Open main menu

The iPhone SE (Special Edition)[4] is a smartphone that was designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is part of the ninth generation of the iPhone alongside the iPhone 6S. It was announced on March 21, 2016 at the Town Hall auditorium in the Apple Campus[5] by Apple executive Greg Joswiak,[6] with pre-orders beginning on March 24 and official release on March 31, 2016.[7][8] It was re-released almost a year later on March 24, 2017 with larger storage capacities.[9] The iPhone SE shares the same physical design and dimensions as the iPhone 5S, but has upgraded internal hardware, including the newer Apple A9 system-on-chip, greater battery capacity, and a 12-megapixel rear camera that can record 4K video. Along with the iPhone 6S and the iPhone X, the iPhone SE was discontinued by Apple on September 12, 2018.[10][11][12]

iPhone SE
IPhone SE logo.svg
The Apple iPhone SE smartphone in Rose Gold color
iPhone SE in Rose Gold
BrandApple Inc.
SloganA big step for small.
ModelA1662 (US model)
A1723 (Sprint and in most countries)
A1724 (China Mobile model)
Compatible networksGSM, LTE, 3G, 4G, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, CDMA, EVDO
First releasedMarch 31, 2016; 2 years ago (2016-03-31) (16 and 64 GB); March 24, 2017; 22 months ago (2017-03-24) (32 and 128 GB)
Availability by region
DiscontinuedMarch 21, 2017 (2017-03-21) (16 and 64 GB)
September 12, 2018 (2018-09-12) (32 and 128 GB) (added to clearance store January 19, 2019)
PredecessoriPhone 5S
RelatediPhone 5
iPhone 5S
iPhone 6S
Form factorSlate
  • 123.8 mm (4.87 in) H
  • 58.6 mm (2.31 in) W
  • 7.6 mm (0.30 in) D
Mass113 g (4.0 oz)
Operating systemOriginal: iOS 9.3
Current: iOS 12.1.4, released February 7, 2019 (2019-02-07)
System on chipApple A9
CPU1.85 GHz dual-core 64-bit ARMv8-A "Twister"
GPUPowerVR GT7600 (hexa-core)
Memory2 GB LPDDR4 RAM[2]
Storage16, 32, 64, or 128 GB
Battery3.82 V 6.21 W·h (1,624 mA·h) Lithium-ion battery
Data inputsMulti-touch touchscreen display, Apple M9 motion coprocessor, 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, digital compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, Touch ID fingerprint reader
Display4.0 in (100 mm) Retina Display, LED-backlit IPS LCD, 1136 × 640 pixel resolution (326 ppi)
Rear cameraBacklit Sony Exmor RS 12 MP (1.22 μm), dual-tone LED flash, autofocus, IR filter, burst mode, f/2.2 aperture, 4K video recording at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 or 60 fps, slow-motion video (1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps)
Front camera1.2 MP, f/2.4 aperture, exposure control, face detection, auto-HDR, Retina Flash, 720p video recording
SoundMono speaker, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
ConnectivityNear-field communication (NFC), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling, Lightning Port, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
OtherFaceTime audio- or video-calling
SARHead SAR: 1.17 W/kg
Body SAR: 1.19 W/kg
Hearing aid compatibilityM3, T4[3]
WebsiteiPhone SE - Apple at the Wayback Machine (archived May 3, 2016)

No affordable successor to the iPhone SE was announced, and Business Insider wrote that "Apple made a big mistake by removing its smallest and most affordable iPhone from its lineup", suggesting that the company was disregarding a significant number of customers who had been worried over the loss of the smaller design.[13]

In relation with the discontinuation of the iPhone SE, Quartz mentioned that women and other smartphone users with smaller hands have reported "pain from holding, scrolling, and swiping on phones, and a review of research on the ergonomics of handheld devices concludes that bigger products, like large phones and tablets, often result in overextension of the thumb and wrist", hinting to repetitive strain injury and that oversized iPhones and smartphones in general can be physically unusable for several users.[14] The technology website Gizmodo shared the same concern, hoping that "there will be a return to smaller phones", and expressed a desire "to hold one's phone in a single hand, and be able to use it fully."[15]



The previous major redesign of the iPhone, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, resulted in larger screen sizes. However, a significant number of customers still preferred the smaller 4-inch screen size of the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S.

Apple stated in the "Let us loop you in" event on March 21, 2016 that they sold over 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, further explaining that some people love smaller compact phones. Later in the event they presented the iPhone SE, describing it as "the most powerful 4-inch phone ever."[7][16][17]

With a total mass of 113 grams (or 4.0 ounces), the iPhone SE is one of the lightest iPhone models released, only surpassed by the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5 (both having a total mass of 112 grams, or 3.95 ounces).

The iPhone SE, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6S Plus were the last iPhone models to feature a standard 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack.[18]

As of 19 January 2019, the iPhone SE is back on sale as a clearance item for $249.[19][20] However, by January 20, stock was sold out.[21]



The exterior design of the iPhone SE is nearly identical to that of the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S, with the exception of matte-chamfered edges and an inset stainless steel rear Apple logo. Cases designed to fit the 5 and the 5S will also fit an iPhone SE.[22] The iPhone SE was available in the colors Space Gray, Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold.[23]

Color Name Front
Space Gray Black
Silver White
Gold White
Rose Gold White


The iPhone SE incorporates the Apple A9 system-on-chip (SoC) with an M9 motion coprocessor and supports near field communication for Apple Pay. It was released with 16 GB or 64 GB of internal storage. It features a 12 megapixel rear-facing camera with the ability to record 4K video at 30 frames per second. Unlike the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the SE does not include 3D Touch, nor the updated faster second-generation Touch ID sensor from the 6S and 6S Plus,[24] or its barometer.[25]

On March 21, 2017 Apple announced that it would double the storage for these models at the same launch prices. The upgraded models were released on March 24, 2017 with 32 GB or 128 GB of internal storage.[26][27]


The iPhone SE shipped with iOS 9.3, supporting iPhone 6 and 6S-exclusive features such as Apple Pay, Live Photos, Retina Flash and always-on Siri voice activation.[23][25][28] The SE is compatible with iOS 12.[29]


CNET was positive, considering the iPhone SE to be a "great choice at the small end, with no compromises".[27] CNET also lauded Apple for accomplishing the task of adapting the 6S's hardware to three different form factors; the smaller 4.0-inch SE, 4.7-inch 6S, and 5.5-inch 6S Plus.[30][27]

The Verge considered the iPhone SE to be "a much-improved, well-designed, small phone with great battery life" and a "great upgrade" for existing owners of the 4S or 5S models, noting the device's familiar form factor, high performance (going as far as considering the screen size itself to be the only hindrance to multitasking and certain apps), and improved battery life. Giving the device an 8.7 out of 10, Goode argued that "the iPhone SE is not a tiny little engine of innovation. It's today's tech in yesterday's phone body. As with anything, we should be wary of giving too much praise to something that's just doing its job."[31]

TechCrunch admired the iPhone SE's design and mentioned that the phone appealed "not just to the nostalgic and neophobic, but simply people who prefer a smaller phone. I don't have particularly large or small hands, but I preferred this highly pocketable, proven design to the new one for a number of reasons", describing the phone further as "the best object Apple ever designed, filled with the best tech it had ever developed. It was the best phone it ever made."[32]

GSMArena mentioned that the iPhone SE "struck the right balance between size, cost and performance" and that it "helped Apple sell more phones than predicted in the summer of 2016, helping it beat analysts expectations and was strategic for Apple in price-sensitive markets such as India and China where Apple struggles to match its success from Western markets."[33]

Timeline of modelsEdit

IPhone XRIPhone XSIPhone XSIPhone XIPhone 8IPhone 8IPhone 7IPhone 7IPhone 6SIPhone 6SIPhone 6IPhone 6IPhone SEIPhone 5CIPhone 5SIPhone 5IPhone 4SIPhone 4IPhone 3GSIPhone 3GIPhone (1st generation) 
Sources: Apple Newsroom Archive[34]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "iPhone SE 4/7開賣 5大電信公布預約日 | 重點新聞 | 中央社即時新聞 CNA NEWS". 中央通訊社 (in Chinese). Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Miller, Chance (March 30, 2016). "First iPhone SE teardown reveals mainly 5s/6s parts inside, but a few surprises too". 9to5Mac. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  3. ^ Apple (September 12, 2018). "About Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) requirements for iPhone - Apple Support". Apple Support. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "What the iPhone SE stands for – and what we think it should stand for". TechRadar. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  5. ^ Michael Calore (March 10, 2016). "Apple's Spring 2016 Event Will Be Held on Monday, March 21". Wired. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  6. ^ Apple (March 23, 2016). "Apple - March Event 2016 - YouTube". Apple ( Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  7. ^ a b New Rising Media (March 21, 2016). "Apple iPhone SE Announcement - YouTube". New Rising Media ( Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  8. ^ Vlad Savov (March 21, 2016). "iPhone SE announced: iPhone 6S specs, iPhone 5S size, $399 price - The Verge". The Verge. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  9. ^ Chris Welch (March 21, 2017). "Apple doubles iPhone SE storage to 32GB and 128GB - The Verge". The Verge. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Benjamin Mayo (September 12, 2018). "iPhone SE and iPhone 6s no longer sold by Apple (and iPhone X gone too)". 9to5Mac. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  11. ^ Avery Hartmans (September 13, 2018). "Apple just quietly killed off a bunch of older iPhone and Apple Watch models — here are the products that are gone forever - Business Insider Nordic". Business Insider Nordic. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  12. ^ John McCann (September 13, 2018). "The iPhone SE and iPhone 6S are dead, and that's not good for the iPhone SE 2". TechRadar. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  13. ^ Dave Smith (September 18, 2018). "Apple made a big mistake by killing the iPhone SE, its smallest and most affordable smartphone - Business Insider Nordic". Business Insider Nordic. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  14. ^ Jane C. Hu (September 22, 2018). "Apple's iPhone XS, XR, and XS Max are bad news for women—and anyone else with smaller hands — Quartz". Quartz. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Logan Booker (October 1, 2018). "Why I Just Bought An iPhone SE". Gizmodo Australia. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  16. ^ "With the iPhone SE, Apple Returns to a Masterpiece of Design". March 22, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "iPhone SE Reviews: Apple's Strange Case Of Jekyll And Hyde". March 26, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  18. ^ Adnan Farooqui (September 17, 2018). "Apple Discontinues The iPhone 6S And iPhone SE As Well". Ubergizmo. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Jon Fingas (19 January 2019). "iPhone SE goes back on sale as a $249 clearance item". Engadget. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  20. ^ Andrew Liptak (19 January 2019). "Apple is once again selling its iPhone SE — for now". The Verge. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  21. ^ Joe Rossignol (19 January 2019). "Apple Begins Selling iPhone SE Again on Clearance Store, Starting at $249 Brand New [Sold Out]". MacRumors. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Yes, your old iPhone 5s case will fit on the new iPhone SE". Macworld. IDG. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Apple shows off 4-inch iPhone SE, iOS 9.3". Ziff Davis. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  24. ^ H., Victor (March 21, 2016). "Apple iPhone SE TouchID is the same as in 5s, same as the iPhone 6s fingerprint sensor". PhoneArena. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  25. ^ a b "5 features you don't get with the iPhone SE". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  26. ^ "Apple doubles iPhone SE storage to 32GB and 128GB". The Verge. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  27. ^ a b c "Minor iPhone bump turns the 7 and 7 Plus red, gives iPhone SE more storage". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  28. ^ "iPhone SE vs. iPhone 6 and 6S: which Apple smartphone should you get?". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  29. ^ "iOS 12: More power to you". Apple Inc. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  30. ^ "Apple iPhone SE review: Small wonder". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  31. ^ Goode, Lauren. "iPhone SE review: today's tech, yesterday's design". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  32. ^ Devin Coldewey (September 14, 2018). "The iPhone SE was the best phone Apple ever made, and now it's dead". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  33. ^ Paul (September 23, 2018). "RIP Apple iPhone SE - news". GSMArena. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  34. ^ Apple Inc. (2007-2018). iPhone News - Newsroom Archive. Retrieved September 28, 2018.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
iPhone 5S
iPhone SE
Succeeded by