New low-cost iPhone to en­ter mass pro­duc­tion in Feb

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Loss An­ge­les, US - Ap­ple Inc 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 swath of the global smart­phone mar­ket ahead of its 5G hand­sets later this year.

The Cal­i­for­nia-based com­pany is ex­pected to of­fi­cially un­veil the new phone as early as March, one per­son fa­mil­iar with its road map said. The as­sem­bly work for the new hand­set will be split among Hon Hai Pre­ci­sion In­dus­try, Pe­ga­tron Corp and Wistron Corp, the peo­ple added.

This will be the first low­er­cost 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 Co 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.

A cheaper of­fer­ing may help Ap­ple bet­ter com­pete in the most price-com­pet­i­tive and fast­grow­ing emerg­ing phone mar­kets, par­tic­u­larly In­dia. iPhones are still a hard sell in the coun­try, which is over­run by An­droid ri­vals com­ing in at less than US$200. Still, Ap­ple has shown a will to carve out a niche for it­self and is eye­ing lo­ca­tions for Ap­ple stores within its bor­ders.

The US tech jug­ger­naut is hop­ing its hand­set ship­ments will re­turn to growth this year, hav­ing set it­self the goal of ship­ping more than 200mn units in 2020.

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