Ap­ple re­veals cheaper iPhone, stream­ing TV

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Michael Liedtke

CU­PER­TINO, Cal­i­for­nia — Ap­ple un­veiled new iPhones that are largely un­changed from pre­vi­ous models and ac­com­pa­nied by an un­ex­pected price cut for the cheap­est model, un­der­scor­ing the com­pany’s ef­forts to coun­ter­act a sales slump of its flag­ship prod­uct.

The com­pany’s new models are so sim­i­lar to last year’s lineup they may be up­staged by Ap­ple TV Plus, the com­pany’s up­com­ing video ser­vice, which is rolling out Nov. 1 at $5 per month.

Ap­ple, in fact, is al­ready us­ing the video ser­vice to pro­mote iPhones, of­fer­ing a free year of Ap­ple TV Plus with new de­vice pur­chases.

IPhone ship­ments are down 25% so far this year, ac­cord­ing to the re­search firm IDC, putting more pres­sure on Ap­ple to gen­er­ate rev­enue from ser­vices such as mu­sic and video stream­ing, games and its App Store. Rev­enue from ser­vices rose 14% to nearly $23 bil­lion dur­ing the first half of this year.

It is cut­ting the price of the iPhone 11 to $700 from $750, the price of last year’s XR. The lower prices re­verses a trend in which pre­mium phones get more ex­pen­sive as peo­ple up­grade them less of­ten.

Like Net­flix and sim­i­lar ser­vices from Amazon and Hulu, Ap­ple has been lav­ish­ing bil­lions of dol­lars for orig­i­nal pro­grams fea­tur­ing stars such as Oprah Win­frey, Jen­nifer Aniston and Reese Wither­spoon. The ser­vice will launch with nine orig­i­nal shows and films, with more ex­pected each month. It will only carry Ap­ple’s orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming, and will be avail­able in 100 coun­tries at launch.

Ap­ple also an­nounced a new video game sub­scrip­tion ser­vice will cost $5 a month when it rolls out Sept. 19. Called Ap­ple Ar­cade, the ser­vice will al­low sub­scribers to play more than 100 games ex­clu­sive to the ser­vice.

JOSH EDELSON/GETTY-AFP

Ap­ple cut the price of its new iPhone 11 to $700, the price of last year’s iPhone XR, to coun­ter­act a slump in sales.

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