Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which includes all the Apple news you missed last week in one handy summary. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it pairs really well with a Monday morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you also want to read it during lunch or dinner hours.
Not so special
When friends and family asked me for advice on which iPhone to buy, I talked about the SE. It was just a good compromise: a fast chip in a classic chassis at an attractive price. They might have looked longingly at the ridiculously overpriced flagship iPhone I was carrying around at the time (for a review!), but for 90% of the population, the SE made a lot more sense.
However, I stopped giving this advice some time ago. Indeed, perceptive readers will have instantly been able to date these conversations, or at least tie them to a specific era of the iPhone SE: namely the 2020 2nd generation model. The 2016 original was also pretty decent, but the 3rd generation SE from 2022 represented a big drop in value and relevance, and it’s hard to see the line improving from here.
Theories about the 4th generation SE vary widely, but a new report sums up the general feeling that no one, not even Apple itself, can see a clear roadmap for the popular old budget phone. Writing on X/Twitter, prolific leaker Majin Bu goes against the popular consensus that the next SE will mimic the design of the iPhone 14, and instead claims that it will closely follow the design of the iPhone 16 which has not yet launched, including a vertically aligned rear camera bump (with a single camera) and Dynamic Island. Wait what?
The SE was always based on the idea that customers on a budget preferred to compromise on design over power, hence the decision to put an updated chipset in an old chassis. Which makes it very difficult to understand the idea (presumably?) of next spring’s SE getting a physical design that’s barely six months old.
That’s not to say there won’t be compromises: for one thing, the 4th generation SE would still have a single rear-facing camera lens. Which is, to say the least, a nostalgic choice. (You know the last non-SE iPhone to have a single rear camera? The XR, from 2018.) And you wonder who Apple thinks is looking for an iPhone with an incredibly new design and an incredibly old camera. setup – it probably costs at least $499.
Of course, this report may be inaccurate; MacRumors, in fact, goes so far as to deploy that most dreaded of all rumor descriptors, “summary.” But the details in this matter matter less than the broader feeling that nothing will work, that none of the various rumors surrounding the 4th generation SE make any sense or present an attractive case for anyone to buy the thing . There’s simply no more space in Apple’s lineup that there once was for a clever budget compromise.
The problem, as I mentioned before, is that the moment has passed. A few years after Apple moved to an all-screen design on the iPhone both a compromise and an attractive product. niche option. If it was just a crappy phone for less money, it wouldn’t have been as successful.
Home button fans have dwindled in number and smartphone screens smaller than 5 inches now look downright quaint; The next SE realistically needs to adopt an all-screen design, and Apple needs to compromise in other areas. But the company shows no signs of understanding the alchemy that made SE 2020 such a success (or the limitations that kept it from doing even better). The 2022 SE combined an older design with poor battery life and the same limited camera array (sound familiar?) and even got a price hike. As a product offering, it was so self-sabotaging that it felt like something out of the ordinary. The producers.
The fact is that Apple never really needed the OS. Contrary to popular belief, Apple was selling economical iPhones well before the launch of the SE, or even the 5c: they are called previous models. If someone wants an iPhone but doesn’t want to pay money, they can currently buy the iPhone 13 for $599, or go to other vendors or the refurbished store and get something cheaper. ‘even older for even less. No law says there must be a brand new
Budget iPhone. And if I were Tim Cook, I would seriously consider canceling the SE project once and for all.
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Podcast of the week
THE Apple Vision Pro is in the house! And in this episode, we talk about what it’s actually like to use the new headset.
You can watch every episode of the igamesnews Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our own site.
Our apple VisionPro Review is underway, but we already have a lot of thoughts.
The rumor mill
SiriGPT? Tim Cook confirms Apple’s AI generation push for iOS 18.
Report claims iPhone 16 could benefit from a big battery boost.
Leaked schematics ‘confirm’ iPhone 16 iPhone X-style camera design.
Apple has not abandoned a Foldable iPhone– but it’s still a long way off.
Software updates, bugs and issues
New iOS 17.3.1 iPhone update spotted in the wild.
Vision Pro teardown reveals ‘virtual nightmare’ screws and brackets.
visionOS 1.1 gets its first beta with MDM and device reset.
And with that, we’re done for this week’s apple breakfast. If you would like to receive regular summaries, subscribe to our newsletters. You can also follow us on Facebook, Threads or Twitter to discuss the latest Apple news. See you next Monday and stay Appley.