Prior to the quiet update, the entry-level device started with 16GB of built-in storage, with a more expensive option boosting that to 64GB. Now, that’s been doubled — the starter iPhone SE model comes with a more spacious 32GB of storage, while the higher-end unit comes with 128GB.
Both phones are listed as “currently unavailable” on Apple’s website as of this writing, however.
Everything else appears to be the same as it was when Apple first introduced the phone last March. That means it largely has the specs of last year’s iPhone 6s in the more squarish body of the older iPhone 5s. It also means the prices haven’t changed: The starter model still costs $US399, while the highest-end version costs $US499.
That price will make the iPhone SE less of a value than it was a year ago, but it still remains the cheapest iPhone Apple sells directly. More significantly, it remains one of the only smartphones on the market to pack relatively powerful performance in a smaller-sized device, one that can be comfortably used with one hand.
The iPhone SE hasn’t been as big of a seller as the more standard iPhone models, but did appear to help Apple offset the slowing sales it typically experiences in the spring. Though the upgrade here makes the entry-level model a more comfortable buy, it still isn’t a brand-new version of the device, so it’s unclear if it will have the same effect in 2017.
The update comes as part of a larger slew of device updates on Tuesday: Aside from the SE, Apple also introduced an affordable 9.7-inch iPad, a red iPhone 7, a new photo editing app called Clips, and a storage upgrade to the iPad Mini 4.
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