The iPhone SE 2022 release was followed by lots of criticism, especially for keeping a design that is basically the same as 2014’s iPhone 6. But while it has received a lukewarm reception — 5G yay! — it may have turned the iPhone 13 even more attractive.
Apple’s recipe for the iPhone SE is simple: use the current iPhone’s hardware inside the shell of an outgoing model. The first SE (2016) reused the iPhone 5S’ design, while the second generation in 2020 did the same with the retired iPhone 8.
But despite the old looks, the processor was significantly updated, namely 2 generations forward — A7 to A9, and then A11 to A13, respectively — and that, paired with the fact that the SE is sold for more than a year, had a positive side effect in the flagship iPhone using the same SoC.
To be honest, the iPhone 6S was sold by Apple for as long as the SE (2016) was, until 2018. One year more in total than the company sold the iPhone 6 (2014-2016) — not considering the 32 GB version sold by carriers and e-tailers between 2017 and 2018.
That longer “shelf life” in my opinion, is one of the reasons why the iPhone 6S is still supported by the latest iOS version, with 7 versions (from iOS 9 to 15) at the moment. The iPhone 6, meanwhile, had 5 OS versions (8 through 12). And better not mention my daily-driver, an old Android flagship that will die after 2 updates!
One could argue that the long support was due to the processor used, but the same Apple A8 used in the iPhone 6 is still available in the “Apple TV HD” (released in 2015), and the iPad Mini 4 (2015~2019) that also used it is compatible with iPadOS 15.
Back to my argument, if the iPhone SE 2022 also gets a long commercial life, we can expect the iPhone 13 — both with the Apple A15 SoC — to also be supported for a long time. And of course, that would only be amplified if the iPhone 14 is equipped with the same SoC, something that is already circulating in the rumorsphere.
That could also be welcomed by fans of compact smartphones, since Apple is expected to keep selling the iPhone 13 mini after the 2022 models launch — without an update to the mini, according to the leakers.
Despite all the advancements in the Android ecosystem for supporting phones for longer periods, Apple is still undeniably ahead of its rivals, even Samsung. And the iPhone 13 seems to be the next candidate to be supported for 6 or 7 generations of the operating system.
Back to the SE
Besides (probably) benefitting the iPhone 13, the new SE brings some advantages to the Apple ecosystem by disappointing the critics reusing the same design. In practice, the 2022 model is compatible with a huge number of accessories in the market since 2016 (and even 2014 for some gadgets), from cases to camera adapters, and even some niche stuff.
And it still offers a performance level in daily tasks and games as good as (or better than) any Android flagship phone in the market. Just remember not to buy the wrong model…