- Apple on Wednesday announced a new version of the $400 iPhone SE, an update to the smaller, cheaper iPhone it released in 2016.
- It comes with a 4.7-inch display, like the iPhone 8, and runs on the same processor as the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.
- Apple is making the phone available to preorder on Friday before it starts shipping on April 24.
- The new iPhone SE will come in three colors and has a single-lens 12-megapixel camera.
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Apple on Wednesday announced the second-generation iPhone SE, a smaller and cheaper iPhone that has the same processing power as the $700 iPhone 11.
The iPhone SE starts at $400 and will be available to preorder on Friday before shipping on April 24.
It’s a sequel to the original iPhone SE that Apple released in 2016 and will replace the $450 iPhone 8 in the company’s lineup. Apple will also continue selling the iPhone XR alongside the new SE.
The new phone comes with a 4.7-inch display, just like the iPhone 8, and runs on the company’s A13 Bionic processor, the same chip that powers the iPhone 11 and the 11 Pro. And like the iPhone 8 it resembles, the iPhone SE has a home button with Touch ID built in.
A slew of leaks had indicated a new iPhone SE was imminent. The most recent came on April 2, when 9to5Mac published a report detailing the phone's name and the colors it would be available in.
The announcement comes as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the supply chains and daily operations of Apple and other major tech companies. Some analysts have said Apple's expected 5G-enabled iPhones might be delayed.
Rival smartphone makers like Google and Samsung have also released compelling low-cost models. Samsung, for example, recently brought the $400 Galaxy A51, which offers a triple-lens camera and a borderless display, to the United States market, and Google's Pixel 3a was received well when it debuted at $400 last spring.
Here's a closer look at the iPhone SE.
The new iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch screen and a home button with Touch ID, just like the iPhone 8.
For reference, here's what the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus look like.
The new iPhone SE has the same processor as the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, but it has a different camera system.
The second-generation iPhone SE has a single-lens 12-megapixel wide-angle camera that supports portrait mode with lighting effects and Smart HDR.
It also supports QuickTake, the feature Apple announced for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro that lets you quickly toggle between photo and video mode.
It's the first iPhone of this size to offer portrait mode, a feature that had been reserved for Apple's Plus-model iPhones.
The new iPhone SE does not, however, support Apple's new night-mode feature available on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.
And since it has a single-lens camera - unlike the 11, which has a dual camera, and the 11 Pro, which has a triple-lens camera - it does not offer ultra-wide-angle shooting.
There's a 7-megapixel camera on the front of the new iPhone SE, just like the iPhone 8. But the iPhone SE's selfie camera supports portrait mode, which the iPhone 8 doesn't.
The new iPhone SE will come in three colors and three storage options.
The base model comes with 64 GB of storage, and Apple will also sell 128 GB and 256 GB versions.
The new iPhone SE will come in black, white, and red finishes.
Apple is launching a new iPhone SE as rivals are introducing cheaper devices with high-end features.
The iPhone SE is as important as ever for Apple as companies like Google, Samsung, and OnePlus, among others, continue to release less expensive devices.
There's clearly an appetite for fast, capable smartphones that don't cost as much as the $1,000 iPhone 11 Pro or Galaxy S20. Apple's $600 iPhone XR was the world's best-selling smartphone in the third quarter of 2019, according to Counterpoint Research, outperforming even the newer models.
Now Apple has filled a gap in its lineup with the iPhone SE that could appeal to that audience.