The Singapore iPhone SE launch date has been revealed: March 31.
In Asia-Pacific, customers in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore will be able to order the new handset model beginning Thursday, March 24, with availability beginning Thursday, March 31.
The iPhone SE will be available “in early April” in India and Taiwan, but release dates were not given for other Asian markets.
The new iPhone SE marks a philosophical shift into a lower price bracket for the tech giant, with the SE essentially an evolution of the old iPhone 5 product with features previously only found in the larger iPhone 6 models.
Apple says the SE is the world’s most powerful phone with a four-inch display, “reinvented from the inside out, giving customers a powerful, full-featured iPhone no matter which model they choose”.
The 64-bit A9 chip, introduced in iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, offers iPhone SE customers two times faster CPU and three times faster GPU performance compared to iPhone 5s, offering longer battery life and less energy use. It features M9, Apple’s new generation motion coprocessor and faster wi-fi.
Pricing will start at US$399 in the US for a 16Gb model, with prices yet to be revealed for Asian markets.
But both the tech and business community appeared underwhelmed by Apple’s launch overnight, which also included a new 9.7 inch iPad Pro and cheaper models of the Apple Watch.
“Given the softness of Apple’s performance last quarter, today’s event was an opportunity for the company to start regaining some of the momentum it has lost,” commented Neil Saunders, CEO of retail analyst Conlumino.
“Unfortunately, this opportunity was largely squandered with fairly mundane product updates being the sole focus of the occasion. Gone was the sense of wow, gone was the sense of excitement that makes consumers want to dash out and get the latest Apple products.”
Saunders says the technical ability and engineering prowess of Apple is indisputable, but the launch unveiled little more than tweaks.
“As such they will likely little to persuade consumers, especially in saturated core markets like the US and the UK, to rush out and upgrade. The one slight positive is that some of the cheaper price points, across lines like Apple Watch and the new smaller iPhone, will allow Apple to penetrate some consumer segments that have, hitherto, found its products too expensive.
“However, that Apple should need to focus on price is a worrying sign and a reversal on the previous position that its products were so innovative and cutting edge that it was able to command a premium.”
Saunders concluded that Apple needs to come up with “revolutionary rather than evolutionary product” this year.
“It has failed to do so at this event, which does not bode well for future sales or market share.”
Website ‘The Cult of Mac” observed the 64-minute launch “was the most snooze-worthy event ever”.