Tech giant Apple reportedly has plans to launch a low-cost iPhone model in 2020 in an attempt to halt the decline of its smartphone sales.
Nikkei Asian Review reports that Silicon Valley giant Apple has plans to launch a lower-cost iPhone next Spring as the company attempts to regain sales growth in the smartphone market and gain more users in China where the company has lost ground to companies such as Huawei Technologies and other Android smartphone makers.
The new iPhone model would be the first low-cost iPhone developed since the iPhone SE in 2016, which cost approximately $399 at launch. The name and price of the new iPhone model has not been decided but many believe it to be the successor to the iPhone SE. Apple reported its first-ever decline in iPhone shipments last year and lost the title of number two smartphone manufacturer to Huawei this summer.
According to IDC Data, Apple has faced two straight quarters of shipment and market share drops this year alone and is facing a third consecutive annual decline in 2019 according to IDC projections. A contributing factor to the decline is the trade war between the United States and China which has affected consumer sentiment in China, Apple’s third-largest market.
Apple has already cut prices for its flagship iPhones in an effort to reenergize sales and also launched trade-in programs which have accounted for nearly half of the company’s revenue in the first half of the year. Jeff Pu, a veteran tech analyst at GF Securities, told the Nikkei Asian Review: “The cheaper iPhone SE could serve as a sales momentum kicker the first half next year, if the new premium iPhones do not perform well in the coming months.”
Eddie Han, senior industry analyst at Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, commented that Apple has yet to release a 5G-compatible phone stating: “Apple is facing quite a tough year in terms of smartphone competition… A new iPhone SE could at least help Apple secure its user base.”