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Why we all might want a smaller iPhone after all

Imagine a Corvette squeezed into a Volkswagen – for half the price. Boom.

woman smartphone calling

The swing of the pendulum

Technology goes in cycles. After cell phones in general reached a peak in terms of being small (anyone remember the Ericsson T39?) Trends eventually leaned in the other direction: Bigger screens, bigger photos and better overall resolution.

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Speaking of big, take the Apple iPhone. Even though Apple’s newer iPhones keep following suit in terms of bigness (the screen sizes on the latest devices range from 4.7 inches to 5.5 inches. That’s up from four inches for older models like the iPhone 5 and 5S), according to Apple, more than 30 million consumers bought the older four-inch iPhones last year. What’s up with that? Is “big” a trend starting to fade?

Big things in small packages

Never one to disappoint, especially when money is involved, Apple introduced the iPhone SE, a dressed-up version of the four-inch iPhone, which will be released on March 31. The iPhone SE, according to Apple, looks and feels just like the iPhone 5S released in 2013, but it has most of the bells and whistles of the iPhone 6S.

A recent article in the NYTimes.com spells it out this way: “The SE lacks a number of attributes of the 6S. It does not have 3D Touch, the feature that lets you control some software by exerting pressure on the touch screen. The SE also has a lower-quality front-facing camera and a slower fingerprint sensor compared with the 6S.”

Not only that, critiques the Times, “From side-by-side comparisons, the SE’s screen isn’t as bright or as vibrant as the 6S display.” Apple for its part says it left some of the 6S components out of the SE largely to fit within the design constraints of the smaller body. Components like 3D Touch would have added thickness to the device, which probably would have made it unattractive.

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Why go smaller?

It certainly isn’t for aesthetics. But that said, the small size might be part user-ability and part economics. If you’re text-obsessive or really into the whole social media thing and need the ability to quickly type or juggle between apps with one hand then the iPhoneSE has your name on it. It also might make better fiscal sense for parents who are entertaining the notion of purchasing a less expensive smart phone for their kids. The $399 starting price for the SE is considerably lower than the $650 starting price for the 6S.

Taken at face value, the SE is extremely fast, takes decent photos, and sits snuggly in your hand not to mention your pocket.

Is the small revolution making a comeback? Not likely but until it does, the iPhone SE is the next best thing.

#iPhoneSE

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Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

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