iPhone SE case under $300

On the left is the iPhone SE (2016) and on the right is the iPhone SE (2020). Rumors have it that Apple is releasing a new version of the iPhone SE at its March Performance Peek event on Tuesday.

Jun Kim / CNET

Apple is expected to New iPhone SE launched today at March Peek PerformanceAnd, historically, this phone started at $399. This price is hundreds of dollars cheaper than most iPhone models, with $499 iPhone 11 Being the next cheapest all the way up $1,599 iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1TB of storage.

range allowed Apple offers an iPhone for about $100 increments In between, with different advantages for different budgets: Don’t want an iPhone SE? Well, you can pay $499 and get an iPhone 11. Want something newer? Pay $599 and Get iPhone 12 mini. Don’t like small phones? You can get a file iPhone 12 for $699. Apple’s strategy is to keep the iPhone models from the past two years and sell them at a lower price.

With the impressive performance of A-series chips and Apple’s aggressive approach to keeping iPhone models updated with the latest software for years, the strategy of keeping the oldest iPhone around at a lower price is a great way to ensure an iPhone for everyone, regardless of price.

The iPhone SE (2020) is at the bottom of the iPhone stack. It has the lowest price at $399, it’s one of two non-5G phones Apple is still selling (the other being the iPhone 11) and it’s the only phone that has the classic iPhone design with a large front and chin that includes a home button. iPhone SE (2020) is basically an iPhone 8 with an iPhone 11 processor.

But in 2022, $400 is still too expensive for many people. Android phone makers like Motorola, OnePlus, TCL, and Samsung are offering new “economy” phones starting at $200. Increasingly, they’re getting many of the features seen on more expensive Apple phones, including 6.5-inch screens (albeit with a lower 720p resolution), multiple rear cameras, and a commitment to up to four years of security updates.

Rumors point to Apple’s upcoming iPhone SE including a design similar to the iPhone SE (2020) but including the A15 Bionic chip (from the iPhone 13) and support for 5G connectivity. If all of this is indeed true, I hope Apple will consider keeping the iPhone SE (2020) for a lower price, perhaps $299.

By hitting the $299 price point, Apple can include an iPhone option that’s still higher than phones like the $160 Samsung Galaxy A03S or the $200 Motorola Power (2022) — which also don’t include 5G — while providing an option that’s also accessible. More for people who just want to use features like iMessage along with access to the Apple App Store and various subscriptions like Apple TV Plus.

In fact, it may be carriers who are pushing Apple to upgrade the iPhone SE. We see something similar happening with Android phones. Last year Motorola released the Moto G Stylus 5G that was based on the popular $299 Moto G Stylus. The 5G version added two new features but was priced higher than $399, likely due to the higher cost of 5G modems. In fact, Motorola has swapped out Snapdragon processors (for MediaTek processors) on the Moto G Stylus (2022) and Moto G Power (2022) to keep them 4G and under $300.

If the iPhone SE (2020) can’t be held at a lower price, I’d love to see Apple release a new iPhone designed to sell for less than $299. I think back to the iPhone 5C, which appeared alongside the iPhone 5S. The 5C was basically an iPhone 5 reassembled into a colorful plastic body. When it was released in 2013, it cost $99 up front with a two-year carrier contract. You can buy an unlocked version for $549. With advances in manufacturing and a more robust market for phone components, I wonder what the 2022 iPhone 5C will look like? Could you hit $199 by releasing a version with a mostly plastic body like the iPhone 5C?

The fact of the matter is that the past two years have caused more financial hardship to more families across the country. People are also taking more shares in what they buy as inflation rises. As much as we would like electronics to get cheaper, ongoing supply chain issues have made acquiring premium hardware like the PlayStation 5 very difficult. Is Apple able to make a true “economy” version of the iPhone? I think that. But the real question is, isn’t it? I think we’ll find out in Apple event on March 8.