The iPhone SE 2020 doesn't have Apple's U1 Ultra Wideband chip, won't support AirTags
The new iPhone SE is finally here, and it brings many of the flagship features found in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro to a cheaper price point. However, there’s one piece of hardware that the SE doesn’t have, and it’s absence locks the SE out of some future features Apple is developing.
The iPhone SE does not have the U1 Ultra Wideband chip that was introduced with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro last fall. Currently, the U1 chip is used for improving the precision of AirDrop file transfers between devices that have the hardware. Essentially, the U1 acts as a localized GPS locater, allowing the iPhone to better pinpoint other devices.
While the U1 Ultra Wideband chip is only being used with AirDrop, Apple is currently developing a new piece of hardware known as AirTags, which are small Bluetooth tracking tiles. AirTags can be attached to things like keys, wallets, or other small items that tend to get lost. Devices with a U1 chip should be able to precisely locate an AirTag, making it easy to find.
There are some other future projects Apple may develop that lean on the U1 chip, but as of right now, it doesn’t seem terribly useful. While the new iPhone SE doesn’t have the U1 chip, it’s unlikely to be missed by most users.
What are your thoughts on the U1 Ultra Wideband chip? Is it a necessity or simply added fluff? Let us know in the comments.