iPhone SE (2020) officially launched
April 17, 2020 UPDATE: After months of rumors and speculations, Apple has officially launched the budget-friendly model. The device has been named iPhone SE (2020) instead of iPhone 9. It has a starting price of $399. Apple has started accepting pre-orders for the new iPhone SE. Deliveries are set to start on April 24th in the US.
The second-generation iPhone SE features a 4.7-inch LCD screen with thick bezels at the top and bottom. The device gets Touch ID fingerprint sensor instead of the Face ID. It smaller size makes the iPhone SE easier to operate with one hand.
The phone is available in three different color options – White, Black, and PRODUCT(RED). It has the familiar aluminum and glass design. The iPhone SE comes with an IP67 rating for water-resistance, meaning it can remain submerged in up to one meter deep water for 30 minutes.
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The iPhone SE (2020) has a single 12MP camera on the back with Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting and Depth Control. It can record 4K videos at up to 60fps. For selfies, it gets a 7MP sensor with Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, and Depth Control.
One of the biggest highlights of the new phone is its processor. The iPhone SE gets the same A13 Bionic chipset that runs the iPhone 11 Pro. Apple hasn’t officially revealed the RAM and battery size. But third-party sources have confirmed that it packs 3GB RAM and a 1,820mAh battery. The device is available in three different storage options of 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
Apple’s highly anticipated low-cost iPhone 9/iPhone SE 2 is just a few weeks away, according to a bunch of leaks and rumors. But the coronavirus outbreak could force Apple to change its plans. The device will reportedly be aimed at people who prefer a budget-friendly phone with a smaller screen. Here’s the lowdown on the iPhone 9 release date, price, specs, and rumors.
What will it be called?
Well, we don’t know for sure. Both the iPhone 9 and iPhone SE 2 names have been doing rounds in the rumor mill. Apple launched the iPhone SE in 2016 as a budget-friendly, small-screen option for people who didn’t want its larger and more expensive phones. The new device will have a similar target audience. So, it could be called iPhone SE 2.
However, various leaks have indicated that the smartphone would look similar to the iPhone 8, which has started showing its age. A device with iPhone 8-like appearance and upgraded internals could be called iPhone 9. At this point, iPhone 9 seems far more likely than iPhone SE 2.
According to reports coming out of Korea, wireless carrier Korea Telecom has been advertising the device as iPhone 9. The carrier was also advertising Samsung’s Galaxy S20 before its launch. It’s unlikely that the Korean telecom operator was given false information.
iPhone 9 release date
Apple could launch the iPhone 9 as soon as the first week of April. According to MacRumors, the iPhone 9 cases have reached Best Buy stores in the US. A Best Buy employee shared an image of the case, which has the Urban Armor Gear branding. There is no mention of the phone’s name on the case box. It simply says, “New iPhone 4.7″, 2020.”
Best Buy has asked its employees not to showcase the new iPhone 9 cases to customers until April 5th. It indicates that the device could debut on or around April 5. Given the coronavirus outbreak, Apple will likely launch the iPhone 9 the same way it recently launched the iPad Pro and MacBook Air with Magic Keyboard.
Recently, reliable Twitter tipster Evan Blass claimed that Apple would launch the low-cost iPhone 9 in March this year. DigiTimes reported on February 13 that Taiwan-based compound semiconductor makers were preparing to start production of components for the low-cost iPhone model. Apple had launched the iPhone SE in March of 2016.
There are speculations that the coronavirus outbreak in China could disrupt the supply chain and force Apple to delay the iPhone 9 launch.
Reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities (via MacRumors) has told clients that the iPhone production won’t ramp up significantly until the second quarter of 2020. Kuo has warned that the coronavirus outbreak could cause delay in the launch of new Apple products.
The Cupertino company has also lowered its revenue guidance for the March quarter. The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted Apple’s supply chain in Asia. Nikkei Asian Review has learned from supply chain sources that the iPhone 9 production was supposed to start in February. But it has been pushed back to sometime in March.
Even if Apple ends up delaying the iPhone 9 launch, we can still expect the device to hit the store shelves in the first half of this year. The iPhone 9 is widely anticipated by people who want an affordable and small-screen iPhone with the latest processor. Apple hasn’t yet sent out invites for the iPhone 9 launch event.
Design and display
There have been contradictory reports about the iPhone 9’s screen size. Some reports suggest it would feature a 4.7-inch screen. Others claim it would get a 4.9-inch display. And Japanese blog Mac Otakara has reported that it would sport an even larger 5.4-inch screen.
As per the renders shared by Twitter tipster OnLeaks, the phone would get a 4.7-inch IPS LCD Retina display. Its form factor will be similar to iPhone 8 with thick bezels at the top and bottom of the screen. It would also have a physical home button with Touch ID support. The phone will also get rid of the 3D Touch functionality to cut costs. It gets only a single camera on the back.
It will be difficult for Apple to pack a 5.4-inch display in an iPhone 8 chassis, unless Apple ditches the home button and Touch ID in favor of Face ID. But Face ID will significantly increase the costs, which won’t go with Apple’s low-cost theme for the phone.
The iPhone 9 will also reportedly have a stainless steel frame. Its back panel is expected to have frosted glass rather than the glossy glass of the iPhone 11. According to OnLeaks, the handset will be available in silver, red, and space grey color options.
The features and specs
Despite its low cost, the iPhone 9 is going to be insanely powerful. Twitter tipster OnLeaks has learned from supply chain sources that the iPhone 9 would run the A13 chipset with 3GB RAM. The iPhone 11 series runs the same A13 processor. It is expected to pack 64GB of base storage.
Not much is known about its battery performance. Apple could keep its battery capacity same as iPhone 8, but improve battery life through software optimization. Thanks to the glass rear panel, the device could also support wireless charging.
It is said to have only a single camera on the back. But Apple will likely use the new sensors from iPhone 11 series. It could support new features like 100% Focus Pixels, QuickVideo, Portrait Mode, Night Mode, Smart HDR, and 4K video recording. On the front, it will likely retain the 7MP camera from the iPhone 8.
iPhone 9 price
Back in 2016, Apple released the iPhone SE with a starting price of $399. The iPhone 9 could debut at a similar price point. Reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities has also talked about the upcoming low-cost iPhone being priced at around $399. Fast Company has also learned from its sources that the iPhone 9 would sett at $399.
Even if Apple chooses to increase the price a little, the iPhone 9 is unlikely to cost more than $450. Currently, the iPhone 8 starts at $449. The $399 price point will make the iPhone 9 an attractive choice, especially in emerging markets like China and India where most people can’t afford the iPhone 11.
Chinese vendors such as Xiaomi and OnePlus have carved out a market for themselves by offering high-end features at low prices. And they have been eating into Apple’s sales in China, India, and other countries. With the iPhone 9 release date just around the corner, we’ll soon find out if the new iPhone is something Chinese vendors should worry about.