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Apple’s new iPhone SE shows it’s finally starting to take Android seriously

  • As major Android competitors like Google and Samsung continue to offer lower-budget models, Apple is releasing the iPhone SE, which retails from $400 (R7,000) in the US.
  • Before the iPhone SE, Apple’s previous low-cost options were the the much pricier iPhone 11, the nearly-two-year-old iPhone XR, and the iPhone 8 from 2017.
  • Releasing a new, cheaper iPhone is a sign the company is expanding into new markets and audiences.
  • It further suggests that the iPhone has become more than just a revenue-driver in terms of hardware sales – it’s become the catalyst for introducing the masses to Apple’s broadening digital services and wearable products.
  • That’s particularly important as Apple grapples with slowing iPhone sales over the last year and signs that many people are unwilling to buy expensive phones.

When Apple launched the iPhone 11 back in September, there was one specific aspect of the announcement that raised eyebrows: Apple had seemingly lowered the price of its flagship model.

Signaling a shift from its strategy in 2018, Apple positioned its least expensive new iPhone as its primary smartphone offering for 2019. The pricier iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, by comparison, were framed as gadgets for camera enthusiasts willing to pay extra for a triple-lens camera and a more premium design.

Now, with a much cheaper iPhone SE, Apple is continuing that trend and sending a similar message. The new phone retails from $400 (R7,000) in the US – pricing in SA has not yet been confirmed – and is an acknowledgement by Apple that not everyone can afford or is willing to pay around R18,000 for a new smartphone.

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