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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren for Macworld

The smaller iPhone SE could be a really big deal

By far the biggest rumor about Apple’s upcoming event–and, I suppose, simultaneously the smallest–is the so-called iPhone SE (and may we hope that it will return some sanity, in the form of capital letters, to iPhone model names?). The supposed 4-inch iPhone would mark the first time that the company would go back to an iPhone with a smaller screen.

But the iPhone SE is significant for a larger, more strategic reason, too. The overall market is changing. Smartphones are selling well, no question, but growth has slowed: One only has to look at the nearly 75 million iPhones sold in the first quarter of 2016–but that number was basically flat compared to the quarter one year before.

Some think this signals “peak iPhone,” an idea that I don’t think is really relevant unless you’re a hardcore investor. But as the modern smartphone industry (and, by no coincidence, the iPhone itself) nears the decade mark, I think the more salient point is that the smartphone market has matured.

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