How Apple built a cheap iPhone SE

It's all down to carefully reusing parts and technologies, and keeping the design as simple as possible.

New iPhone SE 2020 is Apple's best iPhone in years

At $399, the new iPhone SE is pretty cheap, competing well against mid-range Android handsets. In fact, I can't think of a single Android handset that would likely offer the lifespan and consistency of experience over the length of time that the iPhone SE will last.

But how did Apple do it?

By reusing parts, and keeping the design simple.

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The new iPhone SE has a lot in common with another iPhone -- the iPhone 8 that it replaces.

Take the screen, for example. It uses a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, as found in the iPhone 8, as opposed to the Liquid Retina HD display found in the iPhone 11. The 12MP wide-angle camera also shares its heritage with the iPhone 8 and iPhone XR, as opposed to the twin 12MP ultra wide- and wide-angle cameras found on the iPhone 11.

The iPhone SE also features the same front-facing FaceTime HD camera, and not the TrueDepth camera found on the iPhone 11.

Even the Touch ID sensor is the same as found on the iPhone 8.

Where there is a key difference is the processor. The iPhone SE abandons the A11 Bionic found in the iPhone 8, and replaces it with a top-of-the-line A13 Bionic chip found in the current crop of iPhone 11 handsets.

The new iPhone SE is an iPhone 8 with a new engine to give it a new lease of life, and a new price tag!