Earlier this week at Apple’s campus in Cupertino, the company announced a brand-new iPhone. The heavens didn’t part, pop bands didn’t play, and people aren’t camping out at Apple Stores to buy the thing. It was a subdued launch, for a smaller, mid-cycle phone that looks exactly like a phone from 2013.
But don’t let its unspectacular rollout or its throwback design fool you: Apple knows exactly what it’s doing with the $399 iPhone SE. It’s a shiny little fishing lure for first-time iPhone buyers or people who feel overdue for an upgrade. Those people might be tempted by the many good Android phones that can be had for less than $400, and Apple is taking them on more directly than it ever has before.