Apple doubled down on the 4-inch phone with unveiling of the iPhone SE, but a new report suggests that maybe it should have ditched the small screen.
According to a report out today from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the iPhone SE may not be a big hit with customers, at least in the U.S.
“The analysis indicates the limited opportunity for Apple to sell the smaller iPhone SE in the US,” said CIRP co-founder Mike Levin in the report. “Very few of the 81 million consumers that already own a larger iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, or 6s or 6s Plus, are likely to trade down to the smaller iPhone SE.”
While the other 29 million iPhone owners may be holding on to devices because they like the size, CIRP expects just 15 percent of them to upgrade to Apple’s smallest phone. And new iOS users aren’t much help either.
“We expect that at most one-quarter of the U.S. Android switchers will buy the iPhone SE, accounting for 1-2 million units in a year,” Levin said. “And, first-time phone buyers remain a tiny percentage of total iPhone buyers. Of these customers perhaps one-third will buy the smaller, less-costly iPhone SE model, accounting for considerably less than 1 million units in a year.”
However, CIRP’s study doesn’t seem to take into account users who switched to the iPhone 6 or 6s simply because it was the device with the latest technology. Some of those users have found that dealing with a larger phone has issues — like using it one-handed or fitting it pockets — but those issues may be outweighed by the benefit of faster processors and better cameras.
Users who had those complaints may be tempted to pick up the iPhone SE next time they upgrade, especially if Apple keeps updating it with newer technology.