The iPhone SE bags more Android users

Jaimee Minney, Slice Intelligence with data on the iPhone SE sales (via. Dave Mark, The Loop):

[…] 16 percent of [SE buyers] were previously Android users. By comparison, 49 percent of iPhone 6S buyers upgraded from a previous iPhone, and 10 percent replaced an Android device they bought online within the past two years.

Buyers of the SE look much different than the Apple fanboy audience typically queuing up to buy the latest from Cupertino. They’re older, less educated, and surprisingly, more male.

Let’s ignore the questionable wording towards the end there. The first paragraph highlights something I saw coming 1 — and it’s not a tough conclusion to draw. Two characteristics of Android phones are: a) They’re mostly 4.5-inches and above; the average, anecdotally, being 5-inches and above. b) They compete on price — aggressive enough to pass it off as a ‘feature’.

Saying the SE ‘strikes a balance’ between those criteria is doing it a disservice. The SE is the only phone with flagship internals for its size category and it’s priced very competitively. (In fact, listening to Neil Cybart’s recent podcast on the SE’s pricing reveals, to me, the genius that this product is.)

Naturally, if a customer is in the market for a smartphone that isn’t a monstrosity for their hand and they don’t prefer one platform over another, the iPhone SE is the logical choice.

As for a possible explanation why people are switching from Android, let’s roughly think of the pre-iPhone SE days. A platform agnostic customer that prioritises compactness over everything else saw both Android and Apple offer their flagships in relatively large form factors. Thereby, their second most important criteria — whatever that might be — led them to pick an Android. Post-SE, that customer now has a flagship meeting a demand they most valued.


  1. The relevant quote from what I wrote previously:
    The SE also presents an opportunity for more Android switchers since, at the time of this writing, no Android flagship exists in a 4-inch form factor. The closest is a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact with a 4.6-inch screen and it retails for around $425 in the US. Not only is the SE the best choice for people who like small phones, it’s probably the only feasible choice. ↩︎

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