iPhone SE diary Stories April 5, 2016


I use this diary format to provide my take on iDevices for three reasons. First, because initial impressions can be misleading. Second, because tastes, of course, vary. And third, in recognition of the fact that you can’t really look at a single device in isolation – we also need to understand the role it plays in our own personal Apple ecosystem.

If I were looking to have just two devices – a laptop and a phone – then there would be only one sensible choice for me: the iPhone 6s Plus. As a pocket computer (which is of course what the iPhone is), the iPhone 6s Plus is an extremely capable device which offers an excellent compromise between a smaller iPhone and an iPad.

But, for me, that would be too great a compromise. I’d be giving up the ability to carry it in most trouser pockets (YTrousersMV) without gaining the usability benefits of an iPad-sized screen. It is, to me, a little too large for comfortable handling and a little too small for comfortable viewing and typing.

I am, though, in the fortunate position of not having to make that kind of compromise. I have an array of iDevices, so I’m able to assign each a much more specific role – something which has a significant impact on my perception of the relative pros & cons of the iPhone 6s versus the iPhone SE …

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iPhone SE diary Stories April 1, 2016


I had two immediate impressions when first picking up the iPhone SE. First, ‘wow this feels small!’. Having gotten used to the iPhone 6 and 6s as the new normal, the SE really does feel like an iPhone mini when you first handle it.

But the second, which followed seconds later, was ‘… in a good way.’

I’m old enough to have used the very first mobile phones, which were ginormous. For many years, the primary goal of manufacturers as they introduced successive models was to make them smaller and smaller. Smaller was newer, sexier and more hi-tech.

Picking up the iPhone SE gave me that feeling all over again. It didn’t feel like a step down, it actually felt like a step up. It was like ‘wow, Apple has managed to fit (almost) all of that 6s tech into this much more pocketable phone.’ And yes, this thing fits sideways into jeans pockets, and gives no sense of being at risk of falling out of other trouser pockets while cycling.

My third impression – and I think this is something I could only say to a tech audience like you, because you’ll understand – was feeling like I was welcoming back an old friend. I remembered how much I love this design. It truly is a classic that looks every bit as great today as it did when it was first introduced …

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iPhone SE diary Stories March 23, 2016


Apple deserves a great deal of credit for the iPhone SE. I outlined yesterday why I believe the product makes long-term strategic sense, and the vast majority of you agree. But Apple has also managed to tempt not just one but two 9to5Mac writers to do something almost unthinkable for tech junkies: downgrade our iPhones! Like Zac, I too am seriously considering selling my iPhone 6s and replacing it with the SE.

I’ve long been a fan of small-screened phones. I actually sat out both the iPhone 5 and 5s because neither seemed to me at the time to offer enough reason to upgrade. But there’s only so long I can be without the latest tech, so eventually I had to bite the bullet and buy first the iPhone 6 and then the 6s.

However, the iPhone SE comes very close to offering the best of both worlds: the latest tech and a smaller form-factor …

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