Regular edition iPhones are numbered. Yes, that’s not quite true of the primordial models. The 2007 original iPhone was just “iPhone”, and the “3G” in the second and third models stood for the cellular networking technology. But starting with the iPhone 4, regular edition iPhones have all been numbered. Higher-numbered iPhones both look new on the outside and offer improved technology on the inside.
The iPhone SE’s are special editions because they fall outside this continuum. They look like phones from several years prior, and some of their technology is several years old as well. But other aspects of their technology are state of the art (e.g. chip systems) or nearly so (cameras).
I’ve read some takes on the new iPhone SE, and it’s clear that some people really have no clue what the device is, or who it’s for.
One of the few I’ve seen that make sense to me is John Gruber’s. What I like the most is that it’s not just a product review, he talks about the meaning behind the naming, what market it fits into, and some fascinating comparisons and observations regarding the SE line and the typical “main” iPhone line.
I’m not going to be buying an iPhone SE, but I would certainly say that if I didn’t upgrade from the 7 Plus to my current XS, then it would be a serious thought in my head.
However, in a similar way to how the iPhone XR was such a great deal, and offered the best iPhone for so many people, and at a much better price, this new iPhone SE takes over that role in my opinion. Although depending on wheat comes out later this year, that status may only last for 6 months or so. Then again, having such a capable iPhone SE in the lineup, allows Apple to push the rest of the phones even further.