Analyst firm IHS said that Apple’s iPhone SE “represents an amalgamation of three iPhone generations”, and is a “far superior” product to the iPhone 5s, with which it shares a physical resemblance.
The device marries iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, the company said. “In fact, the only significant tradeoffs a consumer would make with the iPhone SE against the iPhone 6s is smaller size and lower screen resolution,” it continued.
The design is similar to that of iPhone 5s, although “mechanical components such as the enclosure have been slightly modified”. Many of the radio components, plus the front-facing camera, are shared with iPhone 6.
The application processor, dynamic RAM and primary camera model are comparable with iPhone 6s.
According to the firm, the bill of materials for the 16GB smartphone is $156.20, rising to $160 when manufacturing costs are added. The retail price of this model is $399.
The base iPhone SE sticks with 16GB of storage, with the company “knowing that many consumers will opt to pay for an iPhone with more memory”. The 64GB version gives Apple $89 in incremental profit, IHS said.
“Apple is willing to drop its gross margin on the low end to induce sales – though it is likely counting on many consumers upgrading to the more profitable 64GB SE model. When the profit machine that is Apple capitulates to the market forces of a maturing industry, it shows its tacit acknowledgement that even it is not immune to the dynamics of the global smartphone slowdown”, Wayne Lam, principal analyst, mobile devices and networks at IHS Technology, said.