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.”
As expected, Apple’s 2019 iPhone lineup does not include 5G technology, leaving the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 without the next-generation leap in mobile data speeds we’ve seen on recent smartphones from Samsung, LG, and OnePlus.
But Apple is wise in waiting another year before building 5G into the iPhone, and it’s got nothing to do with safety. 5G networks still feel like they’re very much in a preliminary stage, and only now are carriers starting to build any real momentum by bringing 5G to more cities across the US. But there are other obstacles and snags that led to Apple holding off another year — hopefully just one more — before integrating 5G into the iPhone.
Apple refreshed its line of iPhones for 2019 at an event on Tuesday, announcing the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The phones start at $699, $999 and $1,099, respectively. These new iPhones pick up a fresh palette of colors, longer battery life and a A13 Bionic processor inside that promises faster performance. But more than any other feature, it’s the camera hardware and software that take the headlining role. There are three cameras on the back of the Pro phones and two on the back of the iPhone 11. See below for our early hands-on impressions.
This new crop of iPhones may wear different colors, but in terms of overall design, they look strikingly like last year’s iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR — notch and all.
After many months of rumors, purported leaks, and speculation, Apple will finally make the new trio of iPhones official on September 10. And today out of China comes a new report that seems to leak all of the new devices’ specs. Before we go into the actual information, don’t forget to take all of this with a healthy serving of salt – it’s just an unconfirmed rumor at this point. That said, a lot of the stuff in it lines up with what we’ve heard in the past, and the rest is at least plausible.
This is the successor to the iPhone XR, and hence Apple’s entry-level option for late 2019. Like the XR, it will start at $749 in the US, and it will feature the exact same screen as its predecessor. The A13 chip is in, aided by 4GB of RAM. The front camera is 12 MP, and the Face ID sensor will be angled in a way that makes unlocking work at wider angles. So maybe even unlocking while the phone sits on a table will be possible.