Apple has “quietly” — without fanfare — unveiled a new entry-level iPhone, aiming to appeal to consumers facing a suddenly bleaker economic backdrop.

The updated iPhone SE will start at $399, or less than half the price of its flagship devices, and be available for order as of today (Friday) in more than 40 markets.

Apple made the announcement in a statement, forgoing the normal splashy product launch events of the past few years.

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The screen is on the small side for smartphones, measuring 4.7 inches diagonally — bigger than the first-generation iPhone SE but smaller than the newest phones — yet boasts high-definition graphics for rich visuals.

Apple trimmed coasts by leaving out some of high-end features such as facial recognition, giving iPhone SE a fingerprint sensor and a home-screen button which fans will remember from previous generations.

While the iPhone had been in the works for months, the launch comes amid a pandemic-induced economic slump which has hammered the smartphone market and hit consumer sentiment.

“It is incredibly fortuitous timing,” said Bob O’Donnell, analyst with Technalysis Research.

“This is the exactly the phone a large percentage of people will want. It’s hard to justify spending $1,200 on a smartphone in this economic climate, yet people still depend heavily on their phones and a lot of people want to upgrade.”

O’Donnell said the new device is also likely to appeal to consumers seeking a small-format handset, and in countries where consumers may have not been able to afford iPhones.