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Apple is reportedly planning to launch a new low-cost iPhone in 2020 that will help the company offset declines in iPhone sales, according to Japanese financial publication the Nikkei Asian Review. While Apple continues to introduce high-end iPhones, and is expected to unveil its latest on Sept. 10, fewer and fewer people are finding enough reasons to spend $1,000 on a new phone. A lower-cost device could appeal to buyers in emerging markets, too.
Apple has used this strategy before. The iPhone SE was introduced in 2016 and was priced at $399, hundreds of dollars cheaper than its other iPhones. That phone was nearly identical in design to the iPhone 4s which launched a couple of years earlier. Nikkei said it's unclear what the more affordable iPhone will be called but that Apple will likely use the same 4.7-inch screen size as the iPhone 8.
Apple still caters to a budget market, even if it no longer sells the iPhone SE, however.
It currently still sells the iPhone 7, which is several years old but now starts at $449. It typically lowers the cost of its older iPhones when it introduces new models, so the iPhone 8 might take that spot once the new models are unveiled in September. Likewise, it also sells more affordable versions of its flagship phones.
The iPhone XR starts at $749, for example, while the flagship iPhone XS starts at $999. Apple is likely to continue this trend. On Sept. 10, it's expected to introduce two new flagship devices to replace the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and a new version of the iPhone XR.
Apple was not immediately available to comment.