Good move from Cupertino. The iPhone 5SE is pretty close to optimal for Apple's so-called iPhone Nano strategy (which I called for five YEARS ago). The specs are slightly upped from the 5S and 5C, so this is a 'new' phone while its superficially essentially the same body of the iPhone 5S from 3 years ago. No problem, it now adds a better camera, the Apple pay functionality to the fingerprint scanner and tons more performance as 3 years would allow. The best part is the price. As the 6 series moved up-scale in price (as I urged Apple to do) now this latest Nano is finally priced 'low enough' to create distance and gain in pricing (when the product line was initially split with 5S and 5C, the price differential was not enough to help gain market share). So the unsubsidised price for the 5SE is 399 US dollars which is significantly less than the cheapest new 6 model, starting at 649 US dollars (unsubsidised price ie price without contract bundle, the only fair way to compare actual phone prices).
Now my minor quibble is with the naming, why not make this the 6SE or 6C, but who cares, its a genuinely new iPhone, it is internally mostly a repackaged 5S with some better tech. Its thus a fair entry-level iPhone - bearing in mind, thats like calling the Boxter its entry-level model which it obviously is for Porsche but that doesn't make it the peoples' car haha. At 399 dollars unsubsidised, the cheapest iPhone is still twice as expensive as the AVERAGE smartphone globally (which would run Android obviously).
The iPhone unit sales were set to decline this year. So they (finally) rushed the iPhone Nano strategy into play (as I said, they won't do it this way until the pressure comes from the market in terms of sales having peaked). Now they finally split the launch dates for one new iPhone or iPhones in the Autumn - for Christmas sales - and the second new iPhone launch window - the Spring launch. This makes sense and helps remove the weird volatility of iPhone sales from one quarter to the next. And all this means, the iPhone will pick up significant new sales, new customers, and also modestly some market share as well. I don't anticipate Apple to return to 20% market share but something around 18% is definitely possible for this calendar year 2016. Will this iPhone 5SE cannibalize 6 series sales. No it won't. Yes, some who really HATED 'too large' size of the 6 series will now switch but that is a very slight slice of loyal iPhone owners. Most do love the larger screens. You now get the better camera and the Apple pay functionality plus various tweaks and boosts to the junior model performance. But now of course the heavily addicted iPhone owners will await the iPhone 7 for the cool stuff. This is the entry-level model to help expand Apple's reach in less affluent markets, maintain its high desirability and win new converts to the Apple cult. A very smart move, the only problem I have, is that this is exactly the strategy that I outlined five YEARS ago when Apple should have done this. But that is money left on the table, Apple has managed just about ok in the interim haha, most profitable company in human history etc.. So they didn't exploit their market perfectly? Only a strategy consultant might quibble with that haha.