Business / Corporate

Japan mobile carriers launch new iPhone SE after virus-delayed debut

Updated budget model hits market two weeks late as parts of Japan cautiously resume economic activity

kyodo

Major mobile carriers on Monday kicked off sales of Apple Inc.’s second-generation iPhone SE smartphone after a two-week delay to prevent coronavirus infections during the Golden Week holidays.

The updated version of the popular 2016 budget model is bigger with a 4.7-inch screen and shares advanced core processors used in the latest iPhone 11 range as well as an advanced camera system and a tougher design. It was originally set to be rolled out on April 27.

NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. will start selling the model at around ¥50,000 including tax, but there is also a plan whereby the price can be brought down to the ¥20,000 level if certain conditions are met.

The companies have asked potential purchasers to make reservations before visiting as a precaution to curb COVID-19 infections from the virus.

E-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., a newcomer to the industry that launched a cheaper full-scale wireless telecommunications service in April, does not handle iPhones.

Japan is one of the most important markets for Apple and new product launches usually draw long lines and big crowds at its stores.

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