Apple releases budget iPhone SE priced at $399 as coronavirus stalls economy

Apple releases budget iPhone SE priced at $399 as coronavirus stalls economy

Apple Inc released a smaller iPhone on Wednesday at a price of $ 399, lowering the starting price company’s smartphone line to increase the appeal of price-conscious customers as the corona virus is hampering the global economy. The cheaper model could also attract more consumers to Apple services, a growing engine of revenue. Apple shares fell 1.1%, down from the 2.8% decline in the S&P 500 index.

The iPhone SE, available on April 24, is the second generation of an earlier value model. It will start at $ 50 less than what used to be the cheapest available iPhone, the $ 449 iPhone 8, which is retiring. The SE comes with a 4.7-inch display and the same processor chip as Apple’s most advanced phone, the 11 Pro. The SE lacks 5G capabilities and Apple’s facial recognition system to unlock the device, relying instead on a fingerprint sensor similar to older models. The announcement comes as the United States and much of the world is recovering from the new coronavirus, although US political leaders have started talking about ending home commands and restarting the economy in hopes of record deaths and declining hospitalizations a highlight.

Every previous iPhone has been unveiled in a polished fan presentation, but major events remain banned at Apple’s home base in Santa Clara County, California, where government officials ordered the first closings in the United States to slow the spread of the new corona virus. Apple’s cheaper phone reflects the economic downturn and job losses caused by the corona virus.

The cheaper phone is entering a killer market for value phones, especially in China, where Apple makes about 17% of sales. While the new iPhone adds features like wireless charging and a high-end camera, it lacks connectivity for 5G, the next generation of mobile data networks. In China, rivals like Xiaomi Corp announced models with 5G features starting around $ 425 last month. With hesitant hardware sales, Apple has invested in subscription services such as the Apple TV + streaming television service, Apple Music and iCloud. The new SE comes with a year of free streaming TV service, similar to Apple’s flagship devices released last fall.

Apple said in January that it had 1.5 billion active installed devices and 480 million subscribers on both its own and external payment services, compared to 1.4 billion devices and 360 million subscribers a year earlier. The company also aimed to reach 600 million paid subscribers by the end of calendar 2020.

The coronavirus gave the year a volatile start. Sales in China, the first nation affected by the virus, declined and recovered as the country began to reopen. Sales of 500,000 phones in February rose to 2.5 million phones in March, according to government sales data there. Apple is starting to sell the new model online with stores all over the world closed, except those in the larger sales region in China. Apple is set to take orders by phone on its website on Friday, and device delivery is expected to begin on April 24.

Apple gets about 31% of its sales from its elegant stores and website, and 69% comes from partners such as mobile carriers and other retailers. Apple said partners would decide whether to sell the phones in their brick and mortar stores. Many Apple resellers try to guide customers to online sales. Major partners such as Best Buy Inc have reduced their opening hours and AT&T Inc has closed approximately 40% of US stores.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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