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3 reasons why the iPhone SE is a big deal

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Early this morning Apple had announced its latest iPhone that’s simply called the iPhone SE. It is a brand new model and it doesn’t even have a number on it.

In the past, the cheapest iPhone you can buy is basically a rehash of an outdated model with a smaller storage option. We’ve seen this since the iPhone 3GS/iPhone 4 days. That’s no longer the case with the iPhone SE. It is Apple’s most affordable new iPhone and it’s just as powerful as their current flagship.

4” smartphones are still relevant

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Smartphones these days are getting bigger and we’ve seen how Apple has succumbed to this trend when they introduced a larger 4.7” iPhone 6 and a phablet-sized 5.5″ Plus model. Of course not everybody wants a bigger phone. In 2015, Apple is still selling over 30 million iPhones with a 4” screen which included the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C.

Well, it isn’t a huge chunk considering that’s only 13% of its total 231.5 million iPhones sold, but nevertheless it is still quite a significant number.

Remember the ad above? It is still relevant today and there are people who are still sticking to their old iPhone 5/5S because of the size. Try tapping the “back” button on the larger iPhones and you’ll get what I mean.

An iPhone 6s in an iPhone 5S body

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The iPhone SE looks exactly like an iPhone 5S and you can even have it in Rose Gold. Underneath that familiar 4” 1136×640 Retina display, the iPhone SE is just as good as the current iPhone 6s. In fact, they are calling it the most powerful 4-incher yet.

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It gets the same top notch iPhone 6s performance with a 64-bit A9 chip and it also packs the same 12MP iSight camera with dual-tone LED flash, Live Photos and it also shoot videos in 4K. Over at the front, it settles for the same old 1.2MP camera as the iPhone 6/5S but it supports Retina Flash for brighter selfies. Connectivity wise, the iPhone SE will work with a wider range of LTE networks and it also comes with NFC support for Apple Pay.

A flagship iPhone that you can buy under RM2,000

Our fluctuating exchange rates have made Apple products ridiculously expensive in Malaysia. You would have to fork out more than RM3,000 for the latest iPhone and that’s for the pathetic 16GB model.

The iPhone SE is probably the best alternative for Apple to reach out to the mid-range segment. It packs flagship hardware at Apple’s “entry-level” price range. Make no mistake, Apple isn’t doing a Xiaomi but it is pretty much like how Sony does their Xperia Z compact line. In fact, there are rumours suggesting that Samsung will counter the SE with a compact Galaxy S7.

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The iPhone SE is very likely to be priced from under RM2,000 when it gets to Malaysia. This enables those on a budget to enjoy the very latest hardware from Apple. In Singapore, the iPhone SE 16GB is priced at S$658 (RM1,954), which is lower than the iPhone 5S 16GB at S$728 (RM2,162). It is also the same in Australia, with the iPhone SE 16GB priced at A$679 (RM2,083) versus the iPhone 5S 16GB at A$749 (RM2,298).

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Before the iPhone 5S was removed from the Malaysian online store, the 16GB model is going for RM2,199 while the 32GB version is priced at RM2,499. The above table is our iPhone SE price estimate which shouldn’t stray too far from our southern neighbour. Let’s hope our RM doesn’t slide further against the US Dollar. Pre-orders are starting this week in first wave countries and the iPhone SE should reach Malaysia latest by end of May 2016.

If you’ve been eyeing for an iPhone 6 16GB, forget that and get the iPhone SE 64GB instead. Yes, it is a smaller phone but you get better specs, better camera and most importantly 4X the storage. Trust us, you definitely need more than 16GB on an iPhone.

Will you be making the switch to an iPhone SE? Or would you rather save up and go for the bigger iPhone 6s/6s Plus. Let us know in the comments below.

Alexander Wong