Apple announces $399 iPhone SE

Gelo Gonzales
Apple announces $399 iPhone SE
The phone will come with the A13 Bionic chip, the same one found in the iPhone 11 series. Proceeds from the PRODUCT(RED) variant will go to a COVID-19 relief fund.

MANILA, Philippines – Apple on Wednesday, April 15, announced the new iPhone SE, equipped with a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, Touch ID, and a starting price tag of $399 – same as the original 2016 iPhone SE when it launched. (READ: iPhone SE priced at P26,490 in the Philippines)

Impressive is the fact that the phone will come with the A13 Bionic chip, which is the same chip found in the iPhone 11 series. The base iPhone 11 launched at $699 in late 2019. (READ: Apple unveils iPhone 11 models, with price cut)

It will have a single-camera system, but one that will be assisted with “computational photography” technology that allows for software optimized images.

The phone will come in 3 colors: black, white, and the special (PRODUCT)RED variant.

Photo from Apple

Apple has regularly released PRODUCT(RED) variants of their phones, proceeds from which go to anti-HIV/AIDS programs. This time, some of the proceeds will also go to COVID-19 relief efforts, specifically to Switzerland-based Global Fund’s COVID-19 response. Funding will go to “countries in need of PPE, diagnostics treatment, lab equipment, public safety communications, supply chain support, and more.”

Pre-orders in the US begin on Friday, April 17, 5 am, US PDT time. The phones start arriving on April 24 in the US and “more than 40 other countries and regions.” Customers who purchase iPhone SE will have one year of Apple TV+ for free, although Apple didn’t specify if this will be the case for all regions. 

Photo from Apple

The build of the phone is aluminum and glass, The bezels are black for all color variants. The phone will have IP67 water and dust resistance. The display will support standards such as Dolby Vision and HDR10 playback.

The iPhone SE also has what it calls Haptic Touch for Quick Actions, which allow for more nuanced touch interactions in actions such as previewing messages, rearranging apps, and actions in contextual menus. The familiar Home button will be on the SE, bordered by a steel ring used to detect a user’s fingerprint for Touch ID. 

The iPhone SE is also wireless-charging capable, with Qi-certified chargers, and also supports fast-charging, said to be capable of providing 50% battery charge in 30 minutes. The phone is Wi-Fi 6-capable, and will have dual-SIM support via eSIM. It will have a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture wide-angle camera, which will have portrait mode and its 6 portrait lighting effects; and Smart HDR, which is meant to make high dynamic range images look more natural. For video taking, it will have 4K recording up to 60fps. 

Storage options include 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. –

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.