Apple iPhone SE (2020) Misses Out on Ultra-Wideband Locator Chip

Apple on Wednesday unveiled the anticipated iPhone SE (2020) as its latest iPhone model. While the new iPhone is designed mainly as an upgrade to the dated iPhone 8 that was launched in September 2017, there are some new connectivity options that make it closer to the flagship iPhone 11 series. One of these additions is support for Express Cards with power reserve. The new iPhone SE also supports Wi-Fi 6, mainly because of the inclusion of A13 Bionic SoC. However, Apple hasn’t added the U1 Ultra-wideband chip that is available on the iPhone 11 family to enable spatial awareness.

The technical specifications listed on the Apple site show how the new iPhone SE are closer to the iPhone 11 models. They include support for Express Cards with power reserve support. As noted by MacRumors, Express Cards support is also present on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models and is designed to authenticate Express Transit cards even when the iPhone has no battery charge left. Apple may use the power reserve technology for its “CarKey” function that would debut in the future to make modern iPhone models work in place of a traditional car key.

Alongside supporting Express Cards, the iPhone SE (2020) has Wi-Fi 6 connectivity that is rated to deliver up to 40 percent faster download speeds over Wi-Fi 802.11ac (now called Wi-Fi 5). There is also NFC support along with a reader mode.

However, Apple hasn’t provided the U1 Ultra-wideband chip that first arrived on the iPhone 11 models last year. The chip provides spatial awareness that enhances location tracking and upgrades AirDrop with the ability to share content simply by pointing the compatible device. The Cupertino company calls it “GPS at the scale of the living room.”

Apple may expand the use of its U1 chip in the future, through the Bluetooth tracking AirTags. However, you won’t be able to experience the advancements if you’re getting the iPhone SE (2020).

Is iPhone SE the ultimate ‘affordable’ iPhone for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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