Apple plans cheap iPhone for China, sketchy report claims

Huang Ge for Global Times:

Apple Inc will launch a new iPhone tailored for Chinese consumers, media reports said on Monday, a move that industry insiders said showed the US technology giant’s urgency to arrest a sales decline in the domestic market due to mounting cost pressure from the China-US trade war.

The new phone will reportedly remove Face ID, the facial recognition system for the iPhone, and instead employ an under-display fingerprint function, news site reported, citing sources on the upstream industry supply chain. An industry insider revealed that this is likely to “save on costs.”

Citing sources, the report claims Apple intends cutting costs by replacing Face ID with an under-display Touch ID sensor, development of which we previously heard was abandoned in 2017.

However, Chinese brands including Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivodo offer fingerprint sensors under the device.

Analysts from Barclays have previously claimed 2020 iPhones will have some form of under display authentication – but Ming-Chi Kuo and other analysts with a strong track record on Apple have made no such claims, predicting only iterative improvements.

Buffeted by trade war and decline in smartphone sales, Apple seems to want to cut costs in order to arrest its sales decline.

Global Times:

According to an online poll regarding “which aspect you hope Apple can optimize”, “price” got the most votes from more than 209,000 netizens, followed by “battery” with nearly 56,200 votes and “signal” from more than 31,700 as of press time.

MacDailyNews Take: The fact that the most well-regarded analysts haven’t made any such claim means this doesn’t sound right to us, all the claims so far suggest the next iPhone will be heavily focused on photography.

What may be more likely is that Apple may introduce a small, low-cost iPhone to replace the iPhone SE, but we’ve not seen too much enthusiasm on the part of the company when it comes to competing on price.

Why make a family car when you have a good business in luxury vehicles? Why sell low cost iPhones in China  when you charge so much more at home?


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    1. FaceID will never be as inexpensive as TouchID.

      In addition to the price penalty and the Ugly Notch, many people don’t find Face ID more handy than Touch ID, especially when using Apple Pay. Nobody was asking for it when Apple decided to follow Android down this path.

      There are other concerns too — consider the draconian measures that the Chinese state could do with such creepy technology. Face ID plays perfectly into their “social credit” population micromanagement plans.

      Also, when has Apple ever voluntarily offered its depreciated technology at a lower price to consumers? To quote broken record Cook, “It’s not in our DNA.” Tim thinks that if you want a sensibly priced phone, you will get an iPhone 8 and forget about those little 4″ screen phones that Apple used to make.

      China will probably get rehashed iPhone SE models before the rest of the world gets a proper new 4″ iPhone. You will take what Cook gives you and you will like it. Cook has you locked in, so don’t bother to look around for options. This is the new Apple. They are not here to delight you. Cook is here to extract as much money as possible from your wallet each month.

  1. There are lots of Chinese willing to pay for good quality products from Apple – they are known as the upper class – you don’t have to scrap for market share when you’re already selling phones from years gone by at reduced rates

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