iPhone SE is Apple's best uninteresting phone

A rumor about the 2017 iPhone lineup has us recall our iPhone SE review and the reasons why this phone has staying power. In that review by Chris Davies, it's mentioned that in this device is a reason for iPhone 5s (and earlier) owners to upgrade. Not because the iPhone SE is better than Apple's alternatives, but because the device fills a hole not addressed by any other phone company today.

Millions of people around the world own an iPhone, and we're currently at a place where most countries are several generations deep. Apple has made the iPhone available in most places for several years now, going back to the original in many major countries. For people who keep their smartphone in good, working condition out of necessity, a 2-year cycle isn't always realistic.

SEE: our full iPhone SE Review

If someone is strapped for cash and cannot afford all the amenities upper-class citizens take for granted, they don't just buy inexpensive goods. The smartphone is one of the few places that most people are willing to spend large amounts of money on themselves. The smartphone is a personal device to such a degree that it affects the way people feel about themselves and their social and economic situations.

The iPhone is a status symbol, not unlike a flashy piece of clothing or a piece of shiny jewelry. Apple has cultivated this perception since the inception of the iPhone, making sure that the iPhone is inextricably tied to the world of smartphones in the minds of the public. Because of that, the iPhone SE is a perfect candidate for several types of people.

People who have little income but want to splurge on one product will be most likely to do so on a smartphone if a smartphone is an essential part of their life. As Apple remains the brand most commonly associated with smartphone ubiquity, the iPhone SE stays the most reasonable device to buy. The iPhone SE is best for people who want the Apple logo as a status symbol but need to spend as little cash as they can to get it.

To a lesser degree, the iPhone SE fills the void left by all other smartphone companies moving toward larger screens. People unexcited by the idea of getting a new smartphone because their old iPhone 5's display broke are comforted by this old design with new innards. The iPhone SE is perfect for people who still use smartphones the way Apple foresaw smartphones being used back in 2007.

It would not be surprising if Apple continued to sell the iPhone SE for another year with the same hardware it uses now. People who prefer this old design don't often know the difference between a processor from last year. To them, a new smartphone is good if it works better than the one they're getting rid of.

The iPhone SE is an iPhone in the most basic sense of the brand. It has an Apple logo on it and it runs apps – and it has a couple of cameras. People can text and send messages, make phone calls, and feel like they've got their life together. Because even if it's an iPhone SE, it's still an iPhone.

And even when everything else in a person's life is falling apart, they can still feel comforted by the idea that they have an iPhone, brand name and all.