The iPhone SE was one of the older devices that were originally pulled from the market in September, in time for the release of Apple's new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. With little to no fanfare, Apple has reportedly brought the SE back to its online store and is again selling the device brand new, albeit at a substantial discount.
According to MacRumors, Apple is now selling the iPhone SE on its clearance store, with the 32 GB variant selling for $249 and the 128 GB edition priced at $299. These represent discounts of $100 and $150 respectively for the two versions, which sold for $349 and $449 right before the SE was pulled late last year. As further noted, all SE units currently being sold in the clearance store are available unopened and brand new and do not come with any carrier restrictions.
Per Business Insider, the iPhone SE isn't listed as a clearance item in the U.K. version of Apple's online store, thus likely making this offer exclusive to U.S. customers.
The iPhone SE was first released in March 2016 as a lower-priced alternative for device owners who preferred the smaller form factors Apple did away with when it released the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in 2014. Aside from the aforementioned storage options, the device comes with a 4-inch Retina display, an A9 processor, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a headphone jack, and a Touch ID fingerprint reader. The SE is being offered in silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold color options, and will be available via delivery or in-store pickup by next week.The news of the iPhone SE's return to Apple's online store as a clearance item comes amid numerous reports of lackluster iPhone sales in the aftermath of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR's release. Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company will be lowering its revenue guidance for the first fiscal quarter (October to December 2018) to $84 billion, citing reasons such as an unexpected lack of iPhone upgrades and the weakening of China's economy in the second half of 2018.
While Apple did not explain its decision to bring the iPhone SE back, MacRumors speculated that the reasons might have less to do with the company's soft iPhone sales and more to do with a desire to liquidate remaining inventory. Still, the publication added that the phone remains Apple's only option for consumers who want a smaller, more affordable iPhone, as market analysts had previously expressed skepticism regarding the possibility that the company will be releasing a newer version of the SE.