Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Is Apple Shifting Back to the Small iPhone?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Is Apple Shifting Back to the Small iPhone?

Article excerpt

Bigger isn't always better, says Apple with its new iPhone SE.

Announced at the end of March, Apple's new four-inch iPhone SE is smaller and cheaper than previous editions. The latest iPhone editions, the 6 and 6 Plus, are noticeably larger at 4.7 and 5.5 inches long respectively.

"You get the same 12-megapixel rear camera that's in the much larger iPhone 6S, but for $250 less, at about $400. You also get the same speeds and graphics capabilities," explains the Associated Press. "Of course, you don't get everything. The SE isn't going to be right for everyone, especially power users."

Some of the shortcomings include: an older 1.2 megapixel front camera (compared to the five megapixel front camera on the iPhone 6S), no image-stabilizing feature in the rear camera or 3D Touch, and low levels of storage.

But there are a lot of impressive features added to the new small and sleek iPhone SE as well. Apple promises a battery life of 13 hours, a few hours longer than the promised life of the 6S. And while the front camera may have fewer megapixels, the SE has a front flash. "More importantly, it's defying the design trend of bigger- is-better," says Forbes's Brooke Crothers. "I like Apple when it's counterintuitive. Small has its place." The iPhone SE is "palmable and jammable. (In addition to being more usable with one hand)," adds Crothers.

But a four-inch iPhone isn't a novel invention for Apple. In fact, the iPhone 5s, only one generation before the latest addition, also measured four inches. But the most interesting aspect of Apple's downsizing could be its impact on the Asian market.

China is now Apple's second-largest market, and probably the one with the most potential. After releasing its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2015, its revenue from Chinese sales increased 99 percent from the year before - from $5.7 billion to $12. …

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