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The problem with the 'iPhone SE killed the Pixel 4a' argument


Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to bid farewell to a promising young phone whose life was taken from us far too soon.

The Pixel 4a was seen as being one of the most promising, exciting new Android phones of the coming year, thanks to the combination of affordable price and exceptional user experience it was believed to possess. But sadly, we may never know for sure, as the Pixel 4a is evidently now dead before it even arrived. Excuse me whilst I blow my snoot.

Jeepers creepers, what a senseless waste of digital life. That’s the takeaway you might’ve been left with after reading the internet’s interpretation of last week’s iPhone SE launch, anyway. But I’m here to tell you that the whole “iPhone SE killed the Pixel 4a” narrative is a bunch of sensational ballyhoo, and you’d be well-advised to disregard that entire argument and put your eulogy on hold.

We’ll get to why in a moment. First, the iPhone SE, in case you’ve been hunkering down in a foam-filled bunker with your ears plugged for the past several days, is Apple’s magical and revolutionary new $400 phone that looks vaguely like it came out in 2009. Appearances aside, the phone has some impressive internals — most notably the same A13 Bionic Super-Duper-Magic-Awesome-Work-of-Art processor that’s present in the high-end iPhone 11 — and it’s selling for a mere 399 shekels.

iPhone SEApple

The alleged murderer, as seen in an early booking photo.

That sort of pricing is practically unheard of for a company that hawks a $700 set of wheels for its $6,000 computer with nary a wink nor nudge involved, and there’s certainly something to be said for its sudden presence in the Apple gallery. So, yes: The iPhone SE will undoubtedly be a welcome addition for the iPhone-adoring crowd — no question there. But whatever you want to say about the device itself and its appeal for the Apple faithful, it’s hard not to cringe from the parade of headlines trying to tie the phone’s arrival to the alleged “death” of Google’s upcoming midrange device — the aforementioned Pixel 4a we were prematurely mourning a moment ago.

Maybe you’ve seen some of em — headlines like:

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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