Apple released the iPhone SE as a kind of support device for its main 6S and 6S Plus lineup, as was clear with a much different update cycle. As a result, it is not really a surprise that the phone is predicted to be one of the least successful handsets ever released by Cupertino.
The phone costs Apple only an estimated $160 to build, a whole $13 cheaper than the 5C, while retailing for $399 it leads to a profit of $239. That’s still a sizable margin, but the 5C led to a major chunk of $376 while the 5S, of which the SE is the replacement, got a mammoth $450 in profits.
Obviously, storage is a major bone of contention, and here upgrading to the 64 GB variant lends Apple an additional $89 in profits. It should be noted that these costs include only hardware and not additional costs necessary to get the device in your hands. It is estimated that the R&D costs here are a lot lower than on other Apple phones, since most of the hardware is lent from other iPhones, while the design is several years old.
The SE is the first occasion where Apple is competing in the budget category properly. If you are in the market for a high-end phone, and don’t care about the screen size (or the 3D Touch), it is perhaps the most powerful phone in the market. (Considering it mostly has 6S internals, it is one of the most powerful phones anyway.)
The phone costs Apple only an estimated $160 to build, a whole $13 cheaper than the 5C, while retailing for $399 it leads to a profit of $239.
All this wouldn’t probably put a wrinkle on the forehead of Apple executives, however. The phone has already raked a million units in sales in its first ten days, earning less than a percent in terms of market share, and is actually predicted to do well during the year than the 5S, the phone it is meant to replace. The fact that it is not the main iPhone means Apple will take whatever success it gets while we wait for the version 7 to launch.