The iPhone SE may be Apple’s most muted iPhone launch in recent memory due to the fact that it’s not considered a flagship model for the company, but new data shows the 4-inch iPhone is attracting a large number of users in two of Apple’s most promising emerging markets: China and India.
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SimilarWeb looked at traffic to Apple’s website during the launch and noticed that, while the overall traffic increase was the lowest of any Apple product launch of the last three years, in China and India the device appears to be almost as popular as past iPhone launches.
The March 21 2016 launch however gave Apple above average traffic in two key target markets key to its cheaper smartphone strategy: India and China. In contrast to the average worldwide traffic rise of 83%, Apple saw a one-day traffic increase of 160% from India and 150% in China.
The data from SimilarWeb follows a report from CNBC earlier this week that claimed Apple had received over 3.4 million pre-orders for the iPhone SE in China.
For India, traffic was significantly higher than the 59% increase experienced in 2015 for iPhone 6s, and it’s almost on par with the 185% in traffic for the iPhone 6 in 2014. China’s increase, on the other hand, was lower than previous launches but still shows much higher interest for the SE in China versus the worldwide averages.
That gives us a little bit of insight into who exactly will buy the new 4-inch iPhone, but China and India may not be the only big markets for the device. The $399 unlocked or $0 on contract starting price is certainly helping to attract emerging markets, but there’s also another group of users interested in the device for its 4-inch display…
Data from Slice Intelligence yesterday showed the device was attracting a higher number of Android switchers than previous iPhone launches and it also noted that SE buyers appear to be “older, less educated, and surprisingly, more male.”And when it introduced the device, Apple made a point of noting that it sold around 30 million 4-inch iPhones last year alone. Add in a market of people that prefer a smaller screen over current smartphone lineups that mostly start at the 4.7-inch and up range, and estimates have the market at approximately 35% of total current iPhone users.
That number lines up with our own poll (below) in which over 38% said they planned to upgrade to the SE— either from a current 4-inch iPhone or larger— and an additional 12% that would if the specs were on par with flagship iPhones.