5G Apple iPhone SE to launch in New Zealand on March 18 from $799

Tim Cook in front of the new iPhone SE models
The updated cheap iPhone can be pre-ordered from Saturday. Photo credit: Supplied / Apple

Apple unveiled a new version of its entry-level iPhone, the SE, at its 'Peek Performance' event on Wednesday morning (NZ time).

The new phone comes in three colours - midnight, starlight and product red - and start at $799 in Aotearoa, with more expensive versions available depending on storage capacity. It can be pre-ordered from Saturday morning and is available to buy on March 18.

As was widely predicted, the SE is powered by Apple's A15 Bionic chip, the same as the current iPhone 13 range.

The 6-core CPU and 16-core neural engine bring new functionality to the SE for the first time, including Live Text, where users can take photos of words and select them or translate them into another language.

It has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with the same toughened glass on the front and back as the iPhone 13 range and is IP67 rated for dust and moisture, meaning it can be submerged for up to 30 minutes in 1m of fresh water.

The new SE maintains the home button that no longer features on the more expensive iPhone models and has TouchID built in.

It also has 5G connectivity as well as a 12MP camera offering Smart HDR 4 and Portrait modes for the first time on an SE.

Apple also unveiled two new colours for its primary iPhone 13 range - Green for the basic models and Alpine Green for the Pro models.

As expected, the Cupertino-based company also revealed new version of the iPad Air, with the lighter device getting the same M1 Silicon chip as the iPad Pro.

The company says that gives it a 60 percent speed increase over the A14 chip from the previous iPad Air model.

The new iPad Air
Photo credit: Getty Images

For the first time, the Air has a 12MP ultra-wide front-facing camera which supports Center Stage, the feature which keeps users in frame as they move around while on video calls.

The new iPad Air comes with either 64GB or 256GB of storage, with 5G connectivity an additional option.

It also supports current iPad peripherals such as the Apple Pencil 2, the Smart Keyboard Folio and the Magic Keyboard.

Prices start at $1049 with pre-ordering open from Saturday and the devices available from March 18.

Other Peek Performance announcements included two live baseball games on Apple TV+ each Friday night (US time), with CEO Tim Cook saying those games could be watched anywhere Apple TV+ was available.

A new high-powered desktop computer, the Mac Studio, was also revealed for the first time alongside a new Studio Display monitor.

Specifications and prices of the new Apple iPhone SE and iPad Air range in Aotearoa:

iPhone SE

  • 64GB storage - $799
  • 128GB storage - $899
  • 256GB storage - $1099

Available to pre-order from Saturday, officially launched on March 18, 2022. 

iPad Air

  • 64GB storage - $1049
  • 64GB storage + cellular connectivity - $1299
  • 256GB storage - $1299
  • 256GB storage + cellular connectivity - $1549

Available to pre-order from Saturday, officially launched on March 18, 2022.