The new phone looks like an iPhone 8, including the mostly-abandoned home button at the bottom. But its internals are more in line with the latest iPhone 11, and it features Apple’s latest processor and an upgraded camera.
It includes the A13 Bionic chip from its top of the line iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. Though it includes just a single lens, unlike the higher-end models, it still gets the software features of those phones such as the Portrait mode and so Apple says the pictures should be even better than the iPhone XR, which is still on sale at a much higher price.
The new phone starts at $399 in the US, or £419 in the UK, the same price as the existing iPhone SE. That makes it far cheaper than Apple’s other, newer models, which start at £999.
It is also now the smallest of Apple’s iPhones, with a 4.7-inch display. But it is larger than the older iPhone SE it replaces, which had only a 4-inch display.
It will be available on 24 April in three colours: black, white and red.
The phone will be available in Apple Stores, but almost all of them are still closed. Apple will also offer the phone online with a no-contact delivery option.
The iPhone SE is an updated version of the existing model, which was first released in 2016. That phone was built on largely the same principles – packing newer components into an older body – and proved a runaway success, with demand appearing even to surprise Apple.
That phone has gone without an update since then. Now Apple has brought it back, with the exact same name, updating the body so that it is exactly the same as the iPhone 8 and replacing that older handset in its line-up.
The battery life is identical to the iPhone 8, and like that phone it has wireless- and fast-charging.
As well as keeping the old home button design, the new iPhone uses the TouchID fingerprint sensor. The rest of Apple’s line-up – including its iPad Pro – has now switched over to the FaceID facial recognition system.
“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 — including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos — while still being very affordable,” Apple marketing head Phil Schiller said in a statement.
“iPhone SE features the industry-leading performance of A13 Bionic that enables great battery life, takes stunning Portrait mode and Smart HDR photos, shoots amazing videos with stereo audio, is great for games and super fast web surfing, and is built with the same industry-leading security features our customers expect. We can’t wait to get iPhone SE into customers’ hands.”