iPhone SE just killed iPhone 8 Plus — and it’s bad news for big phone fans

iPhone 8 Plus has been replaced by iPhone SE
(Image credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide)

The new $399 iPhone SE 2020 has just been revealed, and is now the cheapest phone in Apple's lineup. But its arrival also means that Apple is no longer selling the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus from its own stores, cutting off access to an affordable but well-sized phone.

According to TechRadar, you can still buy the iPhone 8 for the time being if you can find a retailer that's stocking it. But once these handsets are gone from the shelves of third-party retailers, they're gone for good, now that Apple has ended production. And while the new iPhone SE has far better internal specs than the iPhone 8, there's still the matter of price and size to consider.

The iPhone 8 first went on sale in 2017, acting as a cheaper and more familiar alternative to the fresh design of the iPhone X. It has remained as a more affordable $449/£479 option to the higher-end notched iPhones until now, when its price has been undercut by the $399/£419 iPhone SE 2020.

The iPhone 8 Plus has nearly identical specs to the iPhone 8, but uses a 5.5-inch display instead of a 4.7-inch one. The death of the iPhone 8 Plus in particular could be a blow for people who want as much screen space as possible for their money. 

The iPhone 8 Plus was being sold at around $549, but now that it's discontinued, the cheapest iPhone larger than the new SE model is now the iPhone XR. This is not only a significantly larger 6.1-inch handset, but also a bit more expensive, starting at $600/£509.

If this cheaper iPhone SE isn't what you're looking for, then you may want to wait for the Google Pixel 4a. Google is expected to reveal its own cheaper smartphone in the next few months, which could carry a similar price to the iPhone SE but have a much larger 5.7-inch display. Back that up with Google's excellent cameras and photo software, and Apple fans may have a good excuse to switch to Android.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.