Apple’s new, lower priced iPhone draws tepid response in Asia

HANGZHOU, China/SEOUL (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) new, lower priced iPhone that comes with a faster processor but lacks 5G technology disappointed Asia, where cheaper and feature-packed handsets from rivals are already available.

The iPhone 11, launched on Tuesday for $50 less than last year’s base XR model, was met with a limp response from social media users in Asian markets that are dominated by Huawei Technologies and Samsung Electronics (005930.KS).

Lowering the entry price point, a rare move from Apple, was likely an effort to attract buyers in China, where Apple has ceded ground to Huawei due to a surge in support from patriotic Chinese consumers after the Chinese brand was caught in the U.S.-China trade standoff, said analysts.

Despite the reduction, the iPhone 11, and even the higher-end models with more camera lenses, are set to come up short in Asia.

“Apple’s new phones were no surprise at all. Only tangible change is having an additional camera on their premium model,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Seoul-based Cape Investment & Securities.

“However, it is noticeable that Apple has made a price cut for the newest iPhone for about $50, which is a very rare move for the company. The move might be aiming to manage and reduce potential risks drawn by the U.S.-China trade war.”
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