Apple on Monday announced that its new smaller iPhone SE, with features akin to its top-end devices, but in a 4-inch form factor, will be available in India early April for a price of Rs 39,000 for the 16GB version. The initially announced price was Rs 30,000 for the base model, which would have been very competitive for the Indian market.
Prices for the new iPhone, in the US, start at $399 for a model with 16GB of storage. That’s less than the $450 price tag for the 5s. It will be free if customers commit to a two-year contract with their wireless carrier, as was the case with the 5s. The 64GB model of the iPhone SE, however, costs $499.
The new iPhone SE, with Apple’s vaunted A9 chip, is much faster than Apple’s previous attempt at an entry-level phone, launched in 2013.
Like the iPhone 6s, the iPhone SE will be able to take pictures at 12 megapixels. By comparison, the iPhone 5s’ camera is limited to 8 megapixels.
The iPhone SE will also be equipped with a longer-lasting battery than the iPhone 5s and have faster wireless connections. It will also work with Apple Pay, the company’s digital wallet. The phone will come in four colour options- silver, gold, space grey and rose gold.
The new iPhone comes as sales taper off for the device that generates the bulk of Apple’s profits. Some iPhone users prefer the smaller size and have resisted upgrading to the larger models that Apple has shifted to in recent years to compete against Samsung.
One of the main reasons the iPhone SE exists is that not everyone wants a large smartphone. Apple has found that some customers prefer the smaller screens found on earlier iPhones. This is why the iPhone SE has a 4-inch display. It’s the first iPhone to offer this screen size since the 5s, which made its debut in late 2013.
The iPhone SE will have the same screen resolution as the iPhone 5s: 1,136 by 640 pixels, which comes out to 326 pixels per inch (ppi).
The 326 ppi is same density as the iPhone 6s, even though that phone has a larger 4.7-inch display with resolution of 1,334 by 750 pixels. The iPhone 6s Plus phablet has the biggest screen of all: a 5.5-inch, 1920 by 1,080 pixel display, with a density of 401 ppi.
One major feature missing from the iPhone SE, that’s found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is 3-D Touch, which lets a phone distinguish between a light tap and a firm press, letting users control apps differently depending on how hard they push on their phone’s touchscreen.
The iPhone SE has the same dual-core chipset as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the A9 chip with an embedded M9 motion coprocessor. This is two-generations ahead of the A7 chip found in the iPhone 5s. Apple promises that it’ll be just as powerful and capable as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
On the rear, the iPhone SE will have a 12-megapixel iSight camera. Like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the iPhone SE will be able to take Live Photos, short videos that are captured with every photo snap. Video recording can be done at up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second.
The iPhone SE will be aimed at first-time Apple buyers and those who want to upgrade from the iPhone 5S and 5C, which have not been updated in over two years.
Orders for the iPhone SE will start from March 24. It will go on sale from March 31 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US.
Apple says it will introduce the iPhone SE in India and several other countries in early April.