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Apple’s budget iPhone gets major upgrades

Kirsten Doyle
By Kirsten Doyle, ITWeb contributor.
Johannesburg, 09 Mar 2022

Apple has introduced the third iteration of its iPhone SE line of smartphones, which is now powered by the same A15 chip that’s in the higher-priced iPhone 13 models.

This was revealed by the company’s CEO Tim Cook during a virtual event last night.

According to Cook, the SE's design remains similar to the older iPhone 8, with a physical home button and a 4.7-inch screen that doesn’t entirely cover the front of the device like the iPhone 13.

It also features a TouchID fingerprint sensor, and a 12-megapixel camera, and a 5G wireless connection.

“From the very beginning, we designed the iPhone SE to include some of our most advanced features and technologies while delivering the iPhone experience at an incredible price,” he said.

Francesca Sweet, the Apple iPhone product marketing manager, said the GPU is 2.2x faster than iPhone 8, the CPU is 1.8x faster than iPhone 8 and “faster than all the competition at any price”.

The chip also comes with a 16-core neural engine, that she says is perfect for machine learning tasks given its capacity of 15.8 trillion operations per second. This is 26 times faster than the iPhone eight.

On the design end, the iPhone SE features an aerospace-grade aluminium and glass design, now with what Cook said is the toughest glass in a smartphone on the front and back, the same as on the back of iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13. It is also rated IP67 for water and dust resistance.

It comes in three colours, Midnight, Starlight and Product Red, and costs $429  $30 more than the previous version released in 2020.