Apple recently launched the iPhone SE 2020, which has a starting price of less than RM2,000 in Malaysia. Many were surprised to see Apple launch a brand new iPhone with a fairly low starting price, by Apple’s standards at least. Could Apple really be more affordable moving forward? Lowering its price as its new strategy?
Let’s start with Apple’s latest iPhone, the iPhone 11 series. Starting at RM3,399, the iPhone 11 has been seen as a great success for Apple. Ever since it was launched back in September 2019, the phone has managed to sell consistently better than any other smartphone in the market. Early Apple adopters would definitely switch over or upgrade to the 11 series when it gets released. Then what about the Apple iPhone 12 series?
Apple iPhone 12 Series
There have been a lot of rumours about the iPhone 12, where Apple is expected to launch no less than four distinct iPhone 12 models. According to an analyst, they will all reportedly feature all-screen displays, OLED panels instead of LCDs, as well as have 5G connectivity support.
There are four iPhone 12 variants to look forward to. The entry level iPhone 12 sports a 5.4-inch display with a dual-camera setup on the back. That means, Apple is ditching the single camera setup on its entry level smartphone, except for the iPhone SE 2020. Then comes the iPhone 12 (direct successor to the iPhone 11) and 12 Pro, which will both have 6.1-inch displays. Where the two differs is that the iPhone 12 will have a standard dual rear camera setup, while the Pro variant will have a triple camera setup with a Lidar scanner, similar to the one found on the iPad Pro 2020. The base iPhone 12 is expected to cost up to $750.
How is the iPhone becoming cheaper? One of the reason is supposedly its display. An analyst told The Elec, that the base iPhone 12 could have its OLED panels made by Chinese display maker, BOE. BOE has long been wanting to win iPhone contracts and is expected to join Samsung and LG, both who are already supplying OLED screens for iPhones.
UBI Research analyst and industry insider Chung-Hoon Lee says the iPhone 12 with a 5.4-inch screen could cost between $600 and $700. That is because BOE could offer the display at a much cheaper price.
There is also news that Apple would have two Pro models in its iPhone 12 lineup this year. This includes a 6.1-inch screen size model, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. These models are expected to have the same prices as its predecessors, starting at $999 and $1,099 respectively. The below image is a leak that got out recently on the expected iPhone 12 line.
Due to COVID-19, Apple has to deal quite a few issues including reduced demand for new phones, as well as various logistics issues that could impact the launch of new devices. What’s interesting is that all the iPhone 12 models will have 5G network, and despite that, the phones are either cheaper or remain its starting price as its predecessors.
From what I see, this could be a great way to get new customers from the other brands to join the ecosystem with the entry-level iPhone 12. Lowering down the price barriers makes the brand more accessible. So for those who have always wanted to join the Apple bandwagon, the entry level iPhones could be a good opportunity. As for the higher end iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, they would offer better value considering they’d have the same starting price but have at least a better processor, Lidar scanner, and 5G connectivity compared to its predecessors.
Do note that these are just rumours and speculations, and information could quickly change depending on what happens in the world. Take this piece of news with a pinch of salt, and wait for the official unveiling of the iPhone 12 series in mid-September.