Return of the 4-Inch iPhone: Apple Announces iPhone SE

Apple Announces iPhone SE

While it's been rumored for a few months, Apple finally unveiled its new 4-inch iPhone SE at the Apple Special Event on March 21st.

Apple sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, many of which by first-time Apple buyers. With Apple's flagships getting bigger and bigger, the company wanted to take advantage of customers's desire for a smaller phone. The iPhone SE packs a lot of the punch of the iPhone 6s, and its cheap price might appeal to more people than just those who were hoping for a smaller phone.

Dubbed by Apple as "the most powerful 4-inch smartphone ever," the iPhone SE packs in a lot of features, including some found on the iPhone 6s, like Touch ID, Live Photos, and always-on "Hey, Siri." The new handset runs on Apple's 64-bit A9 chip and M9 motion coprocessor, the same as the 6s.

The iPhone SE's camera is also the same one you'll find on an iPhone 6s. The rear camera shoots 12 megapixel images, and you can also take 4K video, 60 frames per second video in 1080p, and slow motion video up to 240 fps.

The size of the handset itself isn't the only thing that's shrinking with iPhone SE—the 16 GB version costs only $399, though you can get a 64 GB model for $499. It would have been nice if the $399 model had 32 GB of internal storage, but I guess that's Apple for you. You'll be able to get the 16 GB iPhone SE for free with a two-year contract.

If you have a plan where you pay by installment, the iPhone SE could be yours starting at $17 per month.

In addition to the traditional light and dark color scheme, the iPhone SE also comes in rose and gold.

Compared to the iPhone 5s, the SE has better battery life, faster Wi-Fi (802.11 ac), faster LTE, new and improved microphones, and adds Apple Pay support.

Pre-orders for the iPhone SE begin on Thursday, March 24, and the phone itself will be available a week later on March 31st.

The iPhone SE will only be available in 12 countries to begin with (well, technically 10 countries, one territory, and one special administrative region), but it'll go on sale in over 100 countries by the end of May.

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