Apple is planning to release a dirt-cheap iPhone next year in a bid to boost its stagnant sales, a well-respected analyst says.
TF Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo said in an investor note that Apple will launch a $399 iPhone in the spring. The handset, which he calls the iPhone SE 2 — making it the sequel to 2016’s popular budget iPhone SE — would feature a similar design to the iPhone 8, but with the beefed-up internals of the recently released iPhone 11.
Kuo says that the new phones, which he believes will be released in the first quarter of 2020, will be a “key growth driver” for Apple thanks to the massive base of existing customers who are still using the iPhone 6 and 6s models from 2014 and 2015, respectively.
“iPhone 6 and 6s series are the best-selling iPhone series, and we estimate that around 170 million to 200 million people are still using iPhone 6 and 6s series now,” Kuo said.
He noted that iPhone 6 and 6s users might feel more pressure to upgrade because the latest iPhone operating system — iOS 13, which includes new features such as dark mode — is not supported on the older models.
The phone will include Apple’s new A13 processor, and Kuo believes it will come in space gray, silver and red. He expects it to move 30 million units in 2020.
Releasing a new, budget iPhone would fit with Apple’s recent strategies.
The iPhone 11 received a $50 price cut from last year’s iPhone XR, and is now marketed as the company’s de facto smartphone, with its $1,000 big brother now having the “Pro” distinction in its name.
Apple shares briefly hit an all-time high Monday morning, before settling down by early afternoon.