The first weekend for Apple’s new smaller devices has come to an end. Both the iPhone SE and the 9.7 inch iPad Pro have received positive industry reviews, but we wanted to see if consumers reacted in the same fashion. We also wanted to see how the first weekend for these devices compared to their predecessors. Apple took a chance releasing smaller devices out of cycle - did it pay off?
iPhone SE - Lackluster Adoption in First Weekend
After one full weekend on sale, the iPhone SE managed to grab only 0.1% of the iPhone market, as measured by device adoption:
The new phone was unable to take away the iPhone 5’s share, the model it most closely resembled, suggesting that small-screen lovers have not yet been convinced to upgrade from their 5 models to the new iPhone SE. While the 5S, 5 and 5C all lost market share compared to two weeks ago (by 1 percentage point each), the 6, 6S and 6S Plus all gained share (by 1 percentage point for the 6 and 6S Plus and 3 percentage points for the 6S). The increase in share for the larger screen phones could be due to the deals many retailers, including Walmart, are having this month.
The iPhone SE was never a device that was going to attract early adopters. Both the look and features of the new device have been done before, so early adopters likely disregarded this model from the start. Supporting this view is the fact that the new phone did not attract long lines this weekend, and many stores were reporting 90% availability of the new device.
Additionally, the iPhone SE also had the lowest adoption in the first weekend of its availability compared to the iPhone 5S and all the “6” models.
The larger screen models and the iPhone 5S all had better opening weekends than the iPhone SE. In 2013, the iPhone 5S captured .9% of the Apple iPhone market in its first weekend of sales. Even the larger “Plus” models released in 2014 and 2015 (the 6 Plus and 6S Plus) fared better than the SE, at .3% each compared to the SE’s .1%.
For the non-early adopters, the demand for the SE could grow steadily as upgrades become available. Because the features are largely the same as the previous two years’ models, the SE doesn’t exactly scream “Buy me now!” Consumers who want the smaller SE phone may be waiting until their annual upgrade.
Only time will tell if consumers really wanted a smaller screen or if there is just another device for consumers (and companies) to manage during an already tumultuous time for mobile.
New iPad Pro - Steady Performer During First Weekend of Availability
The new 9.7 inch iPad Pro is the same size and weight as the iPad Air 2 but similar to the iPad Pro in features and hardware. As it turns out, the 9.7 inch iPad Pro performed very similar to these two models in their first weekends of sales, grabbing 0.4% adoption within the tablet market (compared to .4% in 2014 for the iPad Air 2 and .3% for 2015’s iPad Pro).
The new iPad has been well received, suggesting that there is potential for this model to make a long-term impact on the iPhone tablet market. A model that is easy to transport, but also provides top-notch performance, could be what tablet users have been looking for.