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Apple Launches First Budget 5G iPhone

The new SE model is approximately $250 cheaper than the company's original iPhone. 

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On Tuesday, Apple announced some good news for people looking for a more affordable iPhone option. The company's new iPhone SE (Special Edition) now features 5G, along with other improvements, for $429 — a $30 bump over the previous budget model

Per CNN, at the company's inaugural product event of the year, the updated, 5G-equipped budget phone was a "standout" among additional product reveals, which included an upgraded iPad Air, new desktop computer and new Mac chip. The latest iPhone SE is only the third iteration since the model's 2017 launch, and it features Apple's faster A15 Bionic chip (which also powers the iPhone 13 line), an updated camera and a longer-lasting battery. The updated SE has a 4.7-inch display (the same as the former model) and is available in three colors: midnight (black), starlight (white) and red. 

Related: Apple Investors Urged to Vote Against CEO Tim Cook's $100 Million Pay Package

Apple's last iPhone SE model was released in April of 2020 at the start of the pandemic, a time when layoffs and lockdowns saw more people at home — and looking for ways to pass the time without breaking the bank. Today, the budget phone remains a compelling option for consumers who want to save a bit of money without sacrificing the iPhone's trademark features

The company also announced several additional updates. The new iPad Air now features 5G and an improved front-facing camera, and the new Mac chip, the M1 Ultra, made its debut, promising more power and efficiency for its new Mac desktops — the Mac Studio, a display-less computer, and Studio Display, 27-inch display with 5K resolution. 

While some consumers might raise an eyebrow at the 5G-induced price hike — which marked the first time the budget option surpassed $399 — it's still a pretty good deal by Apple's standards. According to CNBC, when adjusted for inflation, the new SE model is approximately $250 cheaper than the company's original iPhone. 

Related: Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Now a Billionaire 

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