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iPhone SE 2 release date: Apple’s new lower priced phone 'to arrive soon' despite coronavirus problems

Andrew Griffin
A customer tries an Apple Inc. iPhone SE at the company's Omotesando store on March 31, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Apple is preparing to launch a new, low-cost phone, according to various reports.

The company is planning to reveal the handset at the end of March – despite worries that the spread of coronavirus could lead to slow supply of the iPhones.

Apple has long been rumoured to be working on a new handset, known as the iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9, which will pack new components into an older design and sell for cheaper than its existing handsets.

Now numerous rumours have suggested the launch is scheduled to happen next month, at a special event devoted to the phone.

As well as the new handset, the launch could come alongside a new 13-inch MacBook Air, and trackers that allow people to find missing objects. The company had been rumoured to be launching a new iPad Pro, but that could be hit by problems with supply.

Apple has already said that the spread of coronavirus is likely to affect its business, with China serving as a major market both in buying and manufacturing iPhones. That had led to suggestions that the iPhone SE 2 could be pushed back further in the year until Apple could make more of the phones.

But Bloomberg has reported that the launch is still progressing as scheduled, despite the impact of the spreadly disease. It said that the phone was still on track to launch on March, but that plans to do so were "fluid".

The disease could however hit a planned new iPad Pro, which had been scheduled for the first half of the year but could be hit either by delays in launching or shipping constraints once they are released.

Apple has held launch events in March in the past, which allow it to reveal products away from the spotlight given to software in summer and then the new iPhones in Autumn. The original iPhone was revealed at an event on 31 March, 2016.

The iPhone SE 2 is rumoured to borrow the iPhone 8's external design but add newer components, allowing it to keep up with the more modern handsets.

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