For months now, rumors have predicted that Apple will announce a new budget iPhone, expect to start at less than $500, which may or may not be called either “iPhone SE 2” or “iPhone 9.”
One source believes the new phone will likely sell at $399, roughly the same price as the first iPhone SE. Analysts say Apple needs a lower-cost device to have a better chance of competing in the Indian market, which is huge but also accustomed to paying less than $200 for Android phones. The new phone, one source told me, might also bolster Apple’s phone offering in China… But Apple’s motivation for an upgraded low-cost phone might be more global.
A radically lower-priced iPhone, with the right components and features, could be tempting for a whole group of people that previously couldn’t afford an iPhone. This may include younger people with less disposable income who may use cheaper Android phones and people who bought older iPhones on the used market… The main idea of the SE 2/iPhone 9 is not to bowl consumers over with premium features, but to pull them inside the big tent of the Apple ecosystem.
It could pump up iPhone unit sales and pour gas on the services business by increasing the pool of possible customers.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, neither the iPhone 5C or the iPhone SE were successful enough for Apple to continue iterating. The idea of a budget iPhone SE 2 is quite a tightrope to walk. It has to have a perfect mix of specs at a magic price point. It has to grow the user base, not cannibalize from higher-priced, more-capable iPhones. Hopefully, after iPhone 5C and SE, the third time’s the charm!