Tech News

The iPhone SE Is a Huge Disappointment, Apple Thinks Old PCs Are Sad… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 22-03-2016

Apple surprises no one with the iPhone SE, Apple thinks owning an old PC is “sad,” Spotify boasts 30 million subscribers, Microsoft considers buying back digital games, and Liam is the robot that hates iPhones.


The New Old New iPhone SE

Yesterday, as it’s prone to do every six months or so, Apple held a press event to show off its latest wares. The company launched several new products, including a new, smaller, iPad Pro, a bunch of new Apple Watch Apple Watch Review & Giveaway The new Apple thing is finally out, but everyone was talking about the Apple Watch long before it was officially announced. Starting at $349 - we take a look, and have TWO to give away! Read More bands, iOS 9.3, and, most notably, the iPhone SE. Which is a modern example of the emperor’s new clothes if ever I saw it.

The iPhone SE is the latest iPhone likely to grace the pockets of Apple fanboys and fangirls around the world. It has very similar specs to the iPhone 6S, but in a package that closely resembles the iPhone 5 iPhone 5 Review and Giveaway On 21 September 2012, people all over the world queued up for the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone -- the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 is the fastest, largest, thinnest and lightest... Read More from 2012. This is… odd, to say the least, and the lower starting price of $399 isn’t enough to save it from scathing criticism.

Some technology sites are lapping it up, describing this as a stroke of genius that will help Apple shift millions of iPhones in new territories. That may well be true, so from a purely business point of view the iPhone SE is a solid product. However, in the bigger scheme of things this new iPhone reveals a company that’s completely run out of ideas.

A 4-inch screen isn’t big enough for gaming, editing video (4K or otherwise), or any of the other things people do with modern smartphones. Which is why Apple followed the herd and went bigger in the first place. Apple is talking the iPhone SE up as being better than the iPhone 5s, but of course it is, as three years have passed since the latter was released!

And then there’s the name, which apparently stands for “Special Edition”, taking Apple down the path once reserved for Android handsets. The iPhone SE will sell, especially in emerging markets, but unless the iPhone 7 blows the competition out of the water when it’s launched later this year, it’s another sign that Apple’s innovative side died with Steve Jobs iRead: 7 Books About Steve Jobs All Apple Fans Should Own We have selected the best books written about Steve Jobs and Apple. These seven tomes provide all the information on Jobs you'll need to know, and a lot more besides. Read More .


Apple Brands Owners of Old PCs “Sad”

Apple has suggested it’s “sad” that so many people are using PCs more than five years old. The jokey slamming of 600 million people came from Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller. He was shilling (obviously!) the new iPad Pro, and suggesting most existing iPad Pro owners Why The iPad Pro Isn't Just A Bigger iPad If you think the new iPad Pro is "just a bigger iPad", you're wrong. It's a new way of iPad-ing. Read More formerly used a Windows PC, when he said:

“Windows PCs were originally conceived of before there was an Internet, before there was social media, before there was app stores, and this is an amazing statistic: There are over 600 million PCs in use today that are over five years old. This is really sad. It really is.”

Is it? Really? There are all sorts of reasons people could be using 5-year-old+ PCs. They may not be able to afford anything newer, they may have upgraded the internal components Which Upgrades Will Improve Your PC Performance the Most? Need a faster computer but aren't sure what you should upgrade on your PC? Follow our PC upgrade checklist to find out. Read More , they may prefer legacy equipment to the current crop of products, or they may simply be happy with the computer they currently use. And at least they’re not contributing to the environmental disaster being caused by our over-consumption of electronic goods. That’s not sad, it’s sensible.

Spotify Claims 30 Million Subscribers

It appears that Spotify Spotify Your Music Collection: The End Of iTunes Spotify is no longer content to just compete with radio, now they're competing with the idea of even owning music. Read More has quietly passed the 30 million paying subscribers milestone, with Daniel Ek, the founder of the music streaming service, tweeting the news. Ek was reacting to U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba, suggesting that the relationship could be a good thing for his company.


As noted by The Verge, in 2014, Spotify had 10 million paying subscribers, and in 2015 it had 20 million. So, if these numbers are correct, it suggests the Spotify bandwagon is rolling on regardless of the competition provided by Apple Music Getting Started With Apple Music — What You Need to Know After the purchase of Beats last year, Apple has finally unleashed its streaming music service upon the world. Read More , Jay Z’s Tidal Why Jay Z's Tidal Music Streaming Service is Doomed to Fail Jay Z recently relaunched Tidal, the music streaming service he acquired for $56 million. Tidal has 99 problems, and the pitch is one. Read More , and others.

Microsoft Might Buy Your Old Xbox Games


Microsoft might be considering a scheme whereby it buys back digital games once you have finished with/got bored of them. The catch? The company would only offer 10 percent of the price you paid for the game, and then only in store credit to spend on other games.

This is according to a new “Xbox Customer Survey” from Microsoft which appeared on Reddit (via NeoGAF). It asks:


“If the digital games store for the console you owned offered customers the option to “sell back” their digital games to the store for 10% of the purchase price in store credit, would you be interested in such an offer?”

This is, of course, a terrible deal for gamers, but then as it stands right now you cannot sell digital games on at all. Microsoft is clearly banking on people accepting that something is better than nothing. Or you could continue buying games on disc Why Used Games Are Not Evil [Opinion] As a casual gamer I rarely buy brand new games. The number I've ever bought on launch day can be counted on one hand, though GTA V will be added to that short list soon.... Read More , allowing you to make some money back when you’re done with them.

Liam Rips Apart Old iPhones

And finally, as part of its environmental initiative, Apple has revealed Liam. Liam being a robot whose sole job is to dissemble old iPhones, stripping out the gold, lithium, copper, silver, platinum, and other key ingredients of which we only have a finite supply.

It’s important to note that while Liam is doing a fine job, Apple could still do better in terms of wasting important resources Thou Shalt Consume: The Story of Consumer Electronics [Feature] Every year, exhibitions around the world present new high tech devices; expensive toys that come with many promises. They aim to make our lives easier, more fun, super connected, and of course they are status... Read More . Building a business reliant on people upgrading every year or two despite their current handset being perfectly functional is the real problem here.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you likely to buy an iPhone SE? Do you own a PC more than five years old? Which music streaming service do you subscribe to? Would you sell a digital game for 10% of its original price? What do you think of Liam?


Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Related topics: Apple, iPhone, Microsoft, PC, Recycling, Robotics, Spotify, Xbox One.

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  1. shakeada
    April 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    think you for that comment

  2. shakeada
    April 19, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    why would someone leave this app it is so fun

  3. shakeada
    April 19, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    are you my friend

  4. shakeada
    April 19, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    what are you going to do about it

  5. shakeada
    April 19, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    what does that mean

  6. adedo
    April 16, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Jimmy,

    You mad good objective good points, Apple is a business and before you try to innovate listen to your current customers and the Iphone SE is a response to that.

    In the real sense of genius innovator was Steve really one? as most of the stuffs he helped bring about where already present one way of the other, I think it was his personality and charisma that greatly helped make them a success.

    Technology has evolved and the competition is catching up or has caught up fast with Apple, for example Samsung the Master copist...

    To remember people were bringing ideas to Steve...

    I wasn't a big fan of Apple but I came to accept that their products work even after years and their value do not decline that steeply.

    • shakeada
      April 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      hi are you my friend

  7. Nickos
    April 7, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Apple has been losing it more and more. And Microsoft has been getting better and better. Was using a Macbook and iPhone but cant see the value anymore. Microsoft offers MORE with LESS.

  8. Anonymous
    March 26, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    "That’s not sad, it’s sensible."
    No. It is sad, if you're Apple. It is sad because Fruitco cannot get even a small percentage of those 600 million to switch to an Apple product.

    "it’s another sign that Apple’s innovative side died with Steve Jobs."
    There may be innovators and visionaries at Apple but unfortunately they are not in policy-making positions so their innovation and visions are wasted.

  9. ZaZa
    March 23, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    That iphone 5 SE rant sounds almost like a hate review. Its a good product with present day specs, And I for one like the smaller screen for one handed use.

    • Anonymous
      March 26, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      " Its a good product with present day specs"
      And that is the problem with it. It's not a revolutionary product. It's not an evolutionary product. It's not even incremental. It is an old product that has been updated to present day specs. A lot more is expected from a company that gave the world the iPhone, iPod, iPad and MacBook Air. Apple is being run by bean-counters who are more interested in the bottom line and keeping the cash hoard off-shore than in innovation. The company is returning to the days of John Sculley and Gil Amelio. Jobs must be spinning in his grave.

  10. Anonymous
    March 23, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    From The Immortal Words Of A Famous Pizza Guy:

    > Im-a-so-sad.


  11. Jimmy
    March 23, 2016 at 4:02 am

    The iPhone SE is apples response to many people who want a new phone with a one handed screen. It's not a stroke of genius. It's not a sign they are out of ideas. It's a sign they are wisely listening to their customers.

    Schiller is only one part of apple. And he is an arrogant marketing guy for sure. But he's an arrogant marketing guy in an industry that's overflowing with arrogant marketing guys. He's taking jabs at the competition who are busy taking jabs at him. Let em. Who cares.

    I am quite happy with my iPhone 6s Plus and (in about a year) my 5 year old PC. Beyond that, I really don't give a crap about the companies who made them, or the bizarre things their leaders say.