Apple’s overall iPhone SE will receive a significant technical update. It will also mean higher prices.

SAN RAMON, Calif. – Apple on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its budget iPhone that is capable of connecting to ultra-fast 5G wireless networks, an update that has been available on the company’s high-end models for more than a year.

The latest iPhone SE marks the first upgrade to a simple version of Apple’s most popular product in almost two years. Due to the latest sign of inflationary pressures that has shaken the economy, the new iPhone SE will sell for $ 429, up 8% from $ 399. the latest version that released it almost two years ago in the early stages of a pandemic. The new iPhone SE will hit stores on March 18th.

As a precaution against the pandemic, Apple continued to refrain from inviting the media and other guests to personal events it has traditionally hosted to present its latest products. Instead, Apple broadcast the event from co-founder Steve Jobs Theater at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

While the latest iPhone SE will have a faster processor, a more durable 4.7-inch screen and a longer battery than the latest model, its best point will probably be its compatibility with 5G wireless networks, which are still out ‘are, and its a relatively low price.

This is a sharp discount from the amateur The iPhone 13 line was released last fall. The price of the iPhone 13, which consists of four different models, ranges from $ 700 to $ 1,100. All of them, like the iPhone 12s released in the fall of 2020, can connect to 5G phones.

Although 5G networks are still not widely available, the appeal of faster connections proved to be a major advantage that helped push more iPhone fans to switch from older models. The iPhone 13 proved to be such a hot commodity that it helped Apple outperforms longtime rival Samsung and take over the mantle of the world’s largest smartphone retailer for the past three months of last year, according to research group International Data Corp.

During Tuesday’s presentation, Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted that since last fall, the company has attracted more new iPhone users than ever before, without giving specific figures. “We’re excited that the new iPhone SE will take advantage of this momentum,” Cook said.

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives expects Apple to sell about 30 million new iPhone SE models over the next year, meeting the needs of less affluent consumers who own one of the roughly 225 million iPhones that are at least three and a half years old. .

While Apple isn’t making as much money on selling the iPhone SE as the more expensive models, it will still give the company more opportunities to sell subscriptions to streaming music, streaming video, games and other services that have become big profits. said Tuong Nguyen, a Gartner smartphone analyst.

“It’s all about expanding the ecosystem,” Nguyen said. “It’s always nice when Apple can get you to buy a new phone. But it’s even better if they can get you to sign up for whatever they can because it turns into recurring income. ”

Another thing that Apple has introduced is the “alpine green” and “stunning green” finish for the iPhone 13. The “alpine green iPhone” was in trend at Google.

Apple’s services division has grown into a thriving business, earning $ 68 billion in revenue last fiscal year compared to $ 24 billion in 2016 – the first year since the advent of the music streaming service. The company’s success in services has also turned into a regulatory minefield, sparking antitrust lawsuits and proposed legislation that seeks to weaken Apple. exclusive control in the iPhone app store, which collects lucrative commissions from digital transactions processed on the device.

The iPhone itself remains Apple’s largest gold mine with sales of $ 192 billion over the last fiscal year, despite a supply shortage that has cut production. Apple in January said these problems were weakened when the pandemic stopped and suppliers began to catch up.

In addition to the new iPhone SE, Apple also used Tuesday’s demonstration to announce it had struck a deal with Premier League Baseball to start showing two games Friday night each week by subscribing to a video after the sport resolved a labor dispute that has already delayed his season. The agreement marks the latest foray of a major technology company into a sports programming niche that has traditionally been dominated by long-established television networks.

While the addition of baseball games could help Apple subscribe to its 2-year video service, the company originally plans to make them available to all viewers for free.

Apple has also released a new desktop version of its personal computer called Mac Studio, which will cost between $ 2,000 and $ 4,000 per processor. The 27-inch high-resolution screen, designed for Mac Studio, will cost another $ 1,600. The company has also released the latest version of its lightweight iPad Air tablet for $ 600. All of these computing devices will run from Apple’s own chips.

Travis Pitman contributed to this report.

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