Alarming for Chinese Smartphones: New ‘Cheaper’ iPhones to enter low-cost phone market in February

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  • Apple may unveil a new lower-cost iPhone model as early as March, as it looks to address a wider swathe of the global smartphone market
  • The new phone is expected to have Touch ID built into the home button and feature the same processor as the iPhone 11

Apple suppliers plan to begin assembling a new low-cost iPhone in February, people familiar with the plan said, as the company looks to address a wider swathe of the global smartphone market ahead of its 5G handsets later this year.

The Cupertino, California-based company is expected to officially unveil the new phone as early as March, one person familiar with its road map said.

This will be the first lower-cost iPhone model since the iPhone SE. It will look similar to the iPhone 8 from 2017 and include a 4.7-inch screen, Bloomberg News has previously reported. The iPhone 8 is still on the market, currently selling for US$449, whereas Apple sold the iPhone SE for US$399 when that handset launched in 2016.

The new phone is expected to have Touch ID built into the home button, reusing established Apple technology instead of opting for an in-display fingerprint sensor like most modern Android rivals. It will not have Apple’s Face ID biometric authentication, but it will feature the same processor as Apple’s current flagship device, the iPhone 11.

Apple’s more affordable iPhones have proven popular with consumers, including the latest iPhone 11, whose starting price was US$50 lower than Apple’s typical pricing. Strong demand for iPhones has prompted Apple to ask Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing to make more chips in the current quarter, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Apple is planning a slew of new high-end iPhones for release later in 2020 that include 5G connectivity, faster processors, and new 3D cameras on the back, Bloomberg News has reported.

The US tech juggernaut is hoping its handset shipments will return to growth this year, having set itself the goal of shipping more than 200 million units in 2020. The successor to the iPhone SE will play a significant role in that task.

 

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