The phone, whose existence had been rumored for weeks leading up to Monday’s event, will start at $399 for 16 gigabytes of storage, and $499 for 64GB. In comparison, the 4-inch iPhone 5S, which was released in 2013 and is expected to be replaced by the SE, has been priced at $450 for the 16GB model and $500 for 32GB.
Apple hopes the new 4-inch iPhone will encourage people who haven’t upgraded in a while to finally do so, while helping the company lure in folks who don’t want a bigger screen. Also, as more US phone carriers move away from two-year contracts and the subsidies that come with them, the full price of the latest iPhone — $650 for a base model — is getting more notice from customers, so they may start searching for more budget-friendly options. Yet, while the new iPhone is cheaper, it’s priced well above budget smartphones, which can be purchased for half of what the SE costs.
Compared to the iPhone 5S that precedes the new SE at the 4-inch size, Apple’s new smartphone has faster LTE, faster Wi-Fi (802.11ac), better battery life, new microphones, and the significant addition of Apple Pay support. Having sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, Apple clearly considers this an important market that it needed to address with its latest specs and capabilities and that’s what the iPhone SE aims to achieve.