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iPhone SE: Apple announces cheaper $399 iPhone with smaller screen

After months of rumors, Apple says its new edition of the old iPhone is shipping this month

Apple's entry-level iPhone has been one of the worst-kept secrets in tech, with rumors swirling for months about an iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9. It turns out, both names were wrong. On Wednesday, Apple unveiled a new iPhone SE with a 4.7-inch display as a follow-up to the original iPhone SE, released four years ago. The new iPhone SE is essentially an iPhone 11 stuffed into the revamped body of an iPhone 8. Like the original SE, the new phone will start at $399 -- $50 cheaper than the discontinued iPhone 8, which, until this week, was the least expensive iPhone you could buy new.

You can preorder the iPhone SE from Friday April 17, and it should arrive by April 24. 

The new SE will come in three colors (black, white and Product Red) and three storage options (64GB for $399, 128GB for $449 and 256GB for $549). International prices start at £419 and AU$749. Proceeds from the Product Red version will support coronavirus relief efforts

The phone has two main audiences: budget-conscious buyers who aren't interested in paying $799 for an iPhone 11 (much less $999 for a Pro or $1,099 for a Pro Max) and those who prefer compact phones.

"When it was planning this product, Apple couldn't have known it would land in a market in complete turmoil as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic," CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said. "Although the new iPhone SE was undoubtedly designed to take the fight to Android rivals, it now also offers a more affordable iPhone at a time when many consumers will find it hard to justify spending $1,000 or more on one of Apple's flagship devices."

Instead of hosting a flashy event in March, as previously expected, Apple introduced the new phone in a press release on Wednesday. It joins companies around the globe that have moved away from big events to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Apple revealed its new MacBook Air and iPad Pro with a similar announcement in March.

The new iPhone SE has many of the features found in the more expensive iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, like an A13 Bionic processor, Qi wireless charging, haptic touch and a True Tone display (though the SE doesn't have an OLED screen like its two Pro siblings). The new phone has a single rear 12-megapixel camera with a 28-millimeter f/1.8 lens with Portrait Mode, Smart HDR and optical image stabilization. It's similar to the main camera found on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.


Apple iPhone SE 2020 Specifications
Display size, resolution4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334x750 pixels
Pixel density326ppi
Dimensions (Inches)5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in
Dimensions (Millimeters)138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams)5.22 oz; 148g
Mobile softwareiOS 13
Front-facing camera7-megapixel
Video capture4K
ProcessorApple A13 Bionic
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB
RAMNot disclosed
Expandable storageNo
BatteryNot disclosed
Fingerprint sensorHome button
Headphone jackNo
Special featuresWater resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging
Price off-contract (USD)$399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)
Price (GBP)£419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)
Price (AUD)AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

For those who aren't fans of the current era of iPhones with Face ID, beginning with 2017's iPhone X, Apple's new entry-level iPhone keeps Touch ID and the haptic home button. There is also a lightning port, but there isn't a headphone jack.

The iPhone 11 Pro, previously the smallest of the new-generation iPhones you could buy from Apple, has a 5.8-inch display. The new SE has a 4.7-inch display without a notch similar to the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and 8.