Apple unveils iPhone SE, the most powerful phone with a four-inch display

Apple today introduced iPhone SE, the most powerful phone with a four-inch display, in a beloved compact aluminum design that has been updated with matte-chamfered edges, a color-matched stainless steel Apple logo, and four gorgeous metallic finishes, including rose gold. iPhone SE offers exceptional performance with the same 64-bit A9 chip offered in iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus for blazing fast speeds, longer battery life, faster wireless, a 12-megapixel iSight® camera featuring Live Photos™ and 4K video, and Touch ID with Apple Pay.

“iPhone SE is an exciting new idea — we started with a beloved, iconic design and reinvented it from the inside out. The result is the most beautiful and powerful phone with a four-inch display in the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a statement. “iPhone SE is packed with a stunning four-inch Retina display, advanced 64-bit A9 chip with M9 motion co-processor, longer battery life, 12-megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash, Live Photos, 4K video, faster LTE and Wi-Fi, and Touch ID with Apple Pay. Everyone who wants a smaller phone is going to love iPhone SE.”

Apple's new 4-inch iPhone SE
Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone SE

The Most Powerful Phone with a Four-inch Display

iPhone SE takes a beloved iPhone design and reinvents it from the inside out, giving customers a powerful, full-featured iPhone no matter which model they choose. The 64-bit A9 chip, introduced in iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, offers iPhone SE customers two times faster CPU and three times faster GPU performance compared to iPhone 5s, all with gains in energy efficiency for improved battery life. M9, Apple’s next-generation motion coprocessor, is integrated into A9 allowing more features to run all the time at lower power, including “Hey Siri” without having to pick up your iPhone, and a range of fitness tracking capabilities like measuring your steps and distance. iPhone SE users can browse, download and stream content even faster with Wi-Fi up to three times and LTE up to 50 percent faster than iPhone 5s. iPhone SE also includes more LTE bands for better worldwide roaming and supports Voice over LTE and Wi-Fi calling for high-quality wideband calls.

With an easy-to-use interface, amazing features, and security at its core, iOS 9 is the foundation of iPhone SE and brings powerful built-in apps like Messages, FaceTime, Photos, Music and Maps to iPhone users. iOS 9 also brings more intelligence to iPhone SE with proactive assistance, powerful search, improved Siri features, and a new Night Shift feature that uses your iPhone SE’s clock and geolocation to automatically adjust the colors in the display to the warmer end of the spectrum after dark and may even help you get a better night’s sleep.

All of these innovations are packed into a light and compact phone designed to fit comfortably in your hand, crafted from bead-blasted aluminum for a satin-like finish, refined matte-chamfered edges, a new color-matched stainless steel inset Apple logo and a brilliant four-inch Retina display.

The World’s Most Popular Camera

iPhone SE has an advanced 12-megapixel iSight camera featuring Focus Pixel technology for fast focusing, an Apple-designed image signal processor, advanced noise reduction, third-generation local tone mapping and better face detection, all resulting in sharper, more detailed photos like the ones shot on iPhone 6s. With Live Photos on iPhone SE, customers can go beyond snapshots to capture moments in motion and relive unforgettable memories with sound. Live Photos are beautiful 12-megapixel photos that, with just a touch, reveal the moments immediately before and after the shot was taken, so users can enjoy a living memory rather than an instant frozen in time.

Additional camera advancements include:

— The ability to shoot HD video with support for 4K at a resolution of 3840 x 2160. After capturing 4K video, customers can edit on a Mac, PC or iPad, and with the latest version of iMovie on iPhone, can even edit two simultaneous streams of 4K on iPhone SE.

— Retina Flash, which momentarily makes the display three times brighter with True Tone lighting technology, for wonderfully bright selfies in low light with the FaceTime HD camera.

— Features introduced with iPhone 6s, including up to 63-megapixel panorama photos, video capture up to 60fps for 1080p video and 240fps for slo-mo, time-lapse with video stabilization and cinematic video stabilization.

Pricing & Availability

— iPhone SE will be available in space gray, silver, gold and rose gold metallic finishes in 16GB and 64GB models starting at $399 (US) from Apple’s retail stores,, Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers, or for 24 monthly payments starting at $17 (US) exclusively at Apple’s retail stores in the US. As part of the newly-announced Trade Up with Installments program at Apple stores in the US, customers can also purchase iPhone SE for as low as $10/month for 24 months.

— Customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US will be able to order iPhone SE beginning Thursday, March 24, with availability beginning Thursday, March 31.

— iPhone SE will be available in early April in Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Guernsey, Jersey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and UAE.

— Apple-designed accessories including leather cases in black and midnight blue will be available for $39 (US), and Lightning® Docks in color-matched metallic finishes are currently available from Apple’s retail stores and for $49 (US).

– Every customer who buys iPhone SE from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup, in-store or online, to help them customize their iPhone by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more.

– Anyone who wants to learn more about iPhone SE or iOS 9 can register for the free workshops offered at every Apple Store.

Source: Apple Inc.


  1. Bravo Apple!

    Finally it looks like Apple is listening. Very impressive — they added most of what people were asking for, without taking away things that people liked, and they priced it to move.

    It’s obvious that Apple just warmed over the 5S again — same case, same screen, but everything that desperately needed attention seems to have gotten it. modern chips, superior camera, better battery. Call it the 5SE, it’s going to be a big seller.

      1. Yeah that still annoyed me. But, given the price is over 40% cheaper than the 6s, and because the larger cousins still only offer a base 16 GB too, it was inevitable. I can even accept that.

        BUT, when the 6s and 6s Plus are replaced this year, they’d better be at least 32 GB. Apologists can no longer say “well, Apple needs a modern but cheap 16GB option to entice switchers who don’t need the storage.” Apple has that now, it’s the 5se.

      2. I know of many tech illiterate people that have iPhones. They download a handful of their favorite apps, hardly use the camera and do zero video. 16GB is mostly unused for this group of users.

        1. My Father and Aunt fall into this category. My father barely knows how to use the camera and has never downloaded an App. My Aunt has problems with even basic functions. These new phones are perfect for them.

  2. Tim Cook is dilusional. Still selling 16GB phones in 2016, with used parts no doubt, while still requiring an extra $100 to bump up in storage. How old is this sh*t getting now?

    Who in the f*ck really draws on their iPads, some rich brats in boarding school, because it aint powerful enough for CAD use by drafters! Remember… it’s “Pro” in name only, not in reality!

    If Ambient light sensing is the only differentiator you can hype on the new iPad, you already failed!

    Only Tim Cook could introduce a new feature like 3D touch in the iPhone 6S and then FAIL to include it in any other subsequent new product. Potential CEO of the year candidate material or incompetent assclown?

    1. Total. Letdown.
      I used to look forward to Apple events.
      We got:
      iPhone SE. They hobbled it with an old iPhone 4 – almost SIX years old – chassis.
      Smaller iPad Pro.
      The rest was fluff.

      One star this if your hour was wasted.

    1. So the SE can shoot Live Photos… but without 3D touch, can’t actually play it back. Unless they’ve changed the UX for Live Photos on the 5se to only need a touch-and-hold?

    2. Who needs to be 3d Force touched?

      The only letdown for this phone is the lack of increased memory options, which Apple FINALLY offset by dropping the price.

  3. It soon became clear why Cook spent so much time talking about recycling. All those broken-screen 5S phones have been recycled into the SE.

    Sad day when Apple’s big news is that they updated the internals of a phone introduced 3 and 1/2 YEARS ago.

    1. It *wasn’t* Apple’s big news though, so you’re instantly wrong about it being a sad day. If there was a main focus, it was the new 9.7″ iPad Pro.

      By itself, the 5se didn’t deserve a media event. Included with multiple product rollouts and operational announcements though, and since it was obviously a secondary thing, I thought it was ok.

    2. Tim Cook spent so much time talking about recycling because that is important, to everyone, not just buyers of new iPhones. I wish more successful companies considered that as important as Apple does.

      1. Speak for yourself. I don’t give two craps about such trivial BS. The morons even mentioned “climate change” like the good little sheeple liberals they are. Pathetic.

  4. Didn’t follow the rumor mill this time about the 4″ iPhone. Surprised to see it’s in the same housing as the old one. I figured they’d try and make it a bit more like the iPod Touch or something… They’ll make a fortune on these. The markup must be amazing! Apple could probably turn a profit selling it for half price. Hilarious.

    That being said, this old iPhone 5 design is much nicer aesthetically than the iPhone 6/6s. The new camera and internals are much appreciated.

    The only thing that would keep me from buying this instead of the upcoming iPhone 7 is the rumored improved (dual?) camera.

    1. The “housing” is probably the least important part of a phone. (unless it is Samsung plastic)
      What is important is what is inside. An iPhone 6s (most of it) squeezed into a smaller case. THAT’S what is important, and impressive.

    2. Yeah, i suspect that holding onto the old 5S chassis tooling is just a cost savings move — typical for Cook. But for once, Apple is passing those cost savings onto the buyer. Have to applaud that move. Let’s not forget that Apple is milking a huge market for accessories designed for the old phone too. That is part of what doomed the 5C sales — very few accessories were made available compared to other iPhone models.

  5. I know everyone always gets overly critical after a event like this.

    That said, I would like to kno y there isn’t no tultimasking for the iPhone 6A Plus?? True professional need a noble phone that can handle two tasks at one’s. We need tultimasking or I’m switching to drove

    1. What’s an “iPhone 6A Plus”?

      Even the very first iPhone did multi-tasking. For example, I could listen to music using the “iPod” app while reading messages in Mail. I could be on a phone call and use Safari. What are you taking about…? 🙂

      The current A9 iPhones probably “multi-task” better (and more efficiently) than my five-year-old Mac mini.

  6. I’m tempted to trade in my monstrous 6 Plus for one of these. I don’t need the big screen, and would like something that I can easily put in my shirt pocket.

  7. I’d say that I prefer the form factor of the pre-6 phones. They didn’t feel as flimsy. I never used a case on my 4S and never cracked the screen, which I now see wasn’t good luck, but the design of the phone. I’ve cracked the screen of my 6 twice, so now I’ve accepted I need a case for it.

  8. This is a great phone for my 12 year son instead of giving him my old iPhone 6 Plus when I upgrade to the next generation. Powerful enough to play the latest games and still fits in his hands.

  9. This is the most useless, a– kissing article ever written. It’s a non-event phone with s/w which isn’t up to par. The company is lost without Jobs. No question. “Most powerful 4″…….”. UGH

    1. When Jobs WAS here analysts and critics and trolls were slamming Apple. I hope you weren’t one of them back then, because if you were, your comments now qualify as…disingenuous.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.