Apple has announced plans to release a cheaper model of the iPhone as many people have been forced to reduce their spending over the coronavirus pandemic.
The second-generation iPhone SE introduced Wednesday will sell for as little as $399, a 40% markdown from the most affordable iPhone 11 unveiled last year. Higher-end versions of the iPhone 11 sell for more than $1,000. Online orders for the iPhone SE will begin Friday, with the first deliveries expected April 24, AP reports.
High-priced gadgets are expected to become an even tougher sell as the economy plunges into its deepest downturn in more than a decade.
Even before the rapidly spreading coronavirus forced most states to order lockdowns, Apple had been hit hard by efforts to contain it in China. Besides being its third largest market behind the U.S. and Europe, China is also where Apple makes most of its iPhones.
With both its factories and stores in China shut down for several weeks this year, Apple issued a warning two months ago that quarterly sales will fall short of previous projections. The Cupertino, California, company is scheduled to release its result for the quarter later this month.
The new iPhone SE is an update to another low-cost model that Apple released four years ago. Apple stopped selling the original iPhone SE in 2018.
The updated Phone SE is essentially the same as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which came out in 2017. The iPhone SE won’t share the same displays and cameras carried by the newer iPhone 11 models. But it will be powered by the same A13 processing chip that’s inside the more expensive iPhone 11.