What about this year? As expected, iPhone XR tops XS and XS Max because you get most of the same functionality, similar quality, and it’s priced about $250 less. Wait. What? iPhone XR? How can that be more popular than iPhone SE which sells out in minutes after Apple finds another palette hidden away somewhere in China?
Alright, what’s the difference between, say, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and the incredibly popular iPhone SE?
First, size. SE is tiny by comparison. Second, quality. SE has a lesser display, lesser camera, lesser size, and lesser everything, including price tag. Yet, they all run iOS 12.x, and they all have similar functionality; applications, utilities, games, cloud storage, blah blah.
So, why does Nick Statt write this?
The iPhone SE is the best minimalist phone right now
Say what? Wouldn’t a minimalist phone be, well, just a phone. And how minimalist is iPhone SE if it runs the same apps as iPhone XS Max at more than $1,000 more?
If you use it right
Uh, OK. Let’s see. If you use iPhone SE as just a phone; that’s minimalist, right? And you use an iPhone XS Max as just a phone (to keep this minimalist thing comparable between two devices), then the only real difference is size, right?
Small is beautiful. Less is more. Minimalism is smaller?
Nick bought an iPhone SE before Apple’s stock ran out.
Purely because I want to pop my nano SIM into it on nights and weekends when I don’t want the full, 5.8-inch iPhone XS screen taunting me to open Instagram and Twitter two dozen times in an any given hour.
Uh, let me get this straight. In order not to be bugged by all the notifications we cultivate on our iPhones, let’s buy another one to use instead, presumably with fewer notification. I’m sure Apple likes that idea, but it seems a bit extreme if you’re trying to avoid distractions.
Do. Not. Disturb.
I want the phone to function mostly as a phone, instead of as the always half-open window into a digital life I’d rather leave behind when I shut my laptop down every evening.
More broadly, I’m trying to figure out if the problem is mostly me, or mostly my device and the apps I use.
Maybe you have too much money.
Well, the SE is first and foremost going to be my second phone.
Like the Mincey Summer Plantation in The Hamptons.
It will be an object with a tightly controlled experience centered on a singular notion of unplugging, as best as someone can unplug in 2019.
But you’re not unplugging.
It won’t have my work email, it won’t have Fortnite or Holedown, and it most certainly will not have Twitter. (I’m more partial to Instagram for the sole reason that it is a more pleasant place to spend time than any of the other popular digital spaces available to me.)
Do Not Disturb and Screen Time can work in tandem, of course, but I see a future setting or utility in Settings which has what I call User Periods. Uh, no. That’s not right. Jesse just told me that’s a poor choice of words.
How about Time Blocks™; sections of time during a day where we can allow certain apps to be used and certain notifications to arrive, but other periods where nothing happens except the phone?
Apple’s Screen Time can now serve a new and more vital role: telling me whether I really need the best and most expensive iPhone, and all the most eyeball-grabbing mobile apps, to feel fulfilled and informed and up to date. My guess is that even if I slip up and use my SE less than I’d like, it’ll still be comforting to know I can turn the volume down on my digital life whenever I like.
I sense a growing fear of MOFO among members of the technorati elite politburo. Fear Of Missing Out.