Apple has launched a new version of its lowest-priced iPhone that has a faster processor and can connect to 5G wireless networks.
It is the first upgrade to Apple’s iPhone SE in nearly two years. The cost of the new device is $429, an increase over the SE’s last price of $399. The new launch came during an online company presentation held Tuesday.
Apple says the SE’s processor, which the company calls A15 Bionic, powers an improved camera system on the new device. The camera upgrades aim to make it easier for users to capture higher quality pictures, especially when available light is low.
In addition, the iPhone SE was built with the same, strong glass material used in its costliest models, Apple announced. And the device is equipped with tools to help save battery power.
But the phone’s most appealing feature may be its ability to connect to 5G networks. 5G is the next generation in wireless communications technology. It promises faster upload and download speeds. The technology is designed to reduce communication delays and improve device performance, especially for activities like watching videos and playing games.
In the United States, the availability of 5G service is still limited. But mobile phone service providers have announced plans to keep increasing 5G availability.
Currently, only Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models are equipped to work with 5G networks. Those devices cost much more money. The iPhone 12 starts at $599, while the lowest cost iPhone 13 sells for $699.
Industry experts say Apple’s last offering of 5G iPhones led many users to upgrade from older devices in hopes of getting faster connections. For example, the iPhone 13 proved to be a hot seller last year. The sales pushed Apple ahead of competitor Samsung to become the world’s top seller of smartphones during the final three months of last year, research group IDC reported.
Apple chief Tim Cook said at the company’s launch event, “We are excited for the new iPhone SE to build on this momentum.” The latest iPhone SE will be available in stores March 18.
Dan Ives is with the American-based investment company Wedbush Securities. He told The Associated Press he expects Apple to sell 30 million of the latest iPhone SE models over the next year. He said the new model can help fill a need among users who currently own one of an estimated 225 million iPhones that are at least three years old. Many of those users will want to buy a less costly model, Ives added.
Tuong Nguyen follows the smartphone market for Gartner, an American technology research and advisory company. He said although Apple does not make as much from selling iPhone SEs as it does from pricier models, it can still bring in revenue. That is because iPhone users are more likely to buy subscriptions to other Apple services, such as music, movies, television shows and games.
“It’s always nice when Apple can get you to buy a new phone,” Nguyen said. “But it’s even better when they can get you to subscribe…because that turns into recurring revenue.”
Apple also announced the launch of an upgraded iPad Air that features a new design, 5G connectivity and a faster processing chip used in the company’s MacBooks. The new iPad Air, priced at $599, will be available March 18.
Also presented at the company’s event was a new high performance computer designed for musicians, video editors and filmmakers. The system, called Mac Studio, will cost between $2,000 to $4,000 for the main processor. A high-quality 27-inch monitor will cost another $1,600. It will also be available March 18.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from The Associated Press, Reuters and Apple.
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Words in This Story
upgrade – v. to improve something by making it newer or better quality
battery – n. a device that provides and stores electricity for certain electronic devices
feature – n. a typical quality or important part of something
momentum – n. the way in which something continues to move, increase or develop
revenue – n. amounts of money received by a government or company
subscription – n. an amount of money paid to regularly receive a product or service
recur – v. to happen again or many times
chip – n. a small piece of semiconducting material used to make parts that help power computer processors
monitor – n. a device, like the screen of a TV, that lets a person see computer activities or listen to programs and sound