Online Apple Store down ahead of iPhone SE preorders [U: back up]

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As is typical of a new product launch, on early Friday morning, Apple took its online storefront down in preparation of what is expected to be an onslaught of preorders for the new 2020 iPhone SE.

Like during the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro launch, Apple is scheduled to begin preorders for iPhone SE on Friday at 5 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Eastern, giving domestic buyers a chance to snag the hotly anticipated budget iPhone early. Previous years saw Apple's latest hardware go up for sale shortly after midnight.

Announced on Wednesday, the new iPhone SE borrows its design from iPhone 8, but packs in thoroughly modern internals like an A13 Bionic processor from iPhone 11. A 4.7-inch LCD display makes room for a Touch ID home button and is slightly larger than the outgoing SE's 4-inch screen.

"The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price; the new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way — including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos — while still being very affordable," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

The wide-angle 12-megapixel camera should show improvement over modules from older handsets like iPhone XR given sensor enhancements and the A13's computational photography capabilities.

Updates to the iPhone 8's communication stack include 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and 2x2 MIMO LTE antennae. Similar to recent iPhone releases, the new SE supports dual-SIM cards, though it lacks Apple's U1 Ultra Wideband chip introduced with iPhone 11 last year.

Battery life is listed as comparable to iPhone 8 with local video playback of up to 13 hours, streaming video playback of up to 8 hours, and up to 40 hours of audio playback.

Prices start at $399 for a 64-gigabyte model and move to $449 for 128GB and $549 for 256GB. The iPhone SE is offered in black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED, with sales of the latter temporarily going toward Global COVID-19 Relief Fund. Shipments are due to arrive on April 24.

Preorders began at 8:01 A.M Eastern Time, as expected.

Apple, as well as accessory makers, are marketing new cases for the handset.

Those on the fence about buying the new iPhone SE can check out AppleInsider's in-depth comparisons and hardware breakdown:

 

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