Affordable iPhone SE is proving popular with Android users and longtime Apple fans

nanoguy

Posts: 517   +7
Staff member
In brief: Smartphone sales have continued their decline throughout the second quarter of 2020, mostly because of economic uncertainty. But while Samsung struggled to sell its newly released Galaxy S20 family of handsets, the iPhone SE performed surprisingly well and even convinced a sizable number of Android users to make the switch to an iPhone.

During the first quarter of 2020, global smartphone shipments saw a 20 percent decline due to coronavirus-related economic uncertainties. Industry insiders predicted in April that smartphone production would hit a record low in the second quarter, leading to lower expectations in terms of shipments.

The latest market report from Counterpoint Research is out, and it looks like smartphone sales volume fell by 25 percent in the US for the three months ending in June.

Samsung saw the smallest hit, even though the timing of the Galaxy S20 series launch was unfortunate at best. From March to June, the company saw 38 percent fewer activations for S20 smartphones compared to the S10 family during the same period of last year.

This is still an improvement over the performance achieved during the first quarter, and some analysts believe things will improve considerably over the next few months, as Samsung is expected to entice buyers with the Note 20 and two other handsets.

Apple saw a 23 percent decrease in sales, but Counterpoint analysts point out that the new iPhone SE has been instrumental in preventing a bigger drop. The handset sold much better than expected and even contributed to the reopening of some retail stores from T-Mobile, Boost, and Metro.

Samsung's answer to the iPhone SE came in May in the form of the Galaxy A51, originally a $400 Android alternative to the SE that not long after launch saw a price drop to just $325, making it an solid value for budget shoppers. Still, more than 26 percent of iPhone SE buyers came from an Android device, which is higher than the normal switching rate observed in recent years.

Furthermore, 30 percent of those who bought the iPhone SE came from older Apple handsets such as the iPhone 6S. These findings have been confirmed in a separate analysis by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners, who also noted that most people who upgraded to the iPhone SE came from a smartphone that was over three years old.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,018   +2,830
The one thing that bothers me about iPhone is that TouchID was always better and faster than FaceID, yet they doubled down on FaceID.

They could have made the apple logo the figerprint scanner. That's where it is roughly on my mom's Stylo 4.

The SE is a great phone at $400 while there are plenty of Androids around $300 or less that may offer more.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 736   +443
The one thing that bothers me about iPhone is that TouchID was always better and faster than FaceID, yet they doubled down on FaceID.

They could have made the apple logo the figerprint scanner. That's where it is roughly on my mom's Stylo 4.

The SE is a great phone at $400 while there are plenty of Androids around $300 or less that may offer more.
I used to prefer Touch ID but after getting used to Face ID I’m not going back. Although I do wish there was some way to get it to recognise me with a mask on. I don’t reckon there’s much point to putting a Touch ID sensor on the back as 99.9% of iPhones seen in the wild have a case on it. Of the 6 iPhones I’ve owned I’ve never used any of them without a case, not even for a day. For me it’s a selling point that there are so many cases available. Currently rocking a bright pink silicon one!

And yeah I think there are a lot of other cheaper Android phones that do offer more value, like those Mii phones, a mate of mine got some redmii note 8 dirt cheap thing and I’m quite impressed by it for the £120 he paid for it. But I think the people who buy this iPhone SE are people who don’t care and just want something reliable that will last. Like my mum, she and her partner have one of these SE’s now. Both switched from crappy old budget Android phones.
 
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ZackL04

Posts: 654   +412
Love my SE, finally upgraded from my 7.

With the same processor as an iphone 11, it screams and is a fantastic value vs top tier phones.
 

dangh

Posts: 121   +155
Price is always KING, no matter how great an item is .....
Functionality. I do not care about price as much, as for the stuff I can actually do on my phone. That's why got Galaxy Note, as walled garden on Apple devices is too limiting for my needs.
 

FF222

Posts: 224   +165
For one, if Apple sales fell at a higher than average rate and Samsung sales fell at half of the average rate, then surely more iPhone users had to switch to Android phones, than how many Android users were switching to iPhones.

Also, if "26 percent of iPhone SE buyers came from an Android device" and "30 percent of those who bought the iPhone SE came from older Apple handsets", then where did the remaining 44 percent of iPhone SE buyers come from? I'm not buying that they didn't had a smartphone before or that they all came from some other platforms with a zero market share.

Sound more like someone desperately wanted put some kind positive Apple-spin on what's actually a severe decline in Apple sales (especially compared to Samsung) and a major migration of iPhone-users to Android.
 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,159   +1,920
This is about price but it's also about size. Compact Android phone with great specs? Yeah. Good luck with that. The last really good small one was the XZ2 Compact, two years ago. The S10e was pretty good at 5.8 inches, however it's also over a year old.

Every Android phone manufacturer thinks the only market that exists is for 6 inch plus screens when I know there is a significant minority market than wants compact phones under 5.5 inches with some muscle behind it.

It can be done. For years Sony crammed high end chipsets into their compact branded series. Usually with small screens and somewhat lower resolutions which mitigated the smaller battery they carried to the point they matched or often even beat the battery life of much larger handsets with the same chipset.

Alas Sony's phone division has been in a weak state for a long time. There has to be new Android alternatives and a few companies need to launch powerful compact phones and they'll find strong sales, I am confident.
 
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Not sure why they are comparing a $400 phone with a $1000 phone, Samsung's A series devices crushed the SE sales and that's not mentioned here
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,455   +1,431
TechSpot Elite
For one, if Apple sales fell at a higher than average rate and Samsung sales fell at half of the average rate, then surely more iPhone users had to switch to Android phones, than how many Android users were switching to iPhones.
Nope. Apple sells fewer phones than Samsung so a larger %age loss of sales for Apple means they still lost fewer total sales than Samsung did.

Also, if "26 percent of iPhone SE buyers came from an Android device" and "30 percent of those who bought the iPhone SE came from older Apple handsets", then where did the remaining 44 percent of iPhone SE buyers come from? I'm not buying that they didn't had a smartphone before or that they all came from some other platforms with a zero market share.
They upgraded from more recent Apple phones.

Sound more like someone desperately wanted put some kind positive Apple-spin on what's actually a severe decline in Apple sales (especially compared to Samsung) and a major migration of iPhone-users to Android.
As I explained, that's not the case.
 
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Nobina

Posts: 2,550   +2,158
This is about price but it's also about size. Compact Android phone with great specs? Yeah. Good luck with that. The last really good small one was the XZ2 Compact, two years ago. The S10e was pretty good at 5.8 inches, however it's also over a year old.

Every Android phone manufacturer thinks the only market that exists is for 6 inch plus screens when I know there is a significant minority market than wants compact phones under 5.5 inches with some muscle behind it.

It can be done. For years Sony crammed high end chipsets into their compact branded series. Usually with small screens and somewhat lower resolutions which mitigated the smaller battery they carried to the point they matched or often even beat the battery life of much larger handsets with the same chipset.

Alas Sony's phone division has been in a weak state for a long time. There has to be new Android alternatives and a few companies need to launch powerful compact phones and they'll find strong sales, I am confident.
I think something like 5.5 inch phone with current "bezeless" design, maybe a pop-up camera to maximize screen space could be bangin'. It would be about the size of an SE.
 

FF222

Posts: 224   +165
Nope. Apple sells fewer phones than Samsung so a larger %age loss of sales for Apple means they still lost fewer total sales than Samsung did.
Yes, but that has nothing to do with the switch rate. Because it's not the people who did NOT buy a new phone this year, but did last year (ie. the "lost" customers) who were possibly switching between iPhone<->Android (because they didn't, they kept their old phones from previous years, remember?), but those who DID buy a new phone.

So, it's not the ratio of "lost" sales that you've to look at, but the actual sales. And those actually increased for Samsung over Apple compared to their sales from the previous year. If for ex. Samsung sold 4x times as many phones in the previous year than Apple, then because it had a lower decline, it now sold for ex. 4.5x or 5x times more than Apple did (depending on what their share of total sales were).

Which in turn also means that of those who DID buy a new phone, more (also in absolute numbers) have bought a Samsung/Android instead of their iPhones, than an iPhone instead of an Android phone. Unless of course they never had a smartphone before, or switched from a system other than Android or iOS - but that we can obviously dismiss as possible at such scales.

They upgraded from more recent Apple phones.
There are no "more recent" iphones than the iPhone SE2.

As I explained, that's not the case.
Yeah, you "explained" it wrong.
 

zamroni111

Posts: 28   +12
I used to prefer Touch ID but after getting used to Face ID I’m not going back. Although I do wish there was some way to get it to recognise me with a mask on. I don’t reckon there’s much point to putting a Touch ID sensor on the back as 99.9% of iPhones seen in the wild have a case on it. Of the 6 iPhones I’ve owned I’ve never used any of them without a case, not even for a day. For me it’s a selling point that there are so many cases available. Currently rocking a bright pink silicon one!

And yeah I think there are a lot of other cheaper Android phones that do offer more value, like those Mii phones, a mate of mine got some redmii note 8 dirt cheap thing and I’m quite impressed by it for the £120 he paid for it. But I think the people who buy this iPhone SE are people who don’t care and just want something reliable that will last. Like my mum, she and her partner have one of these SE’s now. Both switched from crappy old budget Android phones.
Samsung s9 iris scanner doesn't have problem with mask😁

Test by twins also show it's more secure than face id
 

zamroni111

Posts: 28   +12
I think something like 5.5 inch phone with current "bezeless" design, maybe a pop-up camera to maximize screen space could be bangin'. It would be about the size of an SE.
Bezelless design is bad. I'd rather have some bezel rather than screen cut out. Samsung s9 shows that small top bezel is adequate to host camera, iris scanner, proximity sensor etc.

The same phone also shows that bezelless curved screen is bad. I'd rather have small side bezel like s7
Curved edge is not good for watching video as the edge is blurred.
It's not good for typing too when trying to type q,1,0 or p characters
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 736   +443
Samsung s9 iris scanner doesn't have problem with mask😁

Test by twins also show it's more secure than face id
Yeah it’s just a shame that overall Samsung phones are festering heaps of garbage. No one should buy them.

btw I very much doubt the face scanner is more secure than Face ID. That’s some prime BS. Samsung has a very poor security record. Their in screen fingerprint reader was tricked by a screen protector!
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,455   +1,431
TechSpot Elite
Yes, but that has nothing to do with the switch rate. Because it's not the people who did NOT buy a new phone this year, but did last year (ie. the "lost" customers) who were possibly switching between iPhone<->Android (because they didn't, they kept their old phones from previous years, remember?), but those who DID buy a new phone.

So, it's not the ratio of "lost" sales that you've to look at, but the actual sales. And those actually increased for Samsung over Apple compared to their sales from the previous year. If for ex. Samsung sold 4x times as many phones in the previous year than Apple, then because it had a lower decline, it now sold for ex. 4.5x or 5x times more than Apple did (depending on what their share of total sales were).

Which in turn also means that of those who DID buy a new phone, more (also in absolute numbers) have bought a Samsung/Android instead of their iPhones, than an iPhone instead of an Android phone. Unless of course they never had a smartphone before, or switched from a system other than Android or iOS - but that we can obviously dismiss as possible at such scales.
The data in the chart is only sales changes. There are a lot of ways to guess how it happened and it's likely that people just held onto their current phones a little longer than switched OSes.

So more iPhone people held onto their iPhones than Samsung people held onto their phones, though looking at the chart those Samsung sales could also be Android people moving from the other Android brands with cratering sales to Samsung.

So to your original point, there's no indication nor information here about Apple losing more sales than usual to Android manufacturers.

There are no "more recent" iphones than the iPhone SE2.
Read the article again: "30 percent of those who bought the iPhone SE came from older Apple handsets such as the iPhone 6S". This is a 4.5 year old phone. A more recent iPhone would be an 8 or X, etc. 3-4 years old or less. More recent refers to the phone upgraded from, not to.
 

FF222

Posts: 224   +165
The data in the chart is only sales changes. There are a lot of ways to guess how it happened and it's likely that people just held onto their current phones a little longer than switched OSes.
Which bring us back to my original point of "Sound more like someone desperately wanted put some kind positive Apple-spin on what's actually a severe decline in Apple sales ".

So to your original point, there's no indication nor information here about Apple losing more sales than usual to Android manufacturers.
There's infinitely more indication of that, than the opposite of it, which this article and also you desperately want to push, despite in the best case there being no data to bolster that claim, and in the worst case the data directly contradicting it.

Read the article again: "30 percent of those who bought the iPhone SE came from older Apple handsets such as the iPhone 6S". This is a 4.5 year old phone. A more recent iPhone would be an 8 or X, etc. 3-4 years old or less.
No, that's not what the quoted sentence says. That's your misinterpretation, or more something you made up on the fly.
 

trgz

Posts: 307   +87
This is about price but it's also about size. Compact Android phone with great specs? Yeah. Good luck with that. The last really good small one was the XZ2 Compact, two years ago. The S10e was pretty good at 5.8 inches, however it's also over a year old.

Every Android phone manufacturer thinks the only market that exists is for 6 inch plus screens when I know there is a significant minority market than wants compact phones under 5.5 inches with some muscle behind it.

It can be done. For years Sony crammed high end chipsets into their compact branded series. Usually with small screens and somewhat lower resolutions which mitigated the smaller battery they carried to the point they matched or often even beat the battery life of much larger handsets with the same chipset.

Alas Sony's phone division has been in a weak state for a long time. There has to be new Android alternatives and a few companies need to launch powerful compact phones and they'll find strong sales, I am confident.
That's what stopped me upgrading my old and now rather sluggish Moto Es2. I need a small screen, with Corning/Gorilla-like glass, and more umpf. The Moto E was the perfect back pocket size and has lasted over 3 years with no breakages and only one unoticeable 2mm scratch despite it having been in my back pocket when driving, cycling, walking - a larger phone whould have bent/cracked by now. I hate to admit it but the SE has me interested but I'll never go over to IOS.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,455   +1,431
TechSpot Elite
Which bring us back to my original point of "Sound more like someone desperately wanted put some kind positive Apple-spin on what's actually a severe decline in Apple sales ".
I agree with the article as posted as the conclusions make sense based on the data provided. You have a different negative Apple-spin that you prefer. It's all good.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,455   +1,431
TechSpot Elite
No, they don't. That's exactly what was explained to you. It just obviously went woosh over your head.
Lol, this again?

Or: Yes, they do. That's exactly what was explained.

And please keep your personal assumptions about me out of the discussion or your comments are likely to be deleted.
 

FF222

Posts: 224   +165
Lol, this again? Or: Yes, they do.
You realize that repeating the same unsubstantiated or false statement won't make it any less unsubstantiated or false, it will only make it obvious that you can't bring any arguments forward to bolster them, do you?

And please keep your personal assumptions about me out of the discussion or your comments are likely to be deleted.
LOL. This again? I didn't assume anything. I concluded things based on what you wrote. Wanna try again?