The long-rumored iPhone 9, which could be announced any time now, will fill a much-needed spot at the bottom of Apple’s iPhone lineup.
From a business standpoint it makes total sense. The release of an iPhone 9 will provide customers with a less expensive phone with modern internals, and at the same time can make a healthy profit, thanks to already established manufacturing and assembly processes.
Yet while the iPhone 9 will probably sell well, it won’t generate the same sort of love and cult following as the last budget-minded phone that Apple produced way back in 2016 — the iPhone SE. Watch our iPhone 9 preview video for the details as to why.
The original iPhone SE
The iPhone SE, when it launched in March 2016, was loved for several reasons. Arguably the biggest reason for the iPhone SE’s popularity was the price. When it first launched, the entry level iPhone SE started at $399. At that price it was $250 cheaper than the entry level flagship iPhone model at the time, the iPhone 6s.
Granted, back then carrier subsidies were still a thing. Even without such a subsidy, customers understood how much more affordable the iPhone SE was. Prior to the release of the iPhone SE, the previous “budget” iPhone, the iPhone 5c, launched for $549, not including carrier subsidies. In the history of the iPhone, the SE model was the cheapest just-launched new iPhone that you could purchase without considering carrier subsidies.