iPhone SE (1st generation)
The first-generation iPhone SE (also known as iPhone SE 1 or iPhone SE 2016) is a smartphone that was designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. It is part of the 9th generation of the iPhone alongside the higher-end iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Pre-orders began on March 24, 2016. It was officially released on March 31, 2016. It was re-released on March 24, 2017 with larger storage capacities.
|Manufacturer||Foxconn (on contract)|
Wistron (on contract) for India's market
|Slogan||A big step for small.|
|Model||A1662 (US model)|
A1723 (Sprint and in most countries)
A1724 (China Mobile model)
|Compatible networks||GSM, LTE, 3G, 4G, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, CDMA, EVDO|
|First released||March 31, 2016(16 and 64 GB); March 24, 2017 (32 and 128 GB)|
|Availability by region||
April 21, 2016
May 5, 2016
May 12, 2016
May 28, 2016
June 8, 2016
|Discontinued||March 21, 2017 (16 and 64 GB)|
September 12, 2018 (32 and 128 GB)
|Successor||iPhone SE (2nd generation)|
|Mass||113 g (4.0 oz)|
|Operating system||Original: iOS 9.3|
Current: iOS 15.0, released September 20, 2021
|System on chip||Apple A9|
|CPU||1.84 GHz dual-core 64-bit ARMv8-A "Twister"|
|GPU||PowerVR GT7600 (hexa-core)|
|Memory||2 GB LPDDR4 RAM|
|Storage||16, 32, 64, or 128 GB NAND connected via NVMe|
|Battery||3.82 V 6.21 W⋅h (1624 mAh) Built-in rechargeable Lithium-polymer battery|
|Data inputs||Multi-touch touchscreen display, Apple M9 motion coprocessor, 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, digital compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, Touch ID fingerprint reader, microphone|
|Display||4.0 in (100 mm) Retina Display, LED-backlit IPS LCD, 1136 × 640 pixel resolution (326 ppi, aspect ratio 16:9) with full sRGB standard, 500 cd/m2 max. brightness (typical), 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)|
|Rear camera||Backlit Sony Exmor RS IMX315 12.2 MP (4032 x 3024, 1.22 μm), dual-tone LED flash, autofocus, IR filter, burst mode, f/2.2 aperture, 4K video recording at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 or 60 fps, slow-motion video (1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps)|
|Front camera||1.2 MP, f/2.4 aperture, exposure control, face detection, auto-HDR, Retina Flash, 720p video recording|
|Sound||Mono speaker, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack|
|Connectivity||Near-field communication (NFC), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling, Lightning connector, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack|
|Other||FaceTime audio- or video-calling|
|SAR||Head SAR: 1.17 W/kg|
Body SAR: 1.19 W/kg
|Hearing aid compatibility||M3, T4|
|Website||iPhone SE - Apple at the Wayback Machine (archived January 2, 2017)|
The iPhone SE shares the same physical design and dimensions as iPhone 5S, and has upgraded internal hardware, including the newer Apple A9 system-on-chip, greater battery capacity, and a 12-megapixel rear camera that can record up to 4K video at 30 frames per second. Like the iPhone 6s, the iPhone SE can shoot Live Photos and has features like Retina Flash, and the option to have Hey Siri activated, without the need to be plugged into a power source. The name SE is an acronym for Special Edition. The iPhone SE was discontinued by Apple on September 12, 2018. The 1st generation SE, alongside the 6S, are the first iPhones to be supported through seven major versions of iOS, from iOS 9 to iOS 15.
The previous major redesign of the iPhone, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, resulted in larger screen sizes. However, a significant number of customers still preferred the smaller 4-inch screen size of iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S.
Leaks about a smaller, iPhone 5S-like phone with newer components started circulating in 2015. Guesses included "iPhone 5se", "iPhone 6 Mini", "iPhone 6c", and "iPhone SE" (which was the correct name of the phone).
Apple executive Greg Joswiak stated in the Let us loop you in event (held at the Town Hall auditorium in the Apple Campus) on March 21, 2016, that they sold over 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, further explaining that some people love smaller compact phones. Later in the event, he announced the iPhone SE, describing it as "the most powerful four-inch phone ever." With a total mass of 113 grams (or 4.0 ounces), iPhone SE is one of the lightest iPhone models released, only surpassed by iPhone 5 and 5S (both having a total mass of 112 grams or 3.95 ounces). The iPhone SE, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 6S Plus were the last iPhone models to feature a standard 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack.
No affordable successor to iPhone SE was announced during the September 12, 2018, Apple Special Event, and Business Insider stated that "Apple made a big mistake by removing its smallest and most affordable iPhone from its lineup", suggesting that the company was disregarding a significant number of customers who had been worried over the loss of the smaller design. This was affirmed by Computerworld, who claimed that "the harsh reality is that across some of Apple's biggest markets, wage growth has stagnated, and people are feeling the pinch", further stating that there will always exist consumers in the mid-tier smartphone markets.
In relation with the discontinuation of iPhone SE, Quartz mentioned on September 22, 2018, that women and other smartphone users with smaller hands had reported "pain from holding, scrolling, and swiping on phones, and a review of research on the ergonomics of handheld devices concludes that bigger products, like large phones and tablets, often result in overextension of the thumb and wrist", hinting to repetitive strain injury, and that oversized iPhones and smartphones in general can be physically unusable for some users. The technology website Gizmodo shared the same concern, hoping that "there will be a return to smaller phones", and expressed a desire "to hold one's phone in a single hand, and be able to use it fully."
On January 19, 2019, iPhone SE was back on sale as a clearance item for $249. However, by January 20, 2019, stock was sold out. On February 20, 2019. TechRadar announced that iPhone SE once again was on sale as a clearance item with a $100 price reduction. The price for the 32 GB version was $249, while the price for the 128 GB version was $299. The iPhones were unlocked, with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon as optional SIM card carriers. It was available in all original colors, including Space Gray, Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold. On March 25, 2019 Gizmodo reported that iPhone SE was back in Apple's clearance shop, and added, that "it's likely the last of Apple's stock that the company has finally put on clearance."
On April 15, 2020, the second-generation iPhone SE was announced as the successor to both the original first-generation iPhone SE and iPhone 8/8 Plus. The second-generation iPhone SE was released on April 24, 2020. However, the 2020 iPhone SE has a larger 4.7 inch screen size, leaving the original iPhone SE as the last iPhone to have the smaller 4.0 inch screen size.
The exterior design of iPhone SE is nearly identical to that of iPhone 5 and 5S, with the exception of matte-chamfered edges and an inset stainless steel rear Apple logo. The iPhone SE shares the same physical sizes and dimensions, so cases designed to fit the 5 and 5S will also fit an iPhone SE. iPhone SE was available in the colors Space Gray, Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold.
iPhone SE incorporates the Apple A9 system-on-chip (SoC) with an M9 motion coprocessor and supports near field communication for Apple Pay. It was originally released with 16 GB or 64 GB of internal storage. It features a 12 megapixel rear-facing camera with the ability to record 2160p (4K) video at 30 frames per second and slow motion with 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps options. The camera lacks optical image stabilization.
Still photos with 6.5 megapixels (3412×1920) can be captured during video recording.
On March 21, 2017 Apple announced that it would double the storage for these models at the same launch prices. The upgraded models were released on March 24, 2017 with 32 GB or 128 GB of internal storage.
iPhone SE originally shipped with iOS 9.3, supporting iPhone 6- and 6S-exclusive features such as Apple Pay, Live Photos, Retina Flash, and always-on Siri voice activation. The SE is compatible with iOS 13. During the WWDC 2019 Keynote, Apple announced, that iPhone SE, 6S, and 6S Plus would support most of the main features of iOS 13. This includes the new dark mode (which aims to reduce eye strain), and Low Data Mode for restricting background network (both Wi-Fi and mobile network) usage. Along with iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, iPhone SE is the oldest iPhone to support iOS 13, iOS 14, and iOS 15.
CNET considered the iPhone SE to be a "great choice at the small end, with no compromises", and lauded Apple for adapting iPhone 6S's hardware to three different form factors while "consumers loved the battery life and that it still had a headphone jack.”
The Verge considered iPhone SE to be much-improved and well-designed with great battery life, and its screen size the only hindrance to multitasking and certain apps. Giving the device 8.7 out of 10, The Verge said the iPhone SE is "today's tech in yesterday's phone body" and warned not to overly praise something just for doing its job.
GSMArena wrote that iPhone SE "struck the right balance between size, cost and performance", helping Apple beat sales expectations, and that it was strategic in India and China where Apple struggles to match its Western markets.
Tom's Guide acclaimed iPhone SE for being an affordable and compact smartphone with a headphone jack, saying it can be both held comfortably and slipped into a jeans pocket and almost forgotten, unlike a big-screen device however thin. There was praise for the ability to listen to music and charge the phone at the same time.
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