Apple kills OnePlus' buzz: iPhone SE(2020) to launch at Rs 42,500, new beast in old bottle
The latest iPhone SE is Apple's roaring comeback in the mid-range smartphone market. With it's latest under-the-hood specs and a popular design it can potentially become the most successful iPhone. But can it capture the Indian market with its 40K plus price in middle of a massive economic slowdown? Find out below.
Just a day after former 'Flagship killer' OnePlus unveiled their new flagship smartphones, architects of the modern smartphone market, Apple launched their second generation iPhone SE with the fastest ever processor in a phone, True Tone display and best single camera setup on an iPhone. But the USP of the "cheap" iPhone once again lies in its aggressive pricing.
Slated to launch in India at Rs 42,500 for the 64 GB variant, this SE could potentially set the mid-range market on fire. Granted that it has the same old design of the iPhone 8 series with big bezels and a premium LCD panel, but when it comes to Apple, the usual rules seldom apply.
The iPhone SE (2020) price in India starts at Rs. 42,500 for the 64GB storage variant, going up to Rs. 47,800 for 128GB storage variant, and Rs. 58,300 for the 256GB storage variant. The US pricing of the new iPhone SE starts at $399 (roughly Rs. 30,600) for the 64GB model, going up to $499 (roughly Rs. 38,200) for 128GB model, and $549 (roughly Rs. 45,000) for the 256GB model
There are a couple of bumps in the path of Apple' success though. When we see the Rs 42,500 price tag, we don't necessarily think that it's cheap. Especially for a price-sensitive and Android-centric market like India. That's quite high a price one has to pay to get their hands on the cheapeast but the fastest iPhone.
But that has a lot to do with the depreciation of the Rupee against the Dollar and more crucially the 50 per cent hike in GST on phones. Before the Indian government hiked the GST to 18 per cent from 12 per cent earlier, all phones cost less than what they do now. So while Apple intended their new iPhone SE to be launched around the 30k bracket, the current situation doesn't allow them to.
Even then, at Rs 42,500, Apple seems to have taken the likes of OnePlus, Xiaomi, Samsung head on with its offering of the latest internals in the body of very popular design.
It doesn't help that the android smartphone makers are slowly moving towards the premium flagship zone. The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro were launched in the premuim Flagship range between $699 and $999. A price range that is beyond most of Indians' budget.
OnePlus 8 will start at a price of $699 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, with the higher end 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant priced at $799. On the other hand, the OnePlus 8 Pro's entry variant with 8GB RAM+128GB storage starts retail at $899. The premium variant of the device with 12GB RAM and 256GB has been priced at $999.
Though OnePlus has said that it will unveil their India prices soon, which are expected to be lesser than their US counterparts, the 18% GST will be applicable on that as well. Which levels the playing field for all companies.
Good things come to those who w8 ⏰ pic.twitter.com/t7OrAPlNBR— OnePlus India (@OnePlus_IN) April 14, 2020
Now coming to the phone, it will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models in black, white and (PRODUCT)RED. The design language will be the same as iPhone 8, which itself was a refinement of the iPhone 6 design. The iPhone SE (second generation) comes with a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, the latest TouchID sensor and Apple’s A13 Bionic chip under the hood. So performance is expected to be as smooth and future proof as the iPhone 11 models.
It will be a glass sandwich design with aerospace-grade aluminum on the sides, which will allow it to have wireless charging. It also has an IP67 rating for water resistance up to 1 meter for 30 minutes and dust resistance.
One noticable department it's going to lag behind the iPhone 11 series, is the camera. Unlike the dual or the triple camera set-up on the iPhone 11 series, it will have single camrera set up and won't sport the now-trademark camera bump. However, Apple has said that it is the best single camera setup on an iPhone yet, making it the same (if not better) as the single camera setup on iPhone XR. That coupled with iOS 13's software support, the camera should be of the quality found in iPhone 11 main wide angle camera.
On the rear the 12-megapixel camera with f/1.8 aperture the image signal processor and Neural Engine of A13 Bionic to unlock even more benefits of computational photography, including Portrait mode, all six Portrait Lighting effects and Depth Control.
For selfies, it has a 7MP camera on the front with 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps.
The rear camera supports high-quality video capture at 4K up to 60fps, and extended dynamic range comes to iPhone SE (2nd Gen) for more highlight details up to 30fps.
Why should it be a rage?
When the original iPhone SE was launched, due to its competetive pricing and the beloved design, it soon became one of the highest-selling iPhones across the world and more so in a price-sensitive market like India. The second generation iPhone SE is set to repeat that rage with its flagship-level computing power and a thin and compact design.
For a lot of people who are looking to shift from Android or have older generation iPhones like the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 or even 8, the price point alone makes the iPhone SE (2020) a fantastic upgrade. More so when it's going to be cheaper than the iPhone 11 by roughly Rs 25,000.
This also marks Apple caring about growing markets like India, where flagship phones don't often sell very well because of their pricing. Out of the iPhone 11 series, the more affrodable iPhone 11 performed very well in India, as did its predecessor iPhone XR, outperforming their Pro counterparts in sales.
On top of that comes the familiarity and nostalgia associated with the older design. Which also makes iPhone SE (second generation) way lighter and compact than the iPhone 11 series phones.
So for people looking for a smaller smartphone but cheaper than Apple’s usual prices, this one is match made in heaven, or should I say California.
Apple hasn't announced a lauch date for iPhone SE (2020) yet, but it is expected to hit the Indian market as soon as the lockdown restrictions are lifted.