Apple introduced a new phone with a 4-inch screen, the iPhone SE, at its spring “Let Us Loop You In” event in Cupertino, CA. today.
Apple has made a bundle on its larger phones like the iPhone 6 and 6s, both of which have 4.7-inch screens, and the 6 Plus and 6s Plus, which have 5.5-inch screens.
A small but vocal minority of iPhone users have clung to their iPhone 5s–the last Apple release with a 4-inch screen. “Some people asked us, some people even pleaded with us to keep the 4-inch iPhone in our lineup,” Apple’s Greg Joswiak said.
The iPhone SE offers a chance for those people to get a more powerful, better-designed iPhone while keeping their preferred screen size. The A9 chip in the iPhone SE is approximately twice as fast as the chip in the iPhone 5s, Joswiak said. The M9 chip enables graphics performance three times as fast as the 5s.
The SE also retains the flat, chamfered, edges of the iPhone 5s. Some had expected Apple to give the phone the rounded metal edges of the iPhone 6 and 6s.
The addition of an NFC (near field communication) chip allows SE owners to make Apple Pay payments. However, the SE does not support the 3D Touch pressure-sensitive, contextual input found in the iPhone 6s.
The new phone comes in two sizes–a 16GB model for $399, and a 64GB model for $499. Pre-orders start March 24, and the phone is on sale March 31.