Why are iPhones very cheap

iPhone SE just a compromise: Why can Apple offer the device so cheaply?

Either a device offers high performance and costs accordingly, or the manufacturer uses inferior components and thus keeps the price low. However, the iPhone SE is an exception and impresses with great performance and a small price. How did Apple do it? The magic word is probably: "Recycling".

iPhone SE: New and old hardware combined

If you go by age, then the display is probably the oldest component in the new iPhone SE. Without 3D Touch, it is almost identical to that of the iPhone 6 - at least in terms of resolution and size. However, Apple has increased the brightness from 500 nits to 625 nits since 2014 and also added True Tone technology, which is controlled via sensors above the display. The use of the older display was likely to have been an important cost factor, as the display is one of the most expensive components.

The cameras can also be expensive. Apple therefore took it from the iPhone 7 from 2016. This applies to both the rear camera with 12 MP f / 1.8 and the 7 MP front camera with an aperture of f / 2.2. However, thanks to minor hardware and software tricks, the new camera provides more functions and better recordings. More on that in a moment.

"The iPhone SE is just an iPhone 8 with a new chip"

Unfortunately, the new entry-level model has to put up with this accusation, as both are visually very similar. This is mainly due to the fact that Apple used the 2017 model for the case and that it has the same dimensions down to the last millimeter.

If you take all this into account and then see the price of the iPhone SE, you can still ask yourself whether Apple's other devices are not very overpriced after all. You can only see the difference on the back. Apple has positioned the Apple logo in the middle instead of at the top on the new iPhone models.

Since the old components are now available in the millions and some of them can even be recovered from the recycling programs, Apple was able to significantly reduce costs. However, one part is really new: the A13 Bionic. With the chip, which is also used in the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple can significantly increase the performance and functions of the iPhone SE despite old components. In the case of cameras, for example, it allows functions such as Smart HDR, portrait photos and QuickTake video. At the same time, it guarantees the device long-term software support.

While the iPhone SE has an almost unbeatable price, one question naturally arises: How can it be that Apple can't offer the other models a little cheaper?