Watch Apple's $249 iPhone SE clearance stock evaporate

Why not make some new ones, and see how fast those sell out?

Sixteen hours after Apple began blasting ads for a clearance sale of 2016-era iPhones—at discounts of $100 to $150 each—the phones were still available in quantity for three-day delivery.

I'll be curious how long it takes for the shelves to clear. The SE, first introduced in March 2016, was the iPhone XR of its day—a year-old model with souped-up internals.

There is no shortage of armchair CEOs telling Tim Cook that a $250 iPhone is just what Apple needs to cure what ails it in the developing world.

This could be a test of that theory. We're lacking some basic facts about the clearance sale, of course. Like where, how many, or even (so far) when the supply runs out.

It hadn't by Sunday morning. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. But if Apple next week is still trying to unload its inventory of three-year old iPhones, we'll have learned something about the great untapped market for cheap iOS devices.

UPDATE: An hour later, the ad is still there but the product seems to have disappeared. So much for that.


  1. Dan Scropos said:
    No one crunches data as well as Apple. If it makes sense for them to make a lower cost emerging markets iPhone, they will. The question is, more than likely, when. Last, and most important, Apple seems to enter markets based on timing, not panic.

    I see a low cost iPhone going into production in the next 12-24 months, when production is fully setup in India. I don’t know what their plans are, but I know their timing, if at all, will be based on far data than I have.

    January 20, 2019
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    The current SE chassis could support an edge to edge screen of about 4.8”.

    Anybody up for $649, with current Xr tech, dropping to $449 as a “new” 2 yo model?

    When I put together my iPhone model progression chart I envisioned this model for FY2021 when the iPhone 8 disappears from Apple’s iPhone offerings.

    January 20, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:
    This may be a good time for Apple to start the clock for end of support for phones using the A9 chip. Apple can flush inventory and maybe take a GM hit for the quarter we’re in, so that they set up nice comparisons for future quarters.

    Agree with Jeff and Gregg that it’s time for more modern small format low-end iPhones.

    January 20, 2019
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      I didn’t say I thought Apple should do it, I envisaged it is all. Like many I don’t always agree with what Apple does, but if Apple does it’s because Apple’s data is better than mine.

      January 20, 2019

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