Apple unveils ‘smaller and cheaper’ iPhone SE

APPLE bucked the trend towards bigger mobiles with a smaller and cheaper iPhone which it hopes will stave off competition from more affordable rivals.

APPLE bucked the trend towards bigger mobiles with a smaller and cheaper iPhone which it hopes will stave off competition from more affordable rivals.

The tech giant unveiled the four inch iPhone SE which will cost from $399 in the US, or £359 in the UK.

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The device is the most powerful phone of that size ever and has the same specifications as the more expensive iPhone 6.

It marks a change of direction for Apple which until now appeared locked in an arms race with its rivals to build the largest device that can still fit in your pocket.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said during the launch that “many, many customers have asked for this, and I think they”re going to love it”.

The launch comes as Apple is being squeezed by Google”s Android operating system and cheaper competitors from abroad like Samsung, LG and Chinese phone maker Huawei.

Apple hopes that by the relatively low price of the SE might entice some of their customers to switch.

Greg Joswiak, Vice President of product marketing for Apple, said the smaller device might also appeal to people who are buying their first device from the company.

He said that the screen will be four inches diagonally across, which is the same size as the iPhone 5S that was released in 2013.

The SE has all the features of the 6S such as the 64 bit A9 processor and the M9 motion coprocessor.

Also present will be the same 12 megapixel camera, true tone flash and range of colours, black, white, gold and rose gold.

The iPhone SE will be released on 31 March in Britain costing £359 for 16GB of storage and £439 for 64GB.

By comparison, when the iPhone 6s launched last year it cost £539 for the 16GB model and £619 for the 64GB model.

The larger iPhone 6s Plus was priced at £619 for the 16GB model and £699 for the 64GB model.

Jan Dawson, president of Jackdaw Research, said that Apple was banking on the fact that some people just did not like large phones.

He said: “Though there may be some correlation between these people and those who don”t care about always having the latest and greatest device, that”s not to say they”re all happy sticking with cheaper or older phones”.

“If anything, a higher percentage of websites are now using adaptive layouts that will work just fine on smaller devices and larger devices.

“Any web developer worth their title knows that there are still more smaller phones than larger phones out there, even if what”s selling now is mostly at the larger end”.

Apple”s decision to build a larger iPhones was controversial.

The company”s founder Steve Jobs said that “no-one” would buy a phone with a large screen and the verdict is still out on the 6 Plus.

The phone has a 5.5 inch screen and was lauded by critics but in January Apple reportedly cut production by 30 per cent on the back of poor sales.

The launch event at Apple”s Cupertino, California headquarters was in a theatre that was far smaller than the arena they use in San Francisco for most product launches and reflected the subdued mood.

Mr Cook opened by talking about the recent row over encryption after the FBI took the company to court to try and access the phone of a dead terrorist.

Mr Cook has refused to comply because he thinks that it will create a backdoor that will breach the privacy of its users.

He said that he had been “overwhelmed” by the amount of support and said that he “will not shrink from this responsibility”.

During the presentation Apple, which celebrates its 40th birthday on April 1st, revealed that one billion of the company”s devices are now in use worldwide.

Two years ago, Apple set the goal to use 100 percent renewable energy to manufactures its products.

Worldwide that number is 93 per cent, though in the US that is 100 per cent.

Among the other items unveiled were new coloured bands for the Apple Watch and a new woven nylon band.

The price of the basic Apple Watch was also lowered to $299 from $349 in the US, though the new UK price was not revealed.

Chief operating officer Jeff Williams revealed CareKit, a framework for building apps that allow patients to take more an active role in their healthcare.

The first app was for Parkinson”s disease and was already being used by medics at Stanford and Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Patients can carry out tests on their reactions and their coordination and share the data with their doctors in real time, Mr Williams said.