Apple said to launch a lower-cost iPhone next spring

Apple's 4-inch iPhone SE
Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE

Nikkei Asian Review:

With its share of the smartphone market slipping, Apple plans to launch a lower-cost iPhone next spring to win customers in emerging markets and retake ground in China lost to Huawei Technologies and other rivals, sources said.

The new model would be Apple’s first low-cost smartphone since the launch of the iPhone SE in 2016, which started at $399. Though the name and price of the new model hasn’t been decided, it is viewed as the latest generation of the iPhone SE…

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, acknowledged in January that “price is a factor” behind weaker sales in emerging markets… The new, cheaper iPhone could boost sales for Apple next spring, when the life-cycle of new flagship iPhones — scheduled to be unveiled Sept. 10 — would naturally begin to slow. The original iPhone SE sold about 30 million units in 2016 and another 10 million between 2017 and 2018, according to Yuanta Investment Consulting…

The size of the new model will be similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 that was introduced in 2017, three sources said. The model will share most of the same components with the flagship iPhones this year, and it will feature the lower-cost liquid crystal display that will help Apple achieve the lower starting price-tag, although the final pricing for the model is not yet settled, the people said… The cheaper iPhone next spring could be Apple’s only new handset that still uses LCD displays. The financially-troubled Japan Display would be its major supplier, while LG Display will also provide LCD for this model, the people said.

MacDailyNews Take: The iPhone 8’s dimensions are very close to those of iPhone X/XS:

iPhone 8: 5.45 inches (138.4 mm) x 2.65 inches (67.3 mm) x 0.29 inch (7.3 mm), 4.7-inch LCD
iPhone X/XS: 5.65 inches (143.6 mm) x 2.79 inches (70.9 mm) x 0.30 inch (7.7 mm), 5.8-inch OLED

By losing the home button and moving to a full screen “Liquid Retina HD display” like those featured in iPhone XR, the display could increase to something much closer to the 5.8-inch display offered by iPhone X/XS than the iPhone 8’s small 4.7-inch screen.

Regardless, such a model would be good news for Japan Display which needs all of the business it can get.


  1. Folks still don’t get it. Most SE2 proponents don’t care about a cheap iPhone. They want a small iPhone that fits their hands and pockets. This proposal is no more responsive to that request than the iPhone 8 is.

  2. Timing makes some sense. iPhone SE was released in Spring. For target customers, it should just be an iPhone SE/5S/5 with faster processing. It’s a proven design. Makes people (who like smaller phone) feel comfortable. It already has a nice camera, and keep that headphones jack! People who want lower cost phone often want to use lower cost headphones. Apple isn’t abandoning the 4-inch screen format because Apple recently released a brand new iPod touch with same screen.

    So we have new faster iPod touch with same external design. Plus new faster iPad mini with same external design. Even the new iPad Air that’s basically the old iPad Pro (10.5-inch) with faster processing. ALL within last few months. Give iPhone SE same treatment soon. AND do same for iPhone 8 (4.7-inch). Also a VERY popular and proven design. Same look, just faster.

    On lower cost devices, Home button (with Touch ID) works well, without technical complications and need to put a “notch” on a smaller size screen.

  3. It makes sense if Apple ever expects to penetrate the Indian and African smartphone market by even a tiny bit. It just seems crazy for Apple to simply ignore a market with hundreds of millions of consumers. Having a market share of only 1% or 2% in such huge markets is absolutely ridiculous. I’m not saying Apple should dominate any low-end market but 5% to 10% should be reasonable enough to at least show some presence. Let just a few poorer consumers get a taste of Apple products. Apple giving rival smartphone vendors entire countries to dominate almost seems suicidal from a business standpoint.

    It’s very difficult for me to understand how Apple runs their business. It’s just weird how they don’t follow standard business practices of thwarting business rivals even a little bit. Most companies would never do something such as giving their entire market share away to the competition.

  4. With the promise of cheaper product “in the pipeline” for spring, one wonders how well the phat ultra-expensive fall model iPhones with Triclops camera eye bulges will go over.

    Prediction: Hyper-innovative Timmy will wrap a mostly unchanged iPhone 8 in a bright plastic case and call it the iPhone 8C. He will then announce it at a snoozefest, declaring how Apple has such great courage to deliver exactly what everyone wanted. The price will increase 20% from the iPhone 8 model you can still buy today for 2/3 the price of the incrementally “better” OLED Ugly Notch models that have no new function anyone needs. The silence from the audience will be palpable. Then Timmy will quickly move on to bragging about how Apple is the only tech company so innovative that it issues its own credit card. Well, except the Amazon Chase cards.

    Day late and a dollar short on everything, that’s Timmy!

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