Surprise! Apple reveals cheap iPhone

Its stores are shut but Apple proved it was not afraid to launch new smartphones overnight, as the company unveiled a pocket-friendly iPhone costing less than a third the price of its flagship device.

The second generation iPhone SE will be the most affordable Apple smartphone on the market when it goes up for preorders in Australia this Friday, and will offer significantly upgrades from its predecessor that launched four years ago.

 

What global pandemic? Apple has released an affordable new iPhone. Picture: Supplied
What global pandemic? Apple has released an affordable new iPhone. Picture: Supplied

 

But the entry-level iPhone will arrive at a challenging time for phone sellers, according to analysts, who warn an uncertain economic climate could lead some buyers to delay phone upgrades.

Apple worldwide marketing senior vice-president Phil Schiller said the second revealed the surprise iPhone in the wee hours of Thursday morning, almost four years to the date since the original iPhone SE arrived.

"The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price," he said.

"The new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way … while still being very affordable."

 

Apple’s inexpensive take on an old favourite. Picture: Supplied
Apple’s inexpensive take on an old favourite. Picture: Supplied

 

The second generation iPhone SE will be the most affordable Apple smartphone on the market. Picture: Supplied
The second generation iPhone SE will be the most affordable Apple smartphone on the market. Picture: Supplied

 

The new model will feature a 4.7-inch screen, up from four inches, as well as a faster A13 Bionic chip, water-resistant exterior, wireless charging, and a 12-megapixel camera that promises faster lowlight performance and an artificially intelligent Portrait mode.

The smartphone will keep Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner rather than the company's more modern facial recognition security, however, and will be more expensive than when it launched in Australia in March 2016.

The cheapest new iPhone SE will cost $749 in Australia - $117 more than its US equivalent and $70 more than its original Australian launch price.

The new iPhone SE will come with a 64GB storage rather than the 16GB available in 2016, however.

 

Launching a new phone during a global pandemic could be viewed as a bold move. Picture: Supplied
Launching a new phone during a global pandemic could be viewed as a bold move. Picture: Supplied

Launching any new smartphone during a worldwide pandemic could be viewed as a bold move, and Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi warned a "slowing" economy would see some buyers carefully consider their next smartphone upgrade.

But growing data consumption and use of smartphone technology while at home and reading news would eventually trigger consumers to make new phone purchases, he said, particularly for Apple that commanded high brand loyalty.

 

Apple’s retail stores may be closed for business but the company is forging ahead online. Picture: Getty Images
Apple’s retail stores may be closed for business but the company is forging ahead online. Picture: Getty Images

 

"The success of the iPhone in 2020 might be less about 5G and more about the other features that resonate with the stay-at-home users, such as screen quality and processor speeds," he said.

The new iPhone SE will arrive in Australia on April 24.

Originally published as Surprise! Apple reveals cheap iPhone



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