Published in Mobiles

Apple's 4-inch iPhone SE arrives March 31st

by on21 March 2016

A smaller iPhone 6S with more battery life, only $399

This morning during Apple’s Spring Event at its Cupertino, California headquarters, company VP Greg Joswiak announced the new 4-inch iPhone SE – a modest 2016 refresh to the iPhone 5S (2013).

iphone se logo

Meanwhile Senior VP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller announced the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, signaling the company’s new “smaller but better” strategy going forward until at least the Back to School season this fall, when more products are expected to be announced.

While Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro announcement brings the company’s tablet lineup to five currently selling device models (iPad mini 2, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, 9.7-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro), the new iPhone SE announcement will also bring its smartphone lineup to five currently selling device models – namely, the iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

compare iphone models spring 2016Currently selling Apple iPhone models (Spring 2016)

The new, entry-level smartphone features the same 4-inch, 640 x 1136 display specification as its iPhone 5S predecessor with 326 pixels-per-inch, although it likely uses a different IPS panel and digitizer underneath. The chipset has been upgraded to the dual-core 1.85GHz Apple A9 64-bit ARMv8-A “Twister” SoC found in the iPhone 6S and running at the same clock frequency. The GPU is also the same as the iPhone 6S – a hexa-core PowerVR GT7600.

iphone se camera

In fact, just like its 6S counterparts, the iPhone SE also receives a memory upgrade to 2GB and a rear-facing iSight camera upgrade to 12-megapixels, capable of recording 4K Ultra HD 3840x2160p video at 30fps, 1920x1080p at 30, 60 or 120fps (Slow Motion), and 720p at 240fps (Slow Motion). The device will be available in both 16GB and 64GB storage options starting at $399, which is $50 less than the iPhone 5S price.

anandtech iphone se launchImage credit:

On another note, the iPhone SE also features a new Category 4 LTE modem with speeds capable up to 150Mbps downloads. We are predicting this is the result of Apple switching to an Intel chipset, but it will remain unclear until official hardware teardowns begin in a week and a half from now. Regardless, the WiFi chipset will give users up to 433Mbps 802.11ac bandwidth, and company VP Greg Joswiak claims we are looking at more battery life with this entry-level device than the iPhone 6S – up to 15 percent more video watching time, and up to 30 percent more LTE and WiFi browsing time.

apple iphone battery comparison spring 2016
Apple's entry-level iPhone SE outperforms the iPhone 6S by up to 30 percent in LTE web browsing

The new device measures in at 123.8mm tall by 58.6mm wide by 7.6mm thick (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches) and weighs just 113 grams (0.25 ounces). By comparison, the iPhone 5S from 2013 measures the exact same dimensions –  123.8mm tall by 58.6mm wide by 7.6mm thick (4.87 x 2.31 0.30 inches), but weighs just 1 gram less at 112 grams (0.247 pounds).

The iPhone SE is mainly catered towards emerging markets in the same way the mid-range, 4-inch iPhone 5C brought the 4-inch iPhone 4S (2011) down to the entry-level market slot in 2013. With the discontinuation of the iPhone 5C, however, this is the first time that Apple has brought its new entry-level device up to the same hardware specifications as its mainstream model (iPhone 6S), only with a 0.7-inch smaller display and without a 128GB storage option.

Apple will begin pre-orders for the 4-inch iPhone SE on Thursday, March 24th, and the device will begin selling on Thursday, March 31st starting at $399 off-contract (16GB model) in the United States, France, United Kingdom, and Germany. It is expected to become available in over 100 countries by the end of May.


Last modified on 21 March 2016
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