Apple unveils new iPhone that is smaller, cheaper. Apple is releasing a new, cheaper version of its iPhone SE as it seeks to continue daily business due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The second generation iPhone SE matches Apple’s earlier version used for its smartphones between 2014 and 2017, complete with the traditional touch ID home button rather than facial recognition. It costs £419 in the UK, and $399 in the US.
The new phone is a follow-up to the 2016 entry-level iPhone SE that reused the iPhone 5S concept. The new iPhone SE is replacing the 2017 iPhone 8 which was the cheapest iPhone on sale until recently, costing £479 in the UK and $449 in the US.
The second-generation iPhone SE has an LCD screen with 4.7 in Retina HD, making it one of the few smaller smartphones available. The back, like the iPhone 8, is glass and has aluminum sides. It is water-resistant to IP67 requirements, with depths of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, and Qi has wireless charging.
The latest 4G phone also has the newest A13 Bionic chip, matching that in the iPhone 11 series, which means the hardware inside the phone isn’t dated compared to the other existing iPhones.
It has a single 12-megapixel camera at the back, enabling 4K recording, and a front selfie camera of seven megapixels. It comes with at least 64 GB of storage, is available in 128 GB and 256 GB versions, and is available in black, white or red. It will be available for pre-order on Friday from 1 pm and ships in the UK on 24 April.
Recent sales statistics have consistently shown Apple’s cheapest £729 iPhone 11 edition to be the bestseller, having been responsible for raising the mobile cost limit past the £1,000 mark, with new versions such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max increasing it to £1,149 and upwards.
Apple is hoping that the cheaper and smaller iPhone will help drive new sales under the Covid-19 range and upgrades from older models, particularly those still using an iPhone 6 that is no longer updated.
“The new iPhone SE has the ability to push Apple’s iconic smartphone brand into the next phase of adoption. Its aggressive pricing would not only threaten the sales of new Android devices, but will likely also impact companies that refurbish and resell second-hand iPhones, said Ben Wood, CCS Insight’s head of research.
Apple would rely almost entirely on online sales and those through network operators, as it was forced on 14 March to close all of its retail stores outside China. Despite a year-on-year decline of about 20 percent, Apple’s iPhone sales in China bounced to 2.5 m in March, up more than three times from February according to government statistics as Chinese retailers resumed operations
But Wood warned: “Apple will wait nervously to see if the introduction of such an inexpensive and well-specified iPhone can make customers think twice about purchasing their premium flagship products which, depending on the model, can easily approach the cost of the new iPhone SE three times as much. History shows that iPhone customers seem happy to pay Apple’s premium product orders, but the current global economic turmoil threatens to question that assumption.
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