new devices.It’s not about a particular phone — it’s about Let the customer lock themselves Break into your monthly upgrade costs to stay as a paid subscriber for the next few months to years.

And flashy 5G devices promise next-generation speeds not found in old and Daudi phones, and are the perfect incentive for customers to sign with a dotted line. (More 5G customers will also help the network justify the huge spending on “races” to build these new 5G networks over the past few years.)

The desire to appease carriers who want to sell their customers in 5G seems to be the most likely reason for an upgrade so far. Especially considering that historically the main driving force for SE releases has been Apple’s switch to a new design for the primary iPhone. The first-generation SE has revived the design of the traditional iPhone 5 and 5S. It was replaced by the larger screen of the iPhone 6 last year, but offers a final-generation design with the latest internal hardware that can continue to handle Apple’s latest software releases.

Apple iPhone SE

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

It took Apple four years to release the second-generation iPhone SE in 2020, and this was a similar pattern. With the release of the iPhone 11, which standardizes the full-screen design of the iPhone X, the 2020 SE revives the just-obsolete iPhone 6 design that the company finally removed from its mainline lineup last fall.

iPhone SE 2020 Processor — A13 Bionic, iPhone 11 — Apple’s annual software update (most Recent iOS 15 release Still running original iPhone SE A9SoC).

Even if Apple sticks to the A14 (iPhone 12 equivalent) or A15 (iPhone 13) chipset, it only guarantees the future of the 2022 SE for another year or two, which is a reason to introduce a whole new model. not. And almost the main rumors point out that Apple will keep the same iPhone 6 era design for the 2022 update, so it’s hard to imagine a major camera upgrade (which is). Perhaps the company will need to overhaul the entire back of the phone to fit the larger one (camera array on new phones), display, or battery life.

You need to be sure to wait for it to actually be released on Tuesday, but all the current signs are more than ever for the new iPhone SE to optimize the device for sale by carriers, not customers. Showing a compromise Who buys it?

Since its launch, the $ 400 SE has maintained a certain lower limit on Apple’s iPhone pricing, even though Apple has continued to release more expensive models with prices well above $ 1,000. That $ 400 entry point is stuck. This is one of the key selling points of this product, a more affordable full-fledged iPhone.

Perhaps Apple has come to the conclusion that 5G connectivity has become an important part of that standard iPhone experience.And with Apple can It offers iPhone 13-level performance and at least some of the battery improvements from last year’s model, while maintaining the new 5GSE at the same $ 400 price. With some new perks, there are some compelling options to make your iPhone life easier. In the middle. When Apple goes on stage on Tuesday at 1:00 pm EST, you’ll know which way to go.

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