Apple shares closed in the red Thursday, amid rumours the tech giant could be on the verge of releasing a new, bigger and cheaper iPhone. A top Apple analyst, who has been on the money with Apple spoilers in the past, suggests a new iPhone costing just $550/$390 could be on sale this year.
Apple shares ended the US Thursday trading session 2.83% lower at $172.80. The stock is also in negative territory in pre-market trade.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has been working hard to achieve a real breakthrough. But, while in the past those breakthroughs have focussed on tech and mobile capabilities, this time, it’s on price.
It’s no secret that sales following the release of the flagship iPhone X were disappointing. And, while the phone has an impressive set of features, it’s thought that many Apple enthusiasts balked at the price tag of $999/£999.
With the tech innovators next phone – which could be the iPhone 9 or SE 2 – Apple could be about to offer a larger phone, with a better battery life, many of the great features of the X, but at a fraction of the price.
Ming-Chi suggests the mobile phone maker is able to achieve this by making just a few changes. They include replacing the OLED screen with an LCD one, a single rear camera and the replacement of stainless steel with aluminium.
Why target a lower priced iPhone?
While a cheaper, but still impressively created iPhone is something that is sure to attract a lot of attention if it turns out to be true, price hasn’t always been a major concern for Apple. That begs the question, why is the tech giant targeting better cost-effectiveness now?
The answer, according to Ming-Chi, lies with China and is a tactic to increase its market share there.
Apple does have a cheaper iPhone model, the iPhone SE. However, it has a tiny 4-inch screen and few of the great features available on other generation models.
With a bigger, featureful and cheaper new iPhone, Apple could attract a potentially huge launch with the queues and interest that were commonplace a couple of years ago.