New iPhone SE hits twin targets: switchers and slowpokes

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This short iPhone SE ad is supposedly intended for use online.
Plenty of people unboxing a 2020 iPhone SE used to be Android users.
Photo: Apple/TheApplePost

The $399 iPhone SE accomplishes two important goals for Apple, according to a market-research firm. It persuades more Android users than usual to switch to iOS. And the entry-level handset also convinces users of older Apple models that it’s time to upgrade.

2020 iPhone SE got off to a strong start

The April launch of the 2020 iPhone SE was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but “the device has been successful and selling above expectations in both postpaid and prepaid channels,” according to Jeff Fieldhack, N. America Research Director for Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

However, these analysts didn’t make a prediction of how many of the new budget device Apple sold so far. But rival firm CIRP says the iPhone SE made up 19% of Apple’s sales during the second quarter of 2020, despite not launching until a third of way through the quarter.

The right iPhone for ex-Android users

A good chunk of iPhone SE buyers are former Android owners, according to Counterpoint. “Over 26% of iPhone SE users moved over from an Android device, which is higher than normal Android to iOS switching,” said Fieldhack.

An even higher percentage of buyers gave up a very old Apple model. “Over 30% of iPhone SE buyers came from using an iPhone 6S or older handset — handsets four years old or older,” noted the analyst from Counterpoint.

A significant group not interested in the budget iPhone SE is anyone who would otherwise buy one of the top-tier models Apple is expected to launch this autumn. “Our checks show that iPhone SE sales are unlikely to be cannibalizing fall 5G iPhone sales. iPhone SE buyers are more pragmatic about price, less concerned with 5G, and the smaller display is not considered a hindrance.”