Meet the iPhone -YAWN- SE

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Traditionally there are a couple times a year when technophiles start brimming with excitement, and it’s always around early spring and early fall. If the seasons are about to change you can safely bet your house that the big manufacturers in technology are about to unveil the next iteration of their flagship smartphones. Firms roll out the red carpet for fanboys, eager tech reporters, and even competitors who they want to impress with the latest innovation in compact computer wizardry. But as we just learned last month with Apple’s latest tech launch extravaganza, its latest version of the iPhone is nothing to get excited or even remotely jealous about.

Truthfully the only innovation to iPhone SE is its name and size. All of the features within the new phone already exist in last years iPhone 6s, except now they’re shrunken down to a more comfortable size for your hand. If you loved the fast load time of the A9 processor, the moving pictures of the 6s camera, and taking 4K video but found the 6s tablet-size hand numbing, well than the iPhone SE is for you.

But if Apple store traffic has proved anything, the SE is not for you. Whereas every other iPhone release has famously drawn hordes of consumers to camp outside stores for days to pick up the new phone, the SE is getting a lukewarm reception. Technerds waited forever for Apple to release a jumbo phone like the 6s Plus with a massive 5.50-inch screen and day-long battery life, they’re in no rush for a slower phone with an inch and a half smaller screen.

To be fair, the SE is not meant for iPhone users who buy the latest and greatest every year; it’s meant for your mom who embarrassingly waits nearly decade to upgrade her technology. Apple’s hoping a smaller phone that zips like its big brothers and sisters will entice the tech satiated to reconsider their outdated devices. Problem is the mobile using mom’s of the world don’t upgrade for better tech, they upgrade because their old device breaks or gets lost. The latest and greatest phone guts mean nothing to users who held onto flip phones well into the 2010s.

Of course Apple knows this, which is why the bombastic release of the SE should be come as a bit distressing to iPhone mega-users. For 10 years Apple has ridden advances in its singular mobile product to never-before seen riches to any company that didn’t process oil. Now, after annually announcing at least one new feature worthy of dumping your old device for something shiny and new, the best the company has for us is “Good things (you already have) come in small packages”?

There are three reasons Apple would stoop so low. First, ditching the numbering system (iPhone 2, 3, 4, etc.) for the SE hints to a major iPhone redux coming soon and Apple wanted to save the best for the Christmas shopping season. Second, Apple wasn’t able to cram its latest innovation into the small physical space an iPhone offers and needs more time to figure it out. Or third, Apple’s iPhone team is treading water searching for anything that resembles an innovation and only held it's classic launch party to save face.

Not owning an iPhone, but a proud MacBook user, I’m willing to bet the answer is somewhere between needing more time and tapped for good ideas. So if the market’s iPhone worship may temporarily be floundering, I wouldn’t be surprised if come September the kings of Cupertino announce something worthy of camping out for.

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb


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