The company also unveiled a smaller model of the iPad Pro, which the company introduced last year.
Apple’s new iPhone 5SE will be available in 100 countries including India by the end of May and will go on full sale on March 31. The starting price is likely to be Rs. 39,000.
Apple unveiled a smaller, cheaper iPhone aimed at new buyers, especially in emerging markets and possibly China, the world’s biggest buyer of smartphones, as the technology company looks to reverse a decline in worldwide sales of its most important product.
The new device, called the iPhone SE, has a 4-inch (10-cm) screen and starts at a price of $399. It represents Apple’s second bid for the crowded mid-tier market after an unsuccessful foray three years ago.
That is well below the starting price tag of $649 for the current top iPhone model without a contract, which is beyond the reach of many. The new phone, with Apple’s vaunted A9 chip, doubles the speed of Apple’s previous attempt at an entry-level phone, the 5s, launched in 2013. It also runs Apple Pay and comes in the wildly popular rose gold colour.
Shares of Apple were down about half a per cent at $105.41 in early afternoon trade.
The more compact phone design comes after it expanded the size of the screens in its high-end iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones in 2014 to as large as 5.5 inches. That was broadly seen as an attempt to match rival Samsung Electronics with its large-screen Galaxy phones.
Before the launch at Apple’s leafy Cupertino, California headquarters, Chief Executive Tim Cook defended the company’s refusal to comply with a U.S. court order to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters in a December attack in San Bernardino, California.
Apple has a responsibility to protect customers’ data and privacy, Mr. Cook said to applause.
The company also unveiled a smaller model of the iPad Pro, which the company introduced last year with several features like a detachable keyboard and stylus designed for business users. The smaller iPad Pro boasts most of the same features as the largest model except its screen is 9.7 inches, the same as the iPad Air 2.
Prices for the smaller Pro begin at $599, a $200 markdown from the cheapest version of the larger Pro. The iPad Air will now sell for $399, a $100 price cut.
The Apple Watch got a price cut, and will now start at $299, down from $349; it will also come with new wristbands made of woven nylon. Apple launched the smartwatch to great fanfare last year, although it has yet to win a big following.