Note from the editor, March 8, 2022: Apple unveiled a slew of new items today, including the iPhone SE 2022. Apple also unveiled a new green color option for the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, as well as an updated iPad Air. We also have a release date for iOS 15.4. Everything Apple debuted at their “Peak Performance” event may be found here.
Since its debut in 2007, Apple’s iPhone has been seen as a high-end product with a high price tag to match. Apple’s “Peek Performance” event on March 8 is expected to focus on the iPhone SE 2022, the company’s most affordable smartphone. The most up-to-date information may be found on CNET’s live blog.
Unlike the $699 iPhone 13 or $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone SE isn’t meant to wow with cutting-edge features like super-bright screens, room-sensing lasers, or macro photography so much as it’s meant to satisfy for a far lower price of $399.
“The first iPhone SE 2022 was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s former head of marketing, said in a press release when announcing the most recent iteration, two years ago.
Apple hasn’t revealed much about the new iPhone SE 2020, but its highlight feature is likely to be 5G wireless compatibility. Anyone who has been using a 5G phone for a previous couple of years may think this is old news. However, it may encourage consumers who would otherwise be hesitant to purchase a phone that costs roughly the same as a month’s rent.
“It’s an iPhone for folks who don’t need all the bells and whistles — they just need a phone,” CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said.
He went on to say that part of Apple’s success over the years has come from delivering a product choice that caters to a wide range of needs. The rumored iPhone SE 2022 improvement comes at a time when the world is in upheaval. The event will be streamed live from the company’s headquarters in California, about 6,000 miles distant from Ukraine, the country in the center of Europe’s largest war since WWII. And the conflict comes while the world continues to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, which was sparked by Russia’s unprovoked invasion.
Despite global vaccine efforts, the virus continues to spread, infecting more than 52 million people in the last month alone and killing more than a quarter-million people. Business leaders say they’re still wondering when life will return to normal after navigating supply chain nightmares, employee health issues, and rising inflation.
The new iPhone SE 2022 isn’t expected to be Apple’s only product announcement Tuesday. The company’s also rumored to be prepping new iPads with updated designs, faster chips and potential wireless charging support. In addition it’s expected to update its Mac Mini, the $699 computer that’s a little smaller than a coffee table book, meant to plug into a separate screen, keyboard, and mouse.
But the iPhone SE 2022 may yet draw some of the most attention when the event is over, by representing not just the lowest-cost iPhone, but also the last of the company’s lineup to run on 5G wireless
Many people are still due to upgrade to the new wireless standard, in which phone carriers have invested billions of dollars in network upgrades, new cell towers, and other efforts to make the technology work, according to Apple executives.
Cell providers are also decommissioning older 3G networks, which were launched before the first iPhone. The majority of users have moved on from 3G over the years — carriers claim that 3G devices now account for only a small portion of their network traffic — but some customers who still have outdated phones will be forced to upgrade.
“It’s not about price point,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, “it’s about admitting there’s a portion of the market that has an emergency phone or doesn’t have a love affair with their smartphone as other people do.” She also mentioned that, unlike its competitors, Apple provides free software updates to iPhone owners for considerably longer periods of time, which has helped kept older phones in circulation as hand-me-downs or secondary devices.
All of this could lead to another opportunity for Apple’s iPhone SE to shine even brighter.