# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future


  1. Introduction
  2. Thought on Exynos and the new Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
  3. Lenovo ThinkBook Plus
  4. iPhone SE


In recent years, all the brightest in the field of consumer electronics has occurred in the field of smartphones. Many changes are imperceptible, since the appearance of the smartphone was formally mothballed around 2009/10. Such is the tile with the screen. Experience shows that this design is the most user-friendly. By the way, from time to time I meet in the comments those who say that they say they use the device of 2014 and do not see any difference with the new models at all. Recent experience has slightly highlighted why many people overlook the difference. One of my friends has such an elderly flagship, and so we talked with him on video. You can not talk about the quality of the picture from the camera. My smartphone gave a good result regardless of the difficult light in the room. The picture from the friend’s smartphone left much to be desired. During the conversation, I walked around the kitchen and cooked, and the smartphone was on the table. You could hear me perfectly. And this is logical, since my phone has several microphones directed in different directions. In the end, my friend had to put on a headset, because even when he was just sitting in front of the phone, the sound was so-so. As a result of the communication, the comrade remained unconvinced that his apparatus was as good as mine. In general, he does not experience any problems. This is an absolutely correct remark, since I experienced all the problems: a gray mess instead of a picture, an indistinct sound, a freeze of the image when it went to the browser, since the device does not support the “picture-in-picture” mode, etc.

Although, in general, I understand my friend. Smartphones have become ordinary electronics, like televisions or refrigerators. Yes, new TVs or modular refrigerators from Samsung are awesome. But why change if the current refrigerator works well too, right?

Thought on Exynos and the new Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Here the new Galaxy Tab S6 Lite was published. Suddenly, the thought arose that Samsung itself is shy about its chipsets. Take a look at Intel products. The company trumpets, promotes stickers and the slogan “Intel Inside”, look at Apple – how much RAM is in the iPhone SE, a mystery, but the fact that it runs on the A13 Bionic chipset is even written on the promo page. All manufacturers and Qualcomm itself are trying very hard to let buyers know that the smartphone is powered by the Snapdragon chipset.

And only Samsung has tactics similar to those used in bad publicity. The name is not written, only the number of cores and the frequency.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

Or here’s the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. Even the aperture of the cameras is indicated (although most do not know what it is. However, I also do not quite understand what these numbers mean in terms of describing the quality of shooting of the tablet camera. What kind of module is there in 5 MP and how will aperture 2.0 be exposed frame?). Everything is indicated. And only an unnamed processor.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus

I may be wrong. But it seems to me that in the next couple of years we will witness a qualitative update of laptops. Basically, the format of laptops hasn’t changed for 30 years. All internal changes are hardware improvements. The consequence is an increase in performance and battery life, a thinner body. All other attempts at modernization did not find a response from users – a touch strip-screen on a MacBook, a second screen from ASUS, replacing a keyboard with an e-Ink from Lenovo – users are curious, but only a few decide to spend money (Apple users do not count, these no choice).

However, consumer electronics shows say there has been a lot of thought going on lately. The PC market is stagnating (4% growth in Q2019 2.3 and 0,6% year-over-year growth), and every manufacturer is trying to stimulate sales.

ASUS has usually been at the forefront of progress. The company was not afraid to experiment, but usually, so to speak, was ahead of its time. And more recently, Lenovo has signed up to be a leader in innovation. I like the company’s strategy. Lenovo has produced a huge number of the same type of laptops for each segment – gaming, professional, semi-professional, ultralight. At the same time, he regularly shows niche models designed more for the PR effect and drawing attention to the company’s products than on sales. The strategy is working, and Lenovo is number 1 in the PC market.

The new ThinkBook Plus laptop, which debuted at CEC 2020 (who knew this would be the last consumer show ?!), has hit the shelves.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

Lenovo has been trying hard to plug e-Ink screens into laptops for a long time. We even reviewed the YogaBook C930.

The idea is sound, but the implementation is still suffering. The same C930 is more of an accessory for content consumption than a working tool. Now the e-INK screen has appeared in the ThinkBook line. If you forget, ThinkBook is a line of semi-professional notebooks. Slightly simpler than ThinkPad. Thus, using the e-INK screen, Lenovo makes a statement that everything is serious here, for work, and not for bumps.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

I like that the second screen was added here not to the detriment of the first or the keyboard. The implementation of the second screen by HP and ASUS above the keyboard is interesting, but takes some getting used to. Lenovo used the free space on the back of the top cover, which was not used. It is understood that the e-Ink screen can be used to place a calendar, notifications, and, of course, you can read from it. And since it is touch-sensitive, documents can be reviewed using the stylus. At the same time, e-INK technology practically does not consume battery power, and the laptop will last for 10 hours of operation.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

By the way, try to fantasize in the comments how a laptop should look like, for example, in 2025. I doubt it will be transparent panels or flexible screens. If we talk about portable laptops, then I bet that the touch screen will absolutely occupy the entire surface of the lid, and the webcam will be located in the cutout, like on smartphones. The reverse side of the cover will be occupied by an e-INK touch screen. Thanks to the increase in performance and the change of the technical process to a more advanced one, the thickness of the devices will decrease to the values ​​of the MacBook Air. I suspect that the most advanced models will get rid of ports entirely, moving to wireless charging and data exchange over the air. The keyboards will remain the same. It seems to me that many manufacturers will flirt with the technology of the second screen (or third, given e-INK). The most promising from the point of view of ergonomics is Apple’s variant. But the touchbar strip needs to be wider and more functional. In it, perhaps, a fingerprint scanner should be built.

But one thing about laptops is likely to stay the same – the terrible 720p webcams. Why most likely? It’s simple. For 20 years, such cameras have been installed in laptops. And now, when the whole world is in quarantine and communicates via video link, a turning point has come. If after that the webcams in laptops do not change, it means that they are definitely without options.

iPhone SE


  • Processor: Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm +), Hexa-core (2 × 2.65 GHz Lightning + 4 × 1.8 GHz Thunder), Apple GPU graphics
  • Operating system: iOS
  • Memory: 3 GB / 64/128/256 GB, no memory card slot
  • Screen: 4.7 inches, Retina IPS LCD, 750 x 1334 pixels, 16: 9 aspect ratio, 326 ppi pixel density, wide color gamut, True Tone technology, 650 nits brightness, ion-strengthened glass
  • Battery: Li-Ion 1821 mAh, fast charging 18 W, 50% in 30 minutes, wireless charging
  • Main camera:
    • 12 MP, f / 1.8 (wide), PDAF, OIS
    • Запись видео 2160p@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, стереомикрофон
  • Front camera: 7 MP, f / 2.2
  • Sim card: Nano-SIM / eSIM
  • Network and data transmission: GSM 900/1800/1900, 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 6, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC, USB 2.0 proprietary Apple Lightning connector
  • Sensors: fingerprint scanner (button under the screen), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Others: IP67 protection, Apple Pay,
  • Materials: glass and metal
  • Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm, weight 148 g

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

I sincerely love Apple because the company knows how to surprise, showing that the laws of business and the universe are not written to it. There is a saying that you cannot enter the same river twice. It turns out you can. In 2016, Apple presented the iPhone SE. Then the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were sold on the market with might and main. And Apple started selling a model in a 2.5-year-old case. This is not to say that the 2016 iPhone SE was a hit. And this was not planned. However, it has taken a firm place in the company’s portfolio. In 2017, the device received an update in the form of a memory addition. In 2018, it seemed to be removed from sales, but in fact Apple sold it in the first half of 2019. And when someone says marketing is bullshit, head for the iPhone SE. What other manufacturer can afford this?

And now, after 4 years, Apple is doing exactly the same. Again the same name – iPhone SE, again the design, which is 2.5 years old, there are no new colors, and again the price as if this is the only device on the market – 399 dollars. And that’s the price for the base model with 64GB of storage. In Russia, the price is 39 rubles. What do you want? Europe!

Many are trying to guess why the iPhone SE was and is needed in the era of smartphones, where screens occupy the entire front surface. There are exactly two reasons – one is important for customers, the other for Apple.

Apple does not provide statistics on its sales, and tracking the dynamics of iPhone users by device model is not an easy task. You need to ask for the data of the operators However, DeviceAtlas offers some information. Quite a large office, the site says that they “see” 20% of the world’s Internet traffic. And as of September 2019 (before the launch of the iPhone 11), the iPhone 5.62 accounted for 7% of mobile traffic.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

By the way, I think it will not be a surprise to anyone that the majority of iPhone users in the world use non-modern models. To be more precise, there is a direct correlation between the level of income and the availability of financial instruments.

For example, it is a well-known fact that in the US the entire smartphone market is operator-owned. People buy packages “smartphone + tariff”, and since the lending rate in the US is low, and the dollar is a fairly stable currency, an option of interest-free installments is available, making the most expensive smartphone quite affordable. However, even in the US, the majority of users do not have the most top-end smartphone. But in the case of the US, it is very clear that Americans prefer the flagship versions of the iPhone. Let it be old, but the flagship. The budget “iPhone” is not about them.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

But in countries where people are faced with the full price of the iPhone (as in Russia), the situation is different. If you put together the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone SE, since they are the same plus or minus, it turns out that this unit is the most popular iPhone in Russia.

However, in Europe, where the mentality is less, so to speak, capitalist than in the United States, the iPhone SE is also one of the most popular devices.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

I am curious as to how the iPhone SE will be sold. On the one hand, due to the pandemic, overall sales of electronics fell – people are not sure about their income, health and future. On the other hand, consumers are generally conservative. And chances are, rather than indulging themselves with the latest flagship iPhone, they’ll save money by taking the iPhone SE in installments for $ 16 a month without buying themselves 3 big cappuccino at Starbucks.

Accordingly, there is a steady demand in the world for a budget device from Apple. If we talk about Europe, where the issue of price is less painful than in Russia, then the buyer just wants iOS. He is used to. He believes iOS is better than Android.

At the same time, data for the United States and Europe once again indicate that smartphones from the category of “hot” gadgets, which are cool to update every year or two, have turned into ordinary electronics – like a laptop or even a TV. My Toshiba TV (42 inches, matte screen, 500 nits brightness) is 8 years old and there is no reason to change it somehow. I added an Android TV set-top box, and the TV played with new colors.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

And the truth is commonplace. With iPhone prices hitting new records and sales slipping, a budget product is needed. I am almost sure that in the case of the iPhone SE, the company is not so much about the money from the device as the side income (AppStore, etc.), that is, the potential profit that each user generates in the Apple ecosystem.

In passing, it is worth noting that Apple is in a certain trap. The company has tremendous brand power when any of its products is initially considered the pinnacle of design, reliability, customer experience and belonging to successful people. Previously, BMW or Mercedes were used for these purposes. However, in order not to lose its marketing margin of safety, Apple has to release only expensive products. Otherwise, from being unique, it will become an ordinary one. And it will be like Samsung, when the product is excellent, but everyone understands that after a couple of months it will be cheaper. Along the way, Apple must constantly demonstrate that it meets the declared status, so even relatively budget products receive first-class service. For example, iOS 13 supports the first iPhone SE. Android manufacturers simply cannot afford this.

# Echo67: iPhone SE, Lenovo ThinkBook Plus, past and future

On the path of success, I see only one pitfall – this is design. In the era of the first generation SE, changes in smartphone design are not far ahead. In 2020, the iPhone SE (2 Gen) is significantly inferior in appearance even to budget devices. Otherwise, the iPhone SE is the best iPhone after the flagship iPhone 10/11. I’m even sure that even though he has 1 camera, he will most likely shoot better than the iPhone XR. But let’s see!

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