Apple is starting the production of a new, less expensive iPhone, which according to Bloomberg could be presented in a few months, probably in early March. Bloomberg’s source is a few people “aware of the plan” and sources inside Taiwanese companies who will be materially involved in the production of the device. The new model is expected to be a kind of successor to the iPhone SE, a relatively inexpensive and highly regarded smartphone produced until a few years ago by Apple, and now no longer available.
Like the other manufacturers, Apple is facing lower smartphone sales due to a drop in demand and an increase in the life cycle of the devices. Especially in Western markets, smartphones were replaced on average by consumers every couple of years (thanks to phone operators’ offers), but for some time now replacements have become less frequent with a consequent slowdown in sales.
Apple currently sells six different iPhone models, with prices ranging from 559 euros for iPhone 8 to 1,289 euros for iPhone 11 Pro Max: the iPhone 8, presented more than two years ago, are therefore the cheapest models to date (excluding offers for refurbished models). The new device, says Bloomberg, will have the same format as the iPhone 8 with a 4.7-inch screen and a lower or comparable price, should the introduction of the new smartphone replace the iPhone 8.
The new iPhone will have a key with Touch ID, for fingerprint recognition to unlock the phone, and will, therefore, use a technology older (but very reliable) than Apple, leaving aside the facial recognition system to unlock the smartphone. According to sources consulted by Bloomberg, the new cheaper iPhone will, therefore, have no sensors for fingerprints below the screen, a solution adopted by several Android smartphone manufacturers, to recover space in the front of the devices in order to offer larger screens.
Inside, the new iPhone will have an A13 processor, the same one used inside the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. The production of the processors in recent months has been increased at a Taiwanese supplier, also in response to the commercial success of the iPhone 11 in the months since its launch in September 2019, partly made possible by a slightly lower price than the new models presented in 2018.
Bloomberg reports that production of the new cheaper iPhone will be carried out in more Taiwanese companies: Hon Hai Precision Industry, Pegatron and Wistron. The presentation is expected to take place at a special event in March, where Apple may also announce other innovations related to its online devices and services. As always in these cases, the company has neither confirmed nor denied the news.
Offering a cheaper model could help Apple maintain strong sales, pending the presentation of new iPhone models at the end of the summer on which the company relies heavily. The next iPhones will, in fact, be the first to be compatible with 5G technology, to offer very high-speed mobile connections and new services. Several manufacturers, such as Samsung and Huawei, have already started selling smartphones with 5G, but the networks to connect to are still experimental and in the process of being improved, so Apple will come to offer iPhones with 5G in time, responding to a growing demand for devices compatible with next-generation networks.