The cheap iPhone still does not exist and never may

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I have seen a few individuals celebrate the arrival of “a cheap iPhone” after Apple’s announcement of the iPhone SE. If anyone thinks that a $399 smartphone is cheap, then they probably have no idea of what cheap is.

cheap iPhone se phones

Cheap is that $100 Android smartphone. Cheap is that $150 Windows 10 Mobile smartphone. $399 is not cheap. $399 is a whopping N80,000 to N120,000, depending on the exchange rate that you use. That is very, very far from cheap. That is the cost of the 16GB version of iPhone SE. The 64GB version costs $499. That is N100,000 to N150,000, again depending on the prevailing exchange rate.

As I have argued in the past, the chances of a cheap smartphone from Apple are very, very slim. It is just not in the Apple DNA to do cheap. The day will likely never come when we shall see an iPhone that costs $150. If it ever happens, wake me up from my cryogenic chamber.


  1. Horses for courses – you get what you pay for. What’s the comparable spec’d Windows Phone or Android to the 5E? Do you buy new or used?

    I haven’t bought a brand new phone in years. The issue matters I guess to those who don’t have a preference of OS nor a price.

  2. /You get what you pay for/

    No, with Apple you don’t get what you pay for.

    What you get is a lot of hype, which is not what a smartphone is about.

  3. I have to keep telling you, and will never tire of saying, people have options, choosing something that doesn’t appeal to you doesn’t make it a bad choice.

    Whether one chooses Innjoo, Gionee, Tecno, or prefers Umi, Lava and Micromax, or swears by LG, HTC Sony, Samsung, iPhone or Microsoft, it’s not for you and I to rubbish it simply because our rationale for “value for money” differs. It’s all about options and preference for the buyer. After all it’s their money.

    Smartphones are about hype, otherwise why advertise it or promote a brand? Ever bought a device from a brand that wasn’t hyped even if by the person telling you about it? And how did they hear about it? Hype sells phones. Heck, it’s worked for Samsung and Apple to date!

  4. Apple doesn’t do cheap,their USP is as a premium brand,going cheap dilutes their brand and take away the wow factor,if you want cheap try Android or Windows..

  5. “What you get is a lot of hype, which is not what a smartphone is about.”

    Hype! That my bro is what you pay for. Heck! Most Nigerians buy iPhones for the hype and to show off. So yes! You are getting what you paid for.

  6. On the surface, it looks “cheap” until you do your conversion, but then it hits you. There’s no way 120k is cheap unless if it’s for a car, powerbike or house rent! 🙂

  7. And that is why, dear Joel, you cannot compare all iPhone owners based on the Nigeria experience. Most people in Europe and North America who own an iPhone are oblivious to the Nigerian status symbol that the iPhone is.

    At the end of the day, people have the choice to buy or go to another market. Apple never has, and it would be safe to say never will, sell cheap phones – at least for those who buy their phones outright.

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