Apple Didn't Debut A New Phone Today 

Apple Didn't Debut a New Phone Today

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.



    Exactly what I was thinking, was hoping for something rather than a rehashed 5s and a downsized existing product. Must be one of the most pointless product unveils.

      I dont think this product is aimed at people who already own a 6 or 6S or even a larger android phone, its for people on the smaller iphones that like the existing form factor but dont want to jump to a larger phone or like the idea of iOS but are slightly more budget concious.

      How is it pointless?
      It is exactly what I was looking for, I was extremely happy with the form factor of the 5S, but it won't stay fast enough/powerful enough forever and I really don't want a larger phone.

      Apple just changed the name. It’s the same damn thing.

      A phone in a very similar form factor to the 5S, but with twice the processing power (upped to an A9 with M9 coprocessor) , three times the graphics performance, NFC, Apple Pay, better camera with 12MP, 4K video and the front facing camera now having the flash, and the new always on fitness tracking and other tweaks... How is this just changing the name?

      Kate, either you didn't actually read the feature list, or to you, the casing (which has only been slightly changed) is the only hing that differentiates phones.

      This article resembles a Mad Men BS spin far more than the 5SE product launch does.

      It is basically a 6S crammed into a 5S sized body, that is hardly 'The same damn thing'.

      Last edited 22/03/16 9:35 am

        A phone in a very similar form factor to the 5S, but with twice the processing power

        Yeah, it's twice as powerful as a 3 year old phone. Good job Apple.

          It takes a current spec phone and makes it smaller, and yes, over twice as powerful as the size phone it is replacing. I think that constitutes a good job.

    Oh Kate..... I think you need to read over your story again and reconsider your opening paragraph. That's like saying that there is no difference between a standard Subaru Impreza and a Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo edition, they both look very similar but performance and features are vastly different.

    Stating the main differences in your story and then coming to the conclusion that its just the same phone renamed is odd. Products come with the same or similar body shells but enhanced guts all the time, think about cameras, TVs etc.

      I would say it's more akin to Subaru, in 2016, announcing a "new" 2011 Gen3 Subaru Impreza with a 1.6L Gen4 engine instead of a 1.5L found in the Gen3.
      It's got last model's styling, but a nwer engine.

      Last edited 22/03/16 7:42 am

        Yeah true.... but this article makes out as though those changes mean nothing.

        If the Gen4 engine had twice the horsepower of the Gen3, then I'd agree. The internals upgrade on the 5S to the 5SE is a pretty massive performance boost.

    "There is nothing new or distinctive in the size, shape, look, hardware or software of the iPhone SE. "

    "The iPhone SE has the same camera and processing power as the iPhone 6S. "

    I'm confused .
    Isn't those things hardware?


      Add to that:
      a) One of the criticisms leveled at the 6 and 6s family is that the iPhone 5's looked better. For many people the older design is a positive.
      b) If you want a different shape or size you're already catered for anyway in those before mentioned models. Complaining the size hasn't changed from the 5 is missing the point entirely which is to bring to market a phone of the same or very similar size.

      The way she carries on you'd think the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus weren't available for those wanting something different.

    I would be utterly embarrassed to get up on stage and show ... this. It's using the surplus 5S chassis they had lying around from 2.5 years ago! No new front glass either!

    Those bezels are completely disgusting. This has to have the worst size:screen ratio of any modern smartphone out there.

      There still appears to be people that prefer the smaller screen and form factor though (and it perhaps follows Jobs' vision more closely), particularly at a lower price point. However I think I would have liked to have seen more thought go into the case design with this release but I'm sure Apple knows their market enough to realize what they are doing. Here's a related thread on whirlpool about the topic of iPhone 5/s popularity

      One thing to keep in mind is you have a chip designed for 6S now running a smaller screen resolution, in theory that should mean that games will be even smoother than they are on 6S.

      That upgraded camera and bump to 4K video recording is also a major perk.

        As is NFC, and the support for Apple Pay for those who want it.
        I'm one of those 'weirdos' who like bezels and a smaller screen. I don't want a big phone and I like to be able to hold the phone without my fingers being on the active screen area.
        I had a 6S for a month, but it just didn't suit the way I use a phone, so I'm stoked that the 5SE is pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. A form factor I am *really* happy with, with the current top of the line processing/internals.
        I get that some others might be disappointed/not like this form factor, but the iPhone 6S/7 has those people covered. I really don't get how so many people think if a product doesn't suit them, then it must not suit anyone, if they don't want a product, then no-one else should want it either.

        If the 5SE is the same damn thing as the 5S, then I will happily trade my 5S for anyone's new 5SE :)

      I must be the only one here waiting for this phone. I've had a 4S since it's release and did not want to buy a 5 or 5S because the 4S was still good enough. Then the 6 came out and they made it horribly large. I don't need an iPad micro™ as a phone, I want a phone to be the size of a phone.

      Remember the days when phones were getting smaller and smaller. Futurama made a great joke about how small they'll get. Well now they're getting bigger and bigger. It's getting out of hand!

      I'm pre-ordering the SE. It's the perfect size and shape, I love the square edges, HATE the curved edges of the 6. I almost bought a 6 but couldn't find a case that had square edges (didn't look too long for one).

      So yeah, it's got the body of a 5 (or a 4) with the guts of a 6. Perfect if you ask me.

    Pretty sure that Big Macs don't have tomato.

    Oh, are we talking about old phones?

    I would have loved this phone when I bought my iPhone 6. My biggest complaint about the 6 was the size, which doesn't fit comfortably in my pocket. So although I now enjoy the larger screen real estate, I can see the value this has for a lot of people.

      I have 6S now, sidegraded from an LG G3. The G3 has larger dimensions (a liiiittle bit) than the iPhone, yet fits in my pocket better. It is also 5.5 vs 4.7in screen. The body:screen ratio is MUCH better.

    Peeps, what the fuck did you expect from Apple. Any Android person would of told you that Apple was going to repack the old unsold 5S and that's exactly what they did. This isn't Apple of old with Jobs at the helm, it's Apple with Cook at the helm who has no direction at all, no pride in what they throw out, no attention to detail like they use to. Apple is now just a money making machine that has the customers wishes last.
    Hell, even their new OS's are just a bug fest and Apple is treating us like beta testers. I prefer Android but I do miss Jobs. Jobs was Apple and Apple was Jobs and Apple without Jobs is just a hollow carcuss floating about with no direction.

      Did you even read the specs?
      How is it repacking the unsold 5S?
      The new phone has basically the same specs as the 6S.

        The specs aren't out yet but it does have the new processor, old camera and doesn't have touch force or whatever it is. We'll see more in the future when it gets released but knowing Apple, it will get the very slightest of upgrades. A new processor chip is hardly worth talking about.

          Granted this isn't a flagship model release that is leaps and bounds ahead of their other phones but it's not intended to be, its just adding to the choices available for users, something that has been a little alien in the past for Apple. It is also a phone that is likely to be at the upper end for its form factor size.

          Aside from the other hardware updates such as camera, NFC etc, processor speed is worth talking about as it defines how smooth or laggy the overall experience may be. If someone offered to swap your current phone with one that has twice the processing power, are you going to turn them down?

            For people who want a small phone, this will be great no doubt and I never understood why Apple dropped it and didn't add it to their line in the first place but it's here again and that's great for the people who want them. I'm just saying it's the same as the old one but they threw a new processor inside it. The old one ran alright so I don't think that most people will see any difference between the two but Apple should of included a better camera and the touch force but that would have meant making a new screen and making a new camera to fit in. Obviously Apple didn't want to spend that much money on it and did bugger all to upgrade it. I'm not saying it's a shit phone, I'm saying it's pretty well the same phone as the 5S and bar the processor, it is.

              , I'm saying it's pretty well the same phone as the 5S and bar the processor, it is.

              I still don't see how twice the processor perormance, three times the graphics performance, an upgrade from 8MP to 12MP for the camera, update from 1080P 30fps to 4K video recording and 1080P 60fps ,doubling the slo-mo framerates, addition of the security chip to allow apple pay plus NFC and other upgrades equates to 'the same phone'.

                Yeah my bad. Didn't catch the camera upgrade. It's more of an upgrade than I thought. That does make it better for the people who purchase it. Does the NFC in it do anything ? Not a narky question, just interested as Android has had it for ages but so far, only the nexus and Samsung's can use it for paywave and for all the other phones that have it, they really don't use it for anything special.

                  NFC will benefit those interested in using Apple Pay as well as stuff like easier pairing with bluetooth devices.

              As Poita said below/above, its not just a processor upgrade (4K camera upgrade being the main difference for me), for some reason people seem to be oblivious to that, perhaps Apple haven't successfully detailed that info as well as they could have or something.

              I think perhaps its a case of a picture tells a thousand words, and people are simply looking at the shell and thinking... hey that's an iphone 5/s, then ignoring all the fine "written" details. If that is the case then Apple have made a mistake and should have made some adjustments to the shell design to differentiate it from its older brother. But then again, perhaps its aimed perfectly at the market they want to target.

              Last edited 22/03/16 8:38 pm

            Actually, after reading more info, this phone will be a beast. I couldn't of been more wronger if i tried and I'm always happy to correct my mistakes and my comments about this phone is a huge one.

          It has a new camera, new security chip, new CPU and new Graphics processor, new NFC capability, that is pretty much everything bar the screen and case.

      Jobs was keen on the smaller screens because it enabled users to easily reach all corners of the screen with their thumb, so updating the speed and other features of the phone whilst retaining this size is actually more within his vision.

      Regarding customer wishes, this release is actually pandering to those who want the smaller screen phones, if there was no-one wanting it they simply wouldn't release it. Its not like they are killing off the larger screen iPhones, just giving people more choice rather than a one size fits all approach. There are very few phone manufacturers catering to the "fast phone, smaller screen" market, so the SE certainly has its place.

    Its an iphone 6 in a iphone 5 body...innovation!
    looks like a rehash in a different size...seriously it looks the same as a 5s lol

    the "S" is for "same"

    I think that what happening is obvious.
    The older processor and camera were probably becoming harder and more expensive to purchase. Imaging having to change a factories output to build a small number of older processors and cameras, then change it back to build your newer processors again.
    Now, that cost of changing the production run is gone. They can just use what their factories are already producing. More uptime = more units at lower cost.
    So whats happening is.
    Lower cost CPU - Check
    Lower cost camera - Check
    Release a new "Product" and create hype - Check
    Everyone thinks were doing something for them - Check

    Lol. They never debut a new phone anyway, it's always the same recycled garbage year after year, just with a different number tacked on.

    and so the Samsung s7 will be the winner this year. and most likely apple will lose a large % of the market

    Oh dear god!!! An editor critized apple!! How dare they - pitch forks and torches people!!

    Seriously people.. its the same damned phone. A camera and cpu upgrade were nothing, probably a pin for pin replacement! Only new added feature is NFC which they obviously crammed in - probably shrunk the battery for the new apple battery case..

    You cant unveil a "new" phone that looks exactly like an old one with nothing special about it.. why did they even keep it a secret? People would have been more receptive of it if they didnt!

    Technically this new phone is the iPhone S5 (E is the fifth letter) so it's just a sneaky way of saying its the same phone. :)

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