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Apple unveils more affordable iPhone SE

The new device features upgrades to the screen and processor

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Photo (c) MikeSchianoPhotography - Getty Images
Without a formal unveiling event, Apple announced on Wednesday that it’s launching a new, more affordable iPhone. 

The second-generation iPhone SE looks practically identical to the 2017 iPhone 8, but it’s set to cost $399 compared to its predecessor’s $449 starting price. The new device also features a suite of new features, including a more powerful processor and screen enhancements.

In an announcement, Apple called the new device its “most affordable” yet and outlined several features consumers can expect to find. 

“The new iPhone SE is powered by the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone, to handle the most demanding tasks,” the company said. “iPhone SE also features the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone, which unlocks the benefits of computational photography including Portrait mode, and is designed to withstand the elements with dust and water resistance.” 

Camera upgrades

Apple’s A13 processor helps the new iPhone SE take “amazing photos with Smart HDR, stunning portraits with Portrait mode including all six Portrait Lighting effects,” Apple said. “And with QuickTake, users can easily transition to video recording without switching out of Photos mode.” 

Features carried over from the iPhone 8 include wireless charging, a physical home button with Touch ID instead of facial recognition, and IP67 water and dust resistance. 

The $399 base model comes with 64 GB of storage; the mid-level model comes with 128 GB of storage and costs $449, and the top tier model comes with 256 GB of storage and costs $549. Consumers who purchase the new device are also eligible for a free year of Apple TV+.

“The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price; the new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president for worldwide marketing, said in a release.

Online pre-orders for the new device will begin on Friday, and consumers can receive them as early as April 24. The new phone is available in black, white, and red color schemes.

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