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Daily Authority: ❌ New iPhone SE gets it wrong

What Apple announced and what was wrong about the iPhone SE 2022, plus all the tech news you need to know, today!

Published onMarch 9, 2022

iPhone SE 2022

☕ Good morning! Back in Berlin and enjoying homemade coffee again.

iPhone SE 2022: No

iPhone SE 2022

I was a big fan of the iPhone SE 2020 as a great option for nabbing an iPhone on a budget.

With what Apple announced yesterday, I’m simply not a fan of the new iPhone SE 2022 and could only recommend it for a very small niche.

What was announced:

  • Apple announced the latest iPhone SE will be $429, with a new A15 Bionic processor, same color options (don’t be fooled by fancy names), same screen, same Touch ID login, same size, same camera*.
  • The differences are: 5G connectivity, but only sub-6GHz, not mmWave, and battery life: now up to Apple’s impossible-to-quantify 15 hours of playback, up from 13 hours.
  • One of the worst things to stay the same is the 64GB storage default, too.
  • *Camera hardware is the same, but software changes have advanced the platform including adding Portrait mode, and Smart HDR 4.
  • So, the guts of this iPhone are from the iPhone 8 in 2017. Yet, Apple is charging $30 more.

Why I can’t:

  • The problem here is Apple charging more for what’s basically a specs bump that it should’ve incorporated.
  • Ignoring the A15 chip, these specs are so average that it’s obvious Apple’s margin is enormous. It should’ve lowered the price, or maintained it. Raising the price for what is effectively a currently limited 5G experience just doesn’t do it for me.
  • The benefits of 5G will only be seen properly later. US carriers have spent $100B on 5G and yet it just hasn’t impacted consumers in a meaningful way.
  • And, 5G modems draw more power, so how this affects overall battery life will be interesting.
  • As for the chip, the A15 Bionic is great and all, and adds longevity to the platform, but the A13 Bionic in the previous iPhone SE was already easily sufficient for the hardware. It’s in the iPhone 11. The iPhone 11 is still excellent.
  • Anyway, I’m disappointed, for the first time in years, at this Apple iPhone.
  • I’ve been delighted each time Apple announces a new iPhone at the same price, or even cuts its prices, since they are the default for so many people, and serves to keep people in Apple’s very-very high margin ecosystem.
  • Unfortunately, Apple retaining the 64GB storage option as the default does nothing to soothe the headache this phone’s giving me. Almost anyone who takes photos, videos, has apps, and downloads media to watch offline, needs 128GB storage or above.
  • Grabbing the 128GB version, which is the only one you should recommend to anyone, means this is a $480 phone.
  • The best Android competitors here are the likes of the Pixel 5a ($450 but has been on sale) and the Samsung Galaxy A52 ($450). Both are much bigger and brighter devices, with better cameras and more photography versatility, faster charging, long-term Android support, IP rating, and solid battery life.


In good news, the rest of what Apple announced looked far more competitive and interesting.

In brief:

  • As expected, Apple didn’t pull the trigger yet on an M2 chip, but the M1 Ultra showing modularity by combining two chips looks extremely competitive for Apple in the long term.
  • The iPad Air 5 getting an M1 chip shows the future of the iPad and Apple retained the iPad Air price point (unlike the iPhone SE!)
  • The Mac Studio will be a default choice for plenty of folks looking at high-end solutions for design/photography/video work (Gizmodo).
  • And the same goes for the Studio Display, which is $1,600 but will tick a lot of boxes. Only the $400 height-adjustment element looks outrageous at the price, but that’s the Apple we all know!


🏆 Ahem: The best-selling smartphones of 2021 are mostly Apple phones, with the top Android phone the Samsung A12. The iPhone SE 2020 was in 8th spot. (Android Authority).

👉 A Samsung FAQ answers questions about throttling in Galaxy S22 and other flagships via controversial GOS. Once the choice comes through, I’d be leaving GOS on if it were my S22! (Android Authority).

👏 2015’s Fairphone 2 now has a new stable Android update — hats off again to FairPhone (Android Authority).

🙅‍♀️ iPhone SE and iPad Air don’t offer fastest mmWave 5G (MacRumors).

🍎 Apple also launched a green iPhone 13 which looks nice, and a black trackpad(The Verge).

🧠 Extensive study finds small drop in brain volume after COVID-19, especially in the olfactory system. Read the more soothing words at the end though for a broad perspective (MedScape).

😢 ‘I’m the operator’: The aftermath of the Uber self-driving tragedy, with the human behind the wheel speaking in an interview (Wired). Tough read.

👉 Twitter Bot exposes Gender Pay Gap of companies tweeting about International Women’s Day (CNET).

📺 Why are streaming services full of stories on grifters, like The Tinder Swindler or Inventing Anna? (Wired).

🍿 “Can I walk into a movie theater just to buy popcorn?” (r/nostupidquestions).

Weirdness Wednesday

rubber duck 2014 JO25

Been wondering why asteroids roaming our solar system or beyond are so weird? You’re not the only one. See the rubber ducky known as 2014 JO25.

LiveScience has more:

  • A rubber duck. A spinning top. A pair of pancakes. These are just a few of the shapes astronomers have observed across the solar system.
  • While planets and moons are round, due to gravity, asteroids don’t have enough stuff to really cause gravitational attraction that would pull everything to a middle and shape a sphere.
  • The asteroids Bennu and Ryugu, meanwhile, are roughly diamond-shaped rather than round, and Bennu and Ryugu “are rubble piles,” said Alessondra Springmann, a researcher who studies asteroids at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona. “They are just piles of gravel.”


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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