There's been a lot of dithering over the subject of the iPhone SE, Apple's latest handset and a return to the 4in form factor aimed at catering to fans of compact devices, and the older Apple style. Reviews and opinions seems fairly mixed, with some saying its a great little phone, while others bemoan it has a half-fat iPhone; but what's just as confusing is the mixed reports regarding sales, shipments, and the general public reception, again, some say it's selling like hotcakes, while others claim it's sitting on shelves (so to speak). Well, the latest batch of reports are actually corroborating and suggest than in fact the iPhone SE is selling quite well, but apparently it is doing its best sales performance in certain regions, while others are not so hot for it.
The first report comes via Forbes, which observes that on Apple's official webstore lead-times in the US and China for orders handsets on various networks are consistently spanning between 2-3 weeks, suggesting that demand for the smaller handset is quite robust as Apple can't quite keep up with orders. The report goes on to look at the correlation between this and earlier iPhone launches, the iPhone SE performance in the timespan since launch seems to closely fit with the iPhone 5s; a 2-3 week lead time three weeks since launch. Within this context - lead-time on orders after three weeks of sales - strongest demand on record for an iPhone was the iPhone 6 Plus with a 3-4 week lead-time, compared to the 7-10 day lead time on the contemporary iPhone 6. The iPhone 6s saw a lead-time of 3-5 days while the iPhone 6s Plus was 2-3 weeks.
The timing of Apple's iPhone SE launch means it is going to be difficlt to fully analyse the handset's impact until later in the year, it's expected it won't show up as any kind of significant contribution until the April-June Q3 report.
Focusing in on the location-based performance, however, Localytics has published a report showing the uptake of the iPhone SE has been stronger in certain world regions and markets. Adoption is reportedly higher in some European markets, specifically the UK and France; with an adoption rate of 1% - the handset experienced the same performance in non-European markets including Canada and Hong Kong. However, adoption rates are broadly lower compared to equivalent figures for the iPhone 6s/iPhone 6 series, iPhone 5s and even the iPhone 5c.
Overall the reports would indicate that the iPhone SE has been something of a slow burner to begin with, leading everyone to think it was becoming a flop. However, things do appear to be picking up, slowly but surely, it will certainly be interesting to see Q3 reports for the actual results.