Apple has a $399 iPhone SE budget-conscious as coronavirus stalls economy


Apple Inc released a smaller iPhone on Wednesday at a price of $ 399, lowering the starting price company’s smartphone line to increase the appeal of price-conscious customers as the corona virus is hampering the global economy. The cheaper model could also attract more consumers to Apple services, a growing engine of revenue. Apple shares fell 1.1%, down from the 2.4% decline of the S&P 500 index.

Apple is set to take orders over the phone on its website on Friday, with devices expected to begin on April 24. The iPhone SE will start at $ 50 less than previously the cheapest iPhone available, the iPhone 8, which is retiring. The SE comes with a 4.7-inch display and the same processor chip as Apple’s most advanced phone, the 11 Pro. The SE lacks Apple’s facial recognition system to unlock the device, but relies on a fingerprint sensor similar to older models. While the new iPhone adds features like wireless charging and a high-end camera, it lacks connectivity for 5G, the next generation of mobile data networks.

The announcement comes as the United States and much of the world is recovering from the new coronavirus, although US political leaders have started talking about ending home commands and restarting the economy in hopes of record deaths and declining hospitalizations a highlight. Previous iPhones have been unveiled in a polished presentation to fans, but major events remain banned at Apple’s home base in Santa Clara County, California, where government officials ordered initial closings in the United States to slow the spread of the new corona virus.

Apple’s cheaper phone reflects the economic downturn and job losses caused by the corona virus. Ben Bajarin, chief analyst for consumer market information at Creative Strategies, said Apple likely realized that many customers were buying older models like the iPhone 8 instead of the newer iPhone 11 Pro for $ 999, “and much of that is likely the price.” Those budget-focused iPhone buyers may have been turned off by the iPhone 8’s aging chips and camera.

Apple “tackles that head-on with a device and a price that can still provide people with the latest technology,” he said. “Having a device that you are sure will last is exactly what (consumers) want.” The new aluminum and glass SE – in black, white and red – looks a lot like an iPhone 8.

The cheaper phone is entering a killer market for value phones, especially in China, where Apple makes about 17% of sales. In China, rivals such as Xiaomi Corp announced models with 5G features starting around $ 425 last month. But Bajarin said buyers interested in 5G will prefer flagship phones, while budget buyers aren’t people who hoot over 5G would give & # 39 ;.

With hesitant hardware sales, Apple has invested in subscription services such as the Apple TV + streaming television service, Apple Music and iCloud. The new SE comes with a year of free streaming TV service, similar to Apple’s flagship devices released last fall. “Given the price tag, it is unlikely that (the iPhone SE) will have a significant impact on Apple’s financial services, but it could help expand the installed base, which will be useful to Apple’s revenues in the long run for services, “said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities.

Horace Dediu, an analyst at Asymco, said budget-minded phone buyers might not pay attention to whether a device has Apple’s latest chips, but third-party app developers do consider how many iPhones use the latest chips and operating systems when deciding what apps to build. If more iPhone users have powerful hardware, he could encourage those developers to create apps for iPhones that use technologies such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence that help them differentiate themselves from competitors. The coronavirus gave the year a volatile start. Sales in China, the first nation affected by the virus, declined and recovered as the country began to reopen. Sales of 500,000 phones in February rose to 2.5 million phones in March, according to government sales data there.

Apple is starting to sell the new model online with stores all over the world closed, except those in the larger sales region in China. Apple gets about 31% of its sales from its elegant stores and website, and 69% comes from partners such as mobile carriers and other retailers. Apple said partners would decide whether to sell the phones in their brick and mortar stores. Many Apple resellers try to guide customers to online sales. Major partners such as Best Buy Inc have reduced their opening hours and AT&T Inc has closed approximately 40% of US stores.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)


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