April 15—Apple announced it will release a new iteration of its iPhone SE on April 24 today. The basic model of the firm’s latest smartphone will retail for $399 and comes in white, black, and red. Notably, the Big Tech giant has not released a budget handset since it launched the original iPhone SE in March 2016.
Apple will accept preorders for its low-cost mobile device starting Friday.
New iPhone SE Details
As suggested by its low price, the new iPhone SE does not feature the same high-end hardware as Apple’s flagship smartphones.
The device has a form factor similar to the iPhone 8, a 4.7-inch LCD screen, and a single 12-megapixel rear-facing camera that captures 4K footage at 60 fps. The smartphone will run iOS 13 and comes in 64 GB, 128 GB ($449), and 256 GB ($549) varieties. Moreover, the handset is constructed out of “aero-space aluminum” and glass and has a water resistance rating of 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.
This second-generation iPhone SE will utilize Apple’s older TouchID security system instead of newer FaceID protection. However, the handset houses the same A13 Bionic processor that powers its current flagship smartphone.
By comparison, the standard edition iPhone 11 costs $699, has a 6.1-inch OMLED display, and boasts two 12-megapixel rear-facing cameras.
The electronics company stated a portion of the proceeds from every red iPhone SE would go to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response. The organization is attempting to provide personal protective equipment, diagnostic machinery, and treatments for underprivileged countries coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
Apple’s plans to reintroduce a budget handset to its lineup first emerged in January.
Considering Apple’s Immediate Future
Apple’s decision to immediately roll out a new handset confirms that its supply chain is in good shape.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began late last year, the firm has grappled with significant production delays and logistics challenges. Foxconn, the company that assembles its iPhones, shuttered its production facilities in February and only returned to full capacity in March. In addition, Foxconn and iPhone PCB supplier Wistron closed their Indian factories late last month following a government quarantine order.
Nevertheless, Apple must feel confident enough in its fulfillment capability to launch a new handset next week. However, it is unclear how the iPhone SE will perform in the corporation’s key markets, North America and Europe. Both regions are currently living under broad-ranging lockdown mandates, and Apple’s retail locations outside China will remain shuttered until May.
The status of Apple’s forthcoming series of fifth-generation mobile data network enabled iPhones is also unknown. The corporation reportedly plans to release four 5G handsets later this year, but it hasn’t made a product announcement yet. Earlier this week, Bloomberg said the firm’s next flagship would likely be released in the fall but not in September, as is tradition.
As such, Apple will likely use the release of the new iPhone SE as a bellwether. If the device sells well, the company will likely deploy its new premium mobile devices in the fourth quarter. If not, the 5G-enabled iPhone might not come out until 2021.