Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

Before the iPhone SE, There Was the Macintosh SE

Before all the aluminum and glass, there was plastic and beige.


These days, it’s easy to think of Apple as the world-dominating iDevice company. A company with stores on every trendy corner, same-day shipping and products purchased out of obligation (really, which iPad are you on now?); a company deploying nouveau-petite iPhones with the name SE, like they did yesterday.

But before the de rigueur of aluminum and glass, white cables and Genius Bars, there was the Apple shrouded in plastic and beige, “snow white” and shareware. There was also the original “SE.”

This was the name given to the Macintosh SE and subsequent SE/30 personal computers sold between 1987 and 1991. The price? A cool $6,500, if you ticked off the option for a hard disk. The SE/30, in particular, was beloved at the time and it remains a favorite of Apple aficionados. Its renown stems not merely from quality and functionality, but also it classic design. The new iPhone SE is a similarly special design, something likely to remain timeless thanks to its sharp cut and compact form. Chamfered edges still rule. Part of this won’t surprise design nuts, since it’s essentially the iPhone 5 with modernized guts. But just like that time Tim Cook slipped and said “Macintosh” instead of Mac, it’s a rare moment of vintage Apple-ness. With the iPhone 5SE, Apple has updated a contemporary classic and in turn listened to the echoes of a valued ancestor.

All You Need to Know About the iPhone SE

Apple just announced the smaller, yet no less powerful, iPhone SE. It features a 4-inch screen, but has all the power of the iPhone 6s. Read More

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Tech