Apple iPhone SE available under company's leasing program: Costs just Rs 999 a month
The Indian government has dashed Apple's plans of selling refurbished phones in the country as it could lead to the dumping of e-waste. Pictured: Apple iPhone SEApple Press Kit

Apple stepped up its game in the mid-range smartphone battle with the launch of its cheapest iPhone yet, the iPhone SE, Monday. The new iPhone, which includes the best features of iPhone 5S and iPhone 6s, is primarily focused on emerging markets and the Cupertino-based tech titan finally revealed the official price and availability of the iPhone SE for the Indian market.

During the media briefing in Cupertino, San Francisco, Apple said Monday that its iPhone SE would be launched in India early April. After initially confirming the starting price of the iPhone SE as Rs 30,000, Apple immediately issued an updated release with a new pricing of Rs 39,000 for 16GB iPhone SE. The iPhone SE is also available with 64GB storage, skipping the 32GB model like it did with iPhone 6s last year.

At that price, consumers might have second thoughts about the iPhone SE as the 16GB variant of the iPhone 6 is priced much lower at around Rs 32,000 in India. If consumers' priority lies in the 4-inch screen size, there is little doubt that the iPhone 6s-like features would fade buyers' intentions.

The 64GB variant is expected to cost Rs 10,000 extra, considering Apple's standard pricing model. The iPhone SE comes in space grey, silver, gold and rose gold metallic finishes.

Apple also launched new accessories such as leather cases in Black and Midnight Blue, priced at Rs 2,900, and Lightning Docks for Rs 3,700 in India.

Apple iPhone SE is expected to be available in 110 markets by May this year. The handset would be available for orders in select markets, including Singapore, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Australia, the U.S. and the U.K., starting Thursday, March 31. 

The second batch of iPhone SE rollout begins in early April in rest of the countries like India, UAE, Taiwan, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland and others.

In terms of specifications, Apple iPhone SE packs a 4-inch LED back-lit retina display, A9 processor with M9 co-processor, 12MP iSight camera, 1.2MP FaceTime camera, fingerprint sensor in Home button and iOS 9.3 out-of-the-box. The 16GB variant of the iPhone SE in international markets is priced at $399 and the 64GB model costs $499.