Apple announced a “new” 4-inch iPhone SE today, and it killed the iPhone 5S. This was a shrewd marketing strategy and a dirty trick. The iPhone SE is not a new phone. It is the iPhone 5S.
You know, I don’t like being tricked.
You can’t buy the iPhone 5S any more, but don’t pour out your Drambuie. Do not go to the iPhone 5S’s grave and cry. It is not there. It did not die.
There is nothing new or distinctive in the size, shape, look, hardware or software of the iPhone SE. You can even buy it in the same horrible 16 gigabyte model as its predecessors.
Here is how Gizmodo reviews editor Alex Crantz describes the look of the iPhone SE:
This phone is, from the outside, just an iPhone 5s.
The display is the same. The look is the same. The software is also the same.
What about the insides, you say? The iPhone SE has the same camera and processing power as the iPhone 6S. But that means the iPhone SE is the 5S with a moderate gut upgrade.
An upgrade is not the same as making a new thing. Calling this a “new” phone is like McDonalds putting slightly nicer tomatoes and lettuce on a Big Mac and insisting that it had developed a new genre of burger.
Changing a product’s name is an old advertising strategy. I know this from the TV show Mad Men. In Mad Men, the Mad Men tell this dog food company to change its name to a new name because it has a bad reputation for using horse meat in its recipe. Instead of changing the dog food recipe, the Mad Men say, change the name and everyone will forget it’s the same damn thing. The dog food lady doesn’t want to do that, but then she does it anyway, because the Mad Men know what they’re doing over there.
I’m not saying that Tim Cook is murdering and churning up horses. What I am saying is that he’s playing us for bumbling imbeciles. Apple just changed the name. It’s the same damn thing.
Yesterday, if you wanted to buy a 4-inch phone from Apple, you could buy the iPhone 5S. And you will still be able to buy an iPhone 5S tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. It will just be called the iPhone SE.
Also the iPhone SE is made out of horse meat.