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iPhone SE helping to convert Android users to iOS

Earlier this month, Apple unveiled its first 4-inch iPhone since 2013. Sales data seems to show that the new device is more appealing to Android users than the alternative, larger iPhones.

Data from Slice Intelligence has revealed that although the number of people who bought the iPhone SE on its launch weekend was small compared to previous iPhone launches, a higher proportion of customers were new to the iPhone. 16% of those who bought the iPhone SE were replacing an Android device, whereas just 10% of iPhone 6s buyers were moving from the rival smartphone platform.

This is not especially surprising, considering the iPhone SE is aimed at the more general user and perhaps less likely to attract hardcore Apple fans. We suspect the device will be a solid seller all-year round, with less of a sales spike on launch weekend than main iPhone releases tend to get. Without brand new features or design, there’s less incentive to grab one as soon as possible. Still, it’s a promising early sign that offering a 4-inch iPhone may appeal beyond Apple’s existing consumer pool.

The data set also indicates that iPhone SE buyers are a different demographic from the regular Apple customers: “they’re older, less educated, and surprisingly, more male.” It’s also interesting to note that almost half (49%) of SE buyers hadn’t bought a phone of any kind in the past two years, compared to 40% for iPhone 6s owners. Perhaps that additional 9% is all the people still on the iPhone 5s who were holding out for another small-screen iPhone?

One final point is that comparatively, the iPhone SE has not sold a huge amount at all on launch weekend. Just 3% of the sales figures clocked up by the iPhone 6 at launch. Although, the highly successful iPhone 6s only managed 54% of those figures at its launch last Fall. Perhaps the public only really care about a new device with a new numbered release and a new design. We’ll have to wait until the iPhone 7 comes out later this year to be sure.