The newly announced iPhone SE marks a return to 4’’ phones for Apple. And with similar specs to the iPhone 6s, are smaller phones making a comeback?
My affinity with Apple products is long-standing. By the time the iPhone 4 was released, I was so gleeful with my upgrade. Not only did I think we had reached the golden age of smartphone technology, I also imagined in wonderment where it would lead us next.
I waited through the release of the iPhone 4s, content with how my phone was functioning. By the following year, I flirted with the idea of upgrading to the iPhone 5. But I was dismayed that its screen was larger than the 3.5” on my iPhone 4, which nestled comfortably in my hands. Surely, I thought, legions of disgruntled iPhone users would voice that this was becoming too large.
I decided to wait out and hope that the next year’s model would shrink back in size. It didn’t. Stubborn, but still managing on with my iPhone 4, I decided to wait for another release… and then another.
Buying the iPhone 6s
After the release of the iPhone 6, it seemed that smartphones had transformed into behemoth devices. With my iPhone 4 no longer eligible for software updates and struggling to maintain any semblance of an adequate battery life, I resigned to buy the next model. And so, here I am with my iPhone 6s.
The transition was bittersweet. I could no longer text with ease while commuting. Several times – in my one-handed typing attempts – I almost lost my new phone amidst the jerks of a train and jostling of fellow commuters. I had to rearrange my apps on my home screen, because my favourites were no longer in easy reach.
Plus, the device was now too large to fit into almost every pair of my pants’ pockets (full disclosure, I’m American). This meant I was degraded to awkwardly clutching my phone and hoping it wouldn’t fall from my too small hands. Regardless, I was pleased with my upgrade. (Web pages load! No more random reboots! It’s a miracle!).
The smaller iPhone SE
A few weeks ago I heard about the new iPhone release. At first I didn’t believe it. Just like Pavlov’s dogs, we’ve been successfully conditioned by Apple to gear up for early September releases. I half-eyed the speculation and talk, until the phone was actually announced last night.
I experienced a sort of déjà vu denial when first seeing that the screen of the iPhone SE would again be maxed out at 4”. I had been convinced, over years of patterned releases, that the iPhone had reneged on its smaller designs. I was also surprised that it basically has the same power of an iPhone 6s packed into this smaller package, and at a significantly lower price.
All of this, released just a few months after the iPhone 6s. I have to be honest – I personally feel a bit disgruntled. I had come to trust Apple as tapped into the pulse of its fans. But, to me, it seemed like the company was a murmur out of beat with its timing of this particular announcement.
Is small the new big?
This release isn’t enough to make me go out and buy a new phone yet. But it does have me hoping that by the next time I’m looking to upgrade, I’ll still have the option to shop between different iPhone sizes.
Have you been waiting for a smaller iPhone? Do you miss smaller smartphones in general?